Review of a 500 year old field writing results in identification of new species of cobra

Main report: ‘Invasive’ snake is really a new species and should be protected
(New Scientist)
Other Reporting: Reptiles Magazine
Scientific Paper: Zootaxa    (Plazi Treatment)
New Taxa: Naja peroescobari
Species named for: Pêro (also known as Pedro) Escobar (?–?), one of the 15th -century Portuguese navigators who discovered São Tomé Island
Categories: New Species | Reptiles | Species Discovery

A cobra snake that was once thought to be an introduced species on Sao Tomé Island in the Gulf of Guinea, is actually a new species.   Herpetologist Luis Ceríaco of Villanova University in Pennsylvania, found a report detailing a visit to the island by a Portuguese explorer in 1506. In that report, the explorer described a black snake that was  “so venomous that when it bites a man, his eyes will explode out of the head and he will die.  Looking more closely into what was thought to be an introduced species, Ceríaco confirmed that cobra-preta, now named Naja peroescobari, is indeed a new species of cobra.

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