A research team in Paraguay accidentally discovered a new species of snake. The Phalotris shawnella impresses with its blaze of color - and is also apparently extremely rare.
In Paraguay, a research team has discovered a colorful new species of snake. Researchers found a total of three specimens of Phalotris shawnella in the east of the country, as the team led by Paul Smith from the environmental foundation Para La Tierra writes in the journal "Zoosystematics and Evolution". "We happened upon an individual from this new species in 2014," said Jean-Paul Brouard, one of the co-authors of the report, according to Sci-News magazine.
The non-venomous Phalotris shawnella has red and black stripes along the body and is just under 50 centimeters long. In contrast to the other five known species of the Phalotris group, it has a reddish head and wears a yellow transverse band on the nape.
The research team assumes that the newly discovered snake is extremely rare. Because it is a forest species and lives in an area that is constantly changing, Phallotris shawnella needs "urgent conservation measures," the report said. Therefore, the authors classify them as "Endangered" on the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).