In the dwindling mangrove forest in central Myanmar, a creature slithers through the canopy. The presence of this scaly creature has caught the attention of experts in the field. This creature belongs to a recently discovered species.
During a biodiversity survey conducted in 2000 and 2001, researchers stumbled upon this green snake, according to a study published December 13 in the journal ZooKeys. Initially, the researchers misidentified the snake as a pit viper, one of the venomous snake species.
DNA analysis of the snakes revealed that these creatures belonged to a "distinct species". The researchers then took a closer look at the 19 green snakes that had previously been misidentified. They realized that they had indeed discovered a new species, named Trimeresurus ayeyarwadyensis, or Ayeyarwady pit viper.
The research mentions that the Ayeyarwady pit viper can reach a length of over 3 meters. This snake is characterized by scales with a "sharp" texture and green color with variations in patterns and motifs.
The images presented here show several examples of the Ayeyarwady pit viper. One snake has an ombré body, with mossy green on the back gradually fading to lime green and almost yellow-white on the belly.
In another image, the Ayeyarwady pit viper has a spotted pattern on its scales, with electric green interspersed with forest green scales. This snake has a white line along its sides, and its belly is a striking yellow. Its forked tongue is a black licorice color.
The Ayeyarwady pit viper can also have brighter lime-green scales on its belly, as shown in the photos. Researchers also noted variations in the color of this snake's eyes, ranging from dark red to golden.
The study shows that this new species was found in the mangrove and other forest habitats of two adjacent coastal regions, the Yangon Region and the Ayeyarwady Region. These regions stretch about 300 miles south of Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar.
The researchers explain that the naming of this new species is based on the Ayeyarwady River, also known as the Irrawaddy River. This river is considered the largest and plays a crucial role in Myanmar. In addition, the Ayeyarwady River serves as a marker for the boundaries of the new species' distribution.