In news- The researchers from Mizoram University have discovered a new species of the Stoliczkia genus of snakes.
- This is the third species of Stoliczkia from India.
- The team has named it Stoliczkia vanhnuailianai, in honour of Vanhnuailiana, a famous Mizo warrior.
- The team has given it a common name, ‘Lushai hills dragon snake’ and in the local Mizo language it will be called rulphusin, meaning ‘snake with small scales’.
- The snake is about 50 cm in length, non-venomous, and has a dark brown shade above with a few dorsal scale rows bright yellow in colour.
- The head scales are uniformly dark brown and have bright pinkish sutures.
- Though some members of the family Xenodermidae exhibit fluorescence under ultraviolet light, this snake did not exhibit any significant sign of fluorescence.
- Its sister species Stoliczkia khasiensis was found more than a century ago in 1904.
- The new species is known only from a single specimen at a point locality and further studies are needed to know its distributional range.
About Stoliczkia –
- It is a genus of snakes in the family Xenodermidae.
- The genus contains only two species, one from Northeast India and the other from Borneo.
- Stoliczkia borneensis (1899) – Borneo red snake
- Stoliczkia khasiensis Jerdon, (1870) – Khasi earth snake, Khase red snake
The genus is named after Ferdinand Stoliczka, Moravian-born zoologist who later worked for the Geological Survey of India.