What is Salazar Pit Viper?

July 10, 2024

Salazar Pit Viper, named after Salazar Slytherin from the popular 'Harry Potter' series, has been found in Assam's Kaziranga National Park.

What are Pit Vipers?

  • Pit viper is any species of viper (a family of venomous snakes) that has, in addition to two movable fangs, a heat-sensitive pit organ between each eye and nostril.
  • The pit organ is what allows them to sense the infrared thermal radiation (heat) emitted by their prey in the dark.
  • Habitat: They are found in a variety of habitats, including deserts, forests, grasslands and wetlands. They may be terrestrial, arboreal, or aquatic.
  • Distribution:
    • They are most commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions, but some species can also be found in temperate regions. 
    • They are found on every continent except Antarctica, with the majority of species found in Asia and the Americas.
  • Some species lay eggs; others produce live young. 

Key Facts about Salazar Pit Viper:

  • It is a species of pit viper first identified in Arunachal Pradesh in 2019.
  • The snake, which is nocturnal, demonstrates a unique orange-to-reddish stripe, present on the head and body in males.
  • Scientific Name: Trimeresurus salazar
    • Members of the genus Trimeresurusare charismatic venomous snakes, with morphologically as well as ecologically diverse species.
    • They are distributed across East and Southeast Asia. At least 48 nominate species are known, of which at least 15 occur in India.
    • Most species are typically green in color, but some also have yellow, black, orange, red, or gold markings.
    • Their diet includes a variety of animals, including lizards, amphibians, birds, rodents, and other small mammals.
    • Trimeresurus snakes are morphologically cryptic, which makes it difficult to distinguish them in the field.