Clever name given to newly discovered serpent

Juvenile Sibon noalamina. Photo © Sebastian Lotzkat.

Researchers in Panama have been trying to attract much needed attention to the biodiversity crisis by cleverly naming a new species of snake.

  • The new snake, a snail-eating reptile from Panama has been named Sibon noalamina (‘no to the mine!’ in Spanish).
  • This follows the struggle of the indigenous Ngöbe communities in the region, where possible new mines are destroying their territory.  The name is said to recognize and support the efforts of the Ngöbe community in protecting their territory.
  • The new, multi-coloured snake, which can grow to 21 inches long, eats snails, slugs, earthworms, as well as amphibian eggs.
  • Researchers believe the snake may be endemic (only found in one particular area) to the Tabasara Mountains.
  • Five reptiles and two frogs are thought to be endemic to the Tabasara Mountains, and many amphibians use the area as a safe haven from many diseases.
  • Mining activity threatens the region and its’ inhabitants (people and nature) as much of the region is currently unprotected.

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