New Venomous Snake Species Discovered in Costa Rica

Posted on July 18, 2016

Talamancan Palm-Pitviper

Scientists have discovered a new species of venomous snake in Costa Rica. The newly discovered snake is called the Talamancan Palm-Pitviper (Bothriechis nubestris). It was previously confused with the Black-Speckled Palm-Pitviper. Both snakes look very similar but are genetically different.

The international team of scientists was led by University of Central Florida biologist and professor Christopher Parkinson. The snake can reach 30 inches in length but most of the vipers are smaller and under 24 inches in length. They are slender snakes that easily camouflage themselves in trees using their green and black pattern.

Parkinson says in a statement, "It's a really interesting phenomenon. It shows some of the complexities we deal with when cataloging biodiversity and underscores the importance of maintaining natural-history collections. Discovering this species would not have been possible without the specimens housed in natural-history museums."

A research paper on the new snake species can be found here in the journal, Zootaxa.

Photo: University of Central Florida