A group of researchers from the U.S. and Costa Rica announced this week the discovery of a new species of venomous snake in the mountains of Costa Rica that they’re calling the Talamancan palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nubestris).
Researchers from the University of Central Florida (UCF) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) discovered the snake in the cloud forests of the Talamanca mountain range, which runs through most of Costa Rica and northern Panama. Their research is published in the July 15 online issue of the journal Zootaxa.
The species went unrecognized for more than 150 years, likely because it looks almost identical to another species called the black-speckled palm-pitviper (Bothriechis nigroviridis). The two species share green and black coloring, and generally measure less than 60 centimeters (24 inches) long, although some reach nearly 102 cm (4o in.).
Their bodies are thin and both live at elevations ranging from 2,400 to 3,000 meters above sea level (7,800 to 9,800 feet).
Their main differences are genetic, but they also have some physical differences, mainly in the type and number of scales covering certain parts of their bodies.