Three new species of groundsnake from Ecuador

Main report: 3 New Snakes Found, One Named for Underworld Monster
(National Geographic News)
Other Reporting: Phys.org, Live Science
Scientific Paper: Zookeys    (Plazi Treatment)
New Taxa: Atractus cerebus, Atractus esepe, Atractus pyroni
Common Name: Cerberus groundsnake, Indistinct groundsnake, Pyron’s groundsnake
Species named for: cerberus: Greek monster Kérberos; in Greek mythology, Kérberos is a monstrous multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the underworld, preventing the dead from leaving. , esepe: Spanish pronunciation of “sp.” AY'-say-PAY' which is the abbreviation for the Latin word species, pyroni: Herpetologist R. Alexander Pyron
Categories: New Species | Reptiles
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The newfound species add to Earth’s most diverse snake genus—and one of them is already critically endangered.   Atractus cerberus, lives along the borders of forests within Ecuador’s Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, hiding under rocks and logs.  Just a few miles down the road from the snake’s habitat, within Ecuador’s Pacoche Wildlife Refuge, more than 1,200 acres of forest have been stripped bare—for a massive oil refinery . The denuded landscape reminded the researchers who discovered the snake of the underworld, Cerberus, who “guarded” hell’s gates., giving name to the new snake.

See also other recent report of two species of Atractus.

Atractus pyroni, one of three snake species newly described from Ecuador. Credit: Alejandro Arteaga

 

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