New Venomous Snake Species Discovered by Scientists Already Declared at Risk
OutdoorHub Reporters 07.18.18
While researching sea snakes in Queensland, Australia, scientists accidentally stumbled across a new venomous snake species.
A team of biologists, reportedly led by University of Queensland’s Associate Professor Bryan Fry, discovered a new species of bandy-bandy snake near Weipa, a town located in northeast Australia.
“Bandy-bandy is a burrowing snake, so Freek Vonk from the Naturalis Museum and I were surprised to find it on a concrete block by the sea,” Prof. Fry said, according to The Independent.
“We later discovered that the snake had slithered over from a pile of bauxite rubble waiting to be loaded onto a ship.”
Scientists had previously been aware of only five species of bandy-bandy, also known as the hoop snake. They carry a relatively mild venom, and can grow to to about 2-feet in length.
“Upon examination by my student, Chantelle Derez, the bandy-bandy turned out to be a new species, visually and genetically distinct from those found on the Australian East coast and parts of the interior.”
And a DNA analysis would confirm their findings of a new species, which has been formally named Vermicella parscauda.
Professor Fry issued a harrowing warning for the species, though, saying they may be in danger due to mining of its natural habitat.
“Bauxite mining is a major economic activity in the region, and it may be reshaping the environment to the detriment of native plants and animals,” he said.