FunNature & AnimalThey discover a species of snake unknown to science

They discover a species of snake unknown to science

The snake, previously unknown to science, was discovered in Paraguay and described by researchers from the Paraguayan NGO Para La Tierra in collaboration with Guyra Paraguay and the Biological Research Institute of Paraguay.

The genus to which this snake belongs, Phalotris , has 15 semi-subterranean species distributed in central South America and there is no doubt that they stand out for their striking coloration with red, black and yellow patterns.

This new non-venomous snake has been named Phalotris shawnella , in honor of two children, Shawn Ariel Smith Fernández and Ella Bethany Atkinson, who were born the same year as Fundación Para La Tierra (2008). They inspired the founders of the NGO to work for the conservation of Paraguayan wildlife, with the hope that their children could inherit a better world.

Three individuals of the species have been found, which is endemic to the Cerrado forests of the department of San Pedro in eastern Paraguay. Its known distribution consists of two places with sandy soils separated by 90 km.

The species has been automatically classified as “endangered” by the conservation categories of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which means that it is in imminent danger of extinction in the absence of measures to protect it. its conservation.

“This demonstrates once again the need to protect the natural environment in this region of Paraguay,” the authors comment. ” Laguna Blanca was designated as a Natural Reserve for a period of 5 years, but currently has no protection whatsoever. The preservation of this site should be considered a national priority for conservation.”

Referencia: “A new species of Phalotris (Serpentes, Colubridae, Elapomorphini) from Paraguay” by Paul Smith, Jean-Paul Brouard and Pier Cacciali, 7 March 2022, Zoosystematics and Evolution. DOI: 10.3897/zse.98.61064

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