A new snake species has been found in the forested areas of NE India. The species has received an exciting name that references one of the most famous novel series in pop culture – Harry Potter. It is named Trimeresurus Salazar, or Salazar’s pit viper.
Harry Potter fans know that the Salazar Slytherin was one of the founders of the houses of Hogwarts. The symbol of the Slytherin house is a snake, with the dominant colors being green and silver. It is also known that Salazar could speak with snakes.
The researchers have acknowledged that the name was explicitly picked as a reference to Salazar Slytherin. Salazar’s pit viper was spotted during a survey that sought to explore the forests found in Arunachal Pradesh.
The new Slithering snake species
Arunachal Pradesh area is deemed to be a veritable nexus of biodiversity and one of the many paces which are endangered by human activity. Since many pit vipers tend to share some traits, it is a bit more challenging to track down new species. The amount of information about the animals which are present in the region was also underwhelming, which is one of the reasons that sparked the interest in the survey in the first place.
While T. Salazar seems to be similar to T. albolabris septentrionalis, T. insularis, there are also some key differences, among which we can take into account the form of the hemipenis and the number of teeth. On the head of the male Salazar’s pit viper, there is also a visible orange stripe.
Analysis of genomic DNA has confirmed that Salazar’s pit viper is a distinct slithering snake species. The decision to pick this name was also taken with the knowledge that a catchy reference can attract the attention of people, something that would benefit the region in the long run, especially as the threat of urbanization looms over it.