Researchers have discovered a news species of dangerous snake in Madagascar. The new species of snake — pale gray, with white and black spots — was discovered on a rocky plateau in northern Madagascar, reports New York Times. Researchers are calling it Madagoscarophis lolo, after the Malagasy word for “ghost.”
The snakes of the Madagoscarophis genus, generally active at twilight and at night, are called “cat-eyed snakes” for their vertical pupils. The new 20-inch specimen was found during an expedition in 2014, and a DNA analysis confirms that it is a new species.
Although the scientists do not yet know its population size, the ghost snake was found in a protected national park and they do not believe it is endangered.
The researchers from the LSU Museum of Natural Science, the American Museum of Natural History and the Université de Mahajunga in Madagascar named it Madagascarophis lolo, pronounced “luu luu,” which means ghost in Malagasy. Their work was published in the scientific journal, Copeia, in September, 2016, reports LSU Education.