Mar 12, 2020

New serpent species found

A hitherto unknown rare serpent species has been identified for the first time in Sri Lanka by a team of herpetologists at the Kanneliya forest reserve in Galle.

The zoological name given to this species is “Dryocalamus chithrasekarai”.

The research team responsible for this discovery comprised Mendis Wickremasinghe and Nethu Wickremasinghe couple, Dulan Ranga Vidanapathirana and Vishan Pushpamal.

This team has been engaged in research into reptiles and sub species for a number of years. The relevant research paper on this funding was published in the ‘Zoo Zakta’ international journal on March 6, 2020.

The species has been named 'Dryocalamus chithrasekarai' to pay homage to Mr. N.H. Chithrasekara, who sacrificed years to preserve the Kanneliya reserve. In the common tongue, the species is named as the 'Chithrasekara Bridle Snake' or 'Chithrasekarage  Geta Radanakaya' in Sinhala, the researchers say.

The new find brings the total number of serpent species in Sri Lanka to 105.