ARUNACHAL PRADESH, India – If you’re not a fan of snakes, you may like this one, if only for its namesake.
Scientists in northeastern India have discovered a new species of green pit viper and have named it after a key Harry Potter character – Salazar Slytherin.
The researchers, who published their findings in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, have officially named the new snake Trimeresurus salazar and suggest the common name be “Salazar’s pit viper.”
If you’re not very familiar with the Wizarding World, Slytherin was a co-founder of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, along with Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw.
Slytherin was known for being a parselmouth, meaning he could speak to serpents. That’s why the crest for his Hogwarts house has a snake on it.
The new pit viper is part of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède. The serpents in the genus are venomous and they’re found across east and southeast Asia, according to researchers.
The new species differ from others in the genus because the males have an orange to reddish stripe running from their eyes to the back of their heads, researchers say.