New Earth Snake Species Discovered in Mexico

Posted on August 12, 2016

A new species of earth snake has been discovered in the mountains of Puebla and Veracruz in east-central Mexico. The snake has striking orange and black banding. The burrowing snakes are rarely encountered and poorly studied.

Scientists Luis Canseco-Márquez and Adrián Nieto-Montes de Oca from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México identified and described the new species in collaboration with scientists Carlos J. Pavón-Vázquez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Marco A. López-Luna, Universidad Juárez Autónoma de Tabasco. The new species has been named Geophis loranca. The adult male holotype has a snout-vent length (SVL) of 268 mm (10.5 inches).

The scientists say in a statement, "Most of these snakes have notably small geographic ranges and sometimes are only found in one type of vegetation. This makes them particularly vulnerable to the destruction of their habitat. It is important to know them before it gets too late."

A research paper on the new species was published here in the journal, ZooKeys.

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