New snake species found in Cuba

New snake species found in Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
16 October 2021
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A new species of snake, called Arrhyton albicollum, was discovered in the eastern Cuban province of Holguin, so there are 44 snakes of this type registered in the country, local media reported.


The curator of the Cuban National Museum of Natural History, Luis Manuel Diaz Beltran, informed on his Facebook account about the finding in the limestone platform of the municipality of Gibara by Alexis Silva Garcia and Jose Raul Suarez Bauza on January 7, 2010.

The new species is barely 350 millimeters long and has a white collar that contrasts with the black of the dorsal surface of the head and the gray to pale grayish-brown body, with lines that are difficult to observe.

Likewise, it is genetically related to the Arrhyton redimitum, also from the eastern region, but its look is unique among all the snakes in Cuba, and like the rest, it is harmless and non toxic.

Diaz Beltran pointed out that another characteristic is the conical projection of the rostral scale (that is, right at the tip of the snout).

'The only place where Arrhyton albicollum is known so far is quite impacted by local garbage dumping, the use of caves for various purposes, and the proliferation of invasive plants,' he added.

In his opinion, it is possible that the snake could spread, at least, along the coastal and sub-coastal strip between Puerto Padre (Las Tunas) and the municipality of Banes in the province of Holguin.

The Arrhyton genus is exclusive to Cuba and constitutes 20.5 percent of the snake fauna, which is the largest snake family existing in any Antillean island.

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