A new species of snake with unique heat sensing ability has been found in Arunachal Pradesh’s West Kameng district. The species is a reddish brown venomous pit viper found in a forest in West Kameng district by a team of herpetologists led by Ashok Captain.
Before this discovery, India had four brown pit vipers namely, Malabar, Horseshoe, Hump-nosed and Himalayan. The discovery was published in the Russian Journal of Herpetology, March-April issue.
“We don’t know anything of the Arunachal pit viper’s natural history as only one male has been found so far. More surveys and sightings of this species would gradually give us an idea of its habits, diet and breeding, whether it lays eggs or bears live young,” said Ashok Captain.
While conducting biodiversity surveys in Eaglenest region of Arunachal Pradesh, the Pune-based research team from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research found the viper. It was found through Comparative analyses of DNA sequences and examination of morphological features that there is no mention of the viper in the past records.