New snake species discovered in Tanzania

New snake species discovered in Tanzania

Pictorial representation onlyThe Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has announced the discovery of a spectacularly coloured snake from a remote area of Tanzania in East Africa.

The striking black-and-yellow snake is called Matilda's horned viper. It measures 60 cm and has horn-like scales above its eyes.

The study was authored by Michele Menegon of Museo delle Scienze of Trento, Italy, Tim Davenport of the WCS, and Kim Howell of the University of Dar es Salaam, the journal Zootaxa reports.

They are keeping the exact location of the new species a secret, since the snake could be of interest to the illegal pet collectors, according to WCS statement.

Its habitat, estimated at only a few square miles, is already severely degraded from logging and charcoal manufacture. The authors expect the species will be classified as critically endangered and have already established a small captive breeding colony.

The snake is named after the daughter of co-author Tim Davenport, director of WCS' Tanzania Program.

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