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Smithophis Atemporalis: Rain-Loving Snake Species Discovered In Mizoram

Date: 13 May 2019 Tags: Biodiversity

Herpetologists have discovered new ‘Rain-loving’ snake species named Smithophis atemporalis in Mizoram. Its common name is Mizo rain snake and locally is called Ruahlawmrul or rain-loving snake.

About Mizo rain snake

  • It has been named Smithophis atemporalis (scientific name) after eminent British herpetologist Malcolm Arthur Smith for his immense contribution to Indian herpetology. 
  • It belongs to new genus-Smithophis and species of the natricine. It took seven-member team of herpetologists 12 years to document it.
  • It is a predominantly aquatic species and is a non-venomous snake.  It is commonly seen in human dominated landscapes after rains.
  • Its maximum recorded size is 655 mm. It lacks specific enlarged scales in temporal region of its head. This character is extremely rare in snakes of this snake family.

Note: It is the latest reptile to be discovered in the Northeast in recent time. It comes after most recent discovery of reddish-brown pit viper in Arunachal Pradesh. Earlier in December 2018, Crying Keelback, a non-venomous snake species was discovered in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lepa-Rada district.