New Wolfsnake Species Discovered in Cambodia

June 11, 2014



The number of herp species being discovered in Southeast Asia has grown yet again with the announcement that herpetologists in Cambodia have described a new species of snake in the country's Cardamom Mountains. The snake is called a wolfsnake (Lycodon zoosvictoriae i) due to its long fangs, and is primarily light brown with dark brown markings. The snake is non-venomous but are known to defend themselves with a bite that can cause significant skin damage to humans, according to Cambodian herpetologist Neang Thy, who discovered and described the new species.

 

 

The species lives in high altitude montane forests and Thy believes that its coloration has helped the species to stay hidden in the region until now as the area in which it was found has been heavily surveyed for new species since 2000.


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 Neang Thy/Fauna & Flora International

The wolfsnake is around 41 centimeters in length and has fangs that can cause considerable skin damage.

“Given its unique colouration, submontane habitat and altitudinal separation from other wolf snakes in the region, the species will probably prove to be endemic to the Cardamom Mountains,” Thy told Fauna and Flora International.

The snake was named after Zoos Victoria in Australia, which Thy says has given considerable support to FFI. The snake is small at 41 centimeters long and Thy speculates that it eats geckos and frogs.

An abstract of the paper can be found on the Zootaxa website.

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