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  1. #1
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    Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered
    Martin M Barillas, Zenger News

    A strikingly beautiful burrowing snake that was previously unknown to science has been discovered in Paraguay and is making waves because of its coloration as well as its rarity.

    Phalotris shawnella, a non-venomous snake previously unknown to science, was discovered in Paraguay. Jean-Paul Brouard/Zenger © Jean-Paul Brouard/Zenger

    Described in a new study published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution as a non-venomous member of the genus Phalotris, the snake has been detected in just two places so far in the land-locked South American republic.

    Phaloris shawnella is named in honor of two children, Shawn Ariel Fernández and Ella Bethany Atkinson, who were born in 2008, the same year as the founding of the non-profit Fundación Para La Tierra.

    The two kids are credited with encouraging the non-profit to fight for endangered wildlife in Paraguay.

    Because only three individual snakes have been found so far, and in only two areas in San Pedro province of eastern Paraguay, the authors of the paper believe it is endangered, which means that without protection it is in imminent danger of extinction.

    The Phalotris genus features at least 15 species of snakes distributed in the vast Cerrado savanna eco-region that extends from Brazil and into Paraguay.

    Researcher Jean-Paul Brouard discovered one of the snakes by happenstance when he was digging a hole at Rancho Laguna Blanca in 2014.

    The snake is considered a fossorial species, which means it spends most of its time digging and hunting just under the surface of the soil in its environment.

    In concert with colleagues Paul Smith and Pier Cacciali, Brouard wrote about the snake, which unlike related species has a red head in combination with a yellow band around the neck, which is followed by black lateral bans and black-spotted orange scales on its belly.

    So far, the snake has been found only at Laguna Blanca – a tourist destination - and Colonia Volendam, which are about 90 kilometers apart.


    Laguna Blanca had been set aside for the conservation of native reptiles and amphibians.

    Of the three individuals, only one was actually captured for study, while the other two escaped - but not before being photographed.

    "This demonstrates once again the need to protect the natural environment in this region of Paraguay," declared the authors.

    They went on to say, "Laguna Blanca was designated as a Nature Reserve for a period of 5 years, but currently has no protection at all. The preservation of this site should be considered a national priority for conservation."

    Known for its sandy soils, the Cerrado region in Paraguay is being developed for agriculture and cattle ranching at a fast pace, endangering the natural environment.

    This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.

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  3. #2
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    How cool. It seems to have a narrow, pointy face, rather like our Western & Texas Longnose snakes. And such COLOR!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    How cool. It seems to have a narrow, pointy face, rather like our Western & Texas Longnose snakes. And such COLOR!
    Very true. I neglected to include this pic, also from the article. Being a burrower, I don't suppose it would make much of a display snake.
    Last edited by Homebody; 05-19-2022 at 11:26 AM.

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    Very true. I neglected to include this pic, also from the article. Being a burrower, I don't suppose it would make much of a display snake...
    Oh, I don't know? It won't be perching on branches, but I see a fair amount of any longnose snakes I've kept- they tend to be docile & not flighty once they get to know you. But I wouldn't worry about getting one of these new species for a pet any time soon... AND, I can tell you right now that little guy is going to be a challenge to feed.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-19-2022 at 11:31 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Here a link to the paper. My eyes glazed over quickly, but I share for those of us more scientifically inclined.

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    If the conservationists can't save them, I hope breeders can. They're too beautiful to lose to extinction.
    Last edited by Homebody; 05-19-2022 at 11:40 AM.

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    If the conservationists can't save them, I hope breeders can. They're too beautiful to lose to extinction.
    Pretty isn't the only or even the best reason to save a species from extinction- it's how they function in the ecosystem, their value as it relates to the big picture- & what overpopulates if they're not around. Just a reminder- "camouflage" is beautiful too, as is a wide diversity of species. The way we're going, the only snakes left might be ball pythons? And only morphs, at that.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    There's something almost uncanny about it, as if a morph of a ringneck snake with its coloration flipped mated with some kind of sand boa. Evidently though, it's a colubrid.


    Any excuse to post Arabian sand boa pics is a good excuse. Wish they were more available in the hobby.

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    Look up pics of Texas Longnose snakes- it's like they slid against a building before their paint dried, so now they're striped. Similar colors, narrow pointed face & similar habits.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Beautiful New Species of Rare Burrowing Snake Discovered

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Look up pics of Texas Longnose snakes- it's like they slid against a building before their paint dried, so now they're striped. Similar colors, narrow pointed face & similar habits.
    I give you... the Texas Longnose Snake.

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