New Species of Pit Viper Named After Salazar Slytherin
It might not be a giant basilisk lurking inside Hogwarts, but a new species of pit viper has been named after Salazar Slytherin. The new species, called “Trimeresurus salazar” by the researchers who recorded the snake’s existence in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, is among the five new reptile species to have been documented in Arunachal Pradesh in just over a year.
The Hindu provided additional information on the discovery of Trimeresurus salazar (Salazar’s pit viper).
The discovery by Zeeshan A. Ayaz Mirza of Bengaluru’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, Harshal S. Bhosale of Bombay Natural History Society and four others was published in the April issue of Zoosystematics and Evolution.
T. salazar was identified as a separate species on an expedition conducted between June 25 and August 5, 2019. The Hindu noted that what makes T. salazar distinct from other known pit vipers, such as T. septentrionalis, T. insularis Kramer, and T. albolabris, is “a reddish orange lateral stripe on the head besides some other subtle variations.”
Herpetologist Jayadita Purkayastha, who was not one of the researchers to have discovered T. salazar, was quoted by the Hindu.
Green pit viper [sic] conforming to the specifications of the one named after a Harry Potter character have been found in urban areas too. Its identification as a distinct species has added to the herpetofaunal wealth of the region.
The new pit viper isn’t the first real creature to be named after a Harry Potter character, however. In 2017, a spider was named Lycosa aragogi due to its similarities to Aragog!
What do you think of the discovery of T. salazar? Tell us in the comments below!