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New species of snake named in honour of Zoos Victoria

10 June 2014

Distinctive new wolf snake species discovered in Cambodia has been named in honour of Zoos Victoria, recognising the support we've provided Fauna & Flora International’s (FFI) studies in the Cardamom Mountains over the last few years.

The wolf snake is the latest species to be discovered in Cambodia’s diverse Cardamom Mountains and has been named Lycodon zoosvictoriae. Wolf snakes get their name as they have large teeth in both jaws.

Scientists believe the peculiar and unique colouration has helped the snake remain overlooked, despite concerted survey efforts in the area.

Cambodian herpetologist Neang Thy, FFI’s research adviser in Phnom Penh, who both discovered and described the new species said, “The species will probably prove to be endemic to the Cardamom Mountains.”

Thy was also responsible for naming the snake, adding, “The support FFI received from Zoos Victoria has helped build the capacity of Cambodian researchers and conservationists and has greatly improved understanding of Cambodia’s reptiles and amphibians.

“Naming this species in honour of Zoos Victoria will ensure a memorable and historical record of the support they’ve given FFI, both in discoveries and conservation of the Cardamoms,” Thy added.

Chris Banks, Conservation Partnerships Manager, Zoos Victoria said, “We are delighted to have a species named after us, and humbled to have our support for FFI's Cambodian program acknowledged in this way.”

This discovery is the eighth new snake to be found in the Cardamom Mountains since survey work began in 2000, and once again shows how much remains to be discovered in this region of Cambodia.