Spoiler alert: It’s not Severus Snape.
Researchers in India who recently discovered a new species of green pit vipers have decided to name the reptile after the “Harry Potter” book series character Salazar Slytherin.
As JK Rowling’s legend has it, Slytherin, along with Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff founded the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 990 A.D., and became namesakes to the four houses of Hogwarts.
Among his many magical talents, Slytherin was a noted Parselmouth, or one who speaks Parseltongue, the language of snakes. Researchers say this trait was the inspiration for the new snake’s binomial name, the “Trimeresurus salazar.”
In their report, published in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution this month, they suggest the serpent’s common name be “Salazar’s pit viper.”
The Trimeresurus genus of snakes are known for their powerful venom, and found primarily throughout Southwest and Southern Asia. There are at least 48 known species of pit viper — 15 of which can be found in India.
Zoologists say Salazar’s pit viper stands out for the “orange to reddish stripe” that runs down its scaly, chartreuse body, and its relatively high number of teeth.
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