A new venomous snake with the ability to spontaneously change color has been discovered in the forests of the Heart of Borneo.
The snake was discovered by a German researcher who described it with the collaboration of two American scientists in the paper, A New Species of Enhydris (Serpentes: Colubridae: Homalopsinae) from the Kapuas River System, West Kalimantan, Indonesia.
“I put the reddish-brown snake in a dark bucket. When I retrieved it a few minutes later, it was almost entirely white,” said Dr Mark Auliya, reptile expert at the Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig in Germany, and a consultant for WWF - the environmental conservation organization.
Dr Auliya collected two specimens of the 2.5 ft long snake in the wetlands and swamped forests around the Kapuas river in the Betung Kerihun National Park, an area in Kalimantan (the Indonesian part of Borneo).
The scientists named this slithery critter Enhydris gyii in honor of the late Ko Ko Gyi, an herpetologist who worked hard on the taxonomy of Homalopsinae snakes. They also suggest using “Kapuas mud snake” as the common name.
The announcement of this discovery has been all over the news including this BBC News article sent in by a NewCritter’s reader.
The genus Enhydris, to which the new snake belongs, is composed of 22 species, only two of which are widespread. All the others have a very restricted range. The scientists believe this newly discovered snake might only occur in the Kapuas River drainage system.
To learn more about Homalopsine snakes in general check out this Field Museum site.
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