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The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

The Student News Site of Santa Rosa Academy

The Lasso

Scientists Discover One Species of Eyelash-Pitviper is Actually Many

Science is something that will never stop expanding. Unless artificial intelligence defies human knowledge and advances into what a majority of humanity hopes it will, nobody will ever know everything about the world.

“Scientists now believe that 80-90 percent of species on Earth are still undiscovered,” reports Elizabeth Rayne in her article on syfy.com.

So, researchers press on, and it just so happens that they’ve recently been led to a new discovery.

Meet Bothriechis Schlegelii, the Eyelash-pitviper, a vibrant and gorgeous snake from Central and South America. Coming in a wide variety of colors and patterns, scientists originally thought of them as one singular, heavily diverse species. As of February 2024, however, they have been proven wrong.

A Central American Eyelash-pitviper. This yellow coloration, aside from their famous eyelash-like eye ridges, is what the snake is most known for. However, not all species of Eyelash-pitviper display this golden color.



“By closely examining 400 museum specimens, as well as 80 snakes captured in the wild, from Mexico to Ecuador,” Nat Geo explains, “the scientists were able to use a combination of physical characteristics as well as genetics to describe five new species.”

These five new species would include the following:

Klebba’s Eyelash-pitviper (B. Klebbai) is depicted as one of the darker species of Eyelash-pitviper, with a charcoal-colored keeled head and blonde body.
Shah’s Eyelash-pitviper (B. Rasikusumorum) is depicted as a sandy-bronze colored snake with a keeled head and very prominent barred markings.
Kwargs Eyelash-pitviper (B. Khwargi) is depicted as a smooth-bodied snake with colors ranging from clay to seafoam and a distinctive tick-striped pattern.
Rahim’s Eyelash-pitviper (B. Rahimi) is depicted as having long “eyelash horns” above their eyes. It is usually brown or bright yellow-orange with distinctive multicolor stripes.
Hussain’s Eyelash-pitviper (B. Hussaini) is depicted as a yellowish-green, black and white smooth-bodied snake.

Shah’s Eyelash-pitviper (B. Rasikusumorum). Like its relatives, the snake’s scales are spiny and keeled. This specific subspecies, along with a few others, is considerably darker than the other Eyelash-pitvipers. (Jose Vieira)



It is difficult to gather much information on these pitvipers, as they have only been acknowledged as different species as of less than a month prior to this article being written. Though, it has been confirmed that these snakes are venomous, with the Toronto Zoo claiming that “the venom has neurotoxic and haemostatic properties.”

This Eyelash-pitviper (B. Schlegelii) displays its fangs in a defensive stance. These vipers are venomous, and flaunt their bright colors as a signal for other animals to stay away!



So, if you’re ever out on a trip to Central or South America, make sure to watch out for these vivid-hued reptiles and admire them from a distance. Scientists are actively putting effort into researching them further to learn even more about them. Keep your eyes peeled for more information about these magnificent slithering creatures!

*(if possible, make images marked with an asterisk smaller and/or off to the side as not to take up so much space compared to text)

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About the Contributor
Natalie Brown, Staff Writer
Natalie Brown, is a ninth grade student at Santa Rosa Academy. She is a staff member of The Lasso and is amazing at digital art and physical art. She loves to write about anything she is interested in. She is also a kind and outstanding writer. Some of her interests include bugs and cats. She also has a cat named Boof -- Boof is a fat black cat and she is very loud, very needy, loves to cuddle her owner, and cry out when she is hungry. Natalie is into the paranormal and even has a club dedicated to the super natural/paranormal. Her club is called the Mystery Club which is very new, so show kindness and support!
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