A new species of wolf snake has been discovered in Cambodia.
The species, discovered in Cardamom Mountains, has been named Lycodon zoosvictoriae, after Zoos Victoria which has been providing support to Fauna and Flora International (FFI) research in the Cardamom Mountains for years.
Researchers believe the snake's unique and peculiar coloration may have helped it remain hidden, despite several surveys being conducted in the area.
Since 2000, eight new species were discovered in the Cambodian mountains, which shows that the region still needs to be surveyed.
Wolf snakes are non-venomous and belong to the Colubridae family. As these snakes have huge teeth in both jaws, they are named wolf snakes. These snakes have been known to defend themselves when trapped, and can even cause severe damage with their sharp teeth.
Female wolf snakes can be much larger in size than males, and often breed before the monsoons and lay about four to 11 eggs on average. Their hatchlings are between five and seven inches long. Full grown wolf snakes are thought to reach around 20 inches (50 cm) in length.
There are two genus of Asian wolf snakes - Cercaspis and Lycodon. Around 26 species of snakes in Southeast Asia belong to the genus Lycodon and preys on geckos, lizards and frogs.
The new species is most likely endemic to the Cardamom Mountains, according to Neang Thy, herpetologist and research advisor with Fauna & Flora International.
"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," Thy said in a news release.
"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," stated Chris Banks, Conservation Partnerships Manager, Zoos Victoria.
Southeast Asian forests are one of the unexplored areas in the world. According to a recent report by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, more than 300 new species were found in the Mekong Region during 2012-2013. Some new species were found in markets of Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia Vietnam.