A team of researchers recently discovered a new species namely Salazar Slytherin, is a venomous pit viper found in the Himalayas. The name was derived from a character in the Harry Potter Series who can talk to snakes. The fictional Hogwarts founder might have acknowledged the honor.
The researchers chose the name Trimeresurus Salazar and the team recommended the serpent should be commonly recognized as Salazar’s pit viper. Their findings were written in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.
Trimeresurus Salazar aka Salazar’s Pit Viper
Is the Salazar Slytherin Snake Poisonous?
- A. Yes
- B. No
This snake is a bright green viper and lives in the forests of Arunachal Pradesh. Male vipers have orange-reddish stripes on the side of the head.
The lead researcher Zeeshan A.Mirza stated that they kept this name for the new species because they want “to thank J.K. Rowling for introducing the world to the Harry Potter universe.”
The place where the Salazar’s pit viper was discovered is also home to several new discoveries of animals and plants in recent years.
The researchers wrote in the new paper about the snake name, “The specific epithet is a noun in apposition for J.K. Rowling’s fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’s co-founder, Salazar Slytherin.”
The National Center for Biological Science of Bangalore is taking care of this newly found snake.
If you are not a fan or familiar with the Harry Potter series, we will help you with our quick history lesson. Salazar Slytherin was one of the founders of the Hogwarts School, along with his partners including Rowena Ravenclaw, Godric Gryffindor, and Helga Hufflepuff. Slytherin is notably recognized for his ability to talk to snakes and can communicate with animals. This is the main reason why researchers wanted to choose his name for Trimeresurus Salazar.
The genus Trimeresurus Salazar is venomous and discovered in East and Southeast Asia. The lead writer Zeeshan Mirza of the National Centre for Biological Sciences in India stated that “Future dedicated surveys conducted across northeastern India will help document biodiversity, which is under threat from numerous development activities that include road widening, agriculture, and hydro-electric projects.”
Salazar’s Pit Viper Is Different from Other Pit Vipers
Pit vipers may look similar to each other this is one of the main reasons new species of pit vipers get missed. Almost all pit vipers are bright green in color and have the same features.
Researchers observed that Trimeresurus Salazar is similar to T. Insularis, T. Septentrionalis, and T. Albolabris. They keenly observed to identify the differences among them. Apart from bright orange stripes on the head of the male pit vipers, the hemipenis shape and the number of teeth are different compared to other snakes.
After analyzing the snake’s DNA the team proved that it was a new species of pit vipers.