New snake species discovered in southeastern Turkey


Faculty members at Hakkari University in Turkey announced Tuesday the discovery of a new snake species as part of research conducted in the city’s rural region.

The university launched “Morphological Identification of Amphibian and Reptile Species in Hakkari Province and their Contribution to Biodiversity” as part of a project to reveal biodiversity and to identify new species in the region.

Academics from the Biodiversity Research and Application Center discovered the species during research in high altitude regions in southeastern Hakkari province.

Unlike other snake species, the new one is distinguished via its speed and it has been given the name Platyceps rhodarachis.

An article about the discovery was published in Zoology in the Middle East journal.

Can Yilmaz, an associate professor in the university, told Anadolu Agency that the snake of the Platyceps genus is recorded as the fourth species of the genus.

Yilmaz said discovering other species in the region is “highly likely” because new spider and locust species were discovered in the same region.

“This snake species is recorded as the sixtieth snake species in our country. ‘Platyceps’ genus’ most significant characteristic is that it is very speedy compared to other kinds. It is also a nonvenomous snake, known as ‘racer,'” he added. 

*Writing by Merve Aydogan in Ankara

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