Researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru have discovered a new vine snake species in the southern Western Ghats. The species ‘Proahaetulla Antiqua’ is believed to have evolved around 26 million years ago.
It was first discovered in 2011. It looks similar to Ahaetulla dispar which is a small-sized vine snake with similar morphological characters. The vine snake species are not only a new species but also belong to a new genus.
The unique features of the snake were studied by the researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru along with Chennai Snake Park, Chennai, and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
The study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC), DBT-IISc Partnership Programme and the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund. There are similar species in Africa and South America. The Asian vine snakes are distributed throughout Asia.