Scientists Discover a New Snake Species and Name it After a Harry Potter Character


The scientists behind a new snake species must have really liked the Harry Potter series, because they’ve bestowed the slithery little creature with a name worthy of Hogwarts royalty.

The bright green pit viper, discovered recently in northeastern India, comes from the Trimeresurus family of snakes, usually found throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Happening upon him, scientists from the National Centre for Biological Science of Bangalore, India, knew this snake was different for his extra teeth and a reddish-orange stripe on its head. With the opportunity to name him, they opted for ‘Trimeresurus Salazar‘ — after the fictional Salazar Slytherin.

In a paper for the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, the scientists said: “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”.

As Trimeresurus Salazar can be something of a mouthful, the scientists say they’re happy for the snake to be more commonly known as Salazar’s pit viper.

Salazar Slytherin was one of four Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry founders, alongside with Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff.

Of course, Salazar Slytherin could speak to serpents via the language Parseltongue, and famously created the Chamber of Secrets to house a Basilisk that would later unleash hell upon Harry and his fellow students.

The Salazar’s pit viper won’t petrify by looking in your eyes, but it does have a venomous bite, so is better left alone.

Funnily enough, the snake is not the first new creature to be named after the Harry Potter series, or even a fellow Hogwarts founder. In 2016, a spider with a triangular bodice was named Eriovixia Gryffindor for its uncanny resemblance to the Sorting Hat.

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