Wednesday, May 29, 2024 | 19:56 WIB

BRIN Discovers New Species in South Sulawesi

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Jakarta, IO – Researchers from the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN) discovered a new species of snake named Hypsiscopus indonesiensis in Lake Towuti, South Sulawesi. This brings the number of snake species on the island to 60.

According to Brin.go.id, Wednesday (24/1), the discovery has been published in a study titled A New Species of Water Snake Genus Hypsiscopus (Serpentes: Homalopsidae) from Sulawesi, Indonesia, by Amir Hamidy, Quraisy Zakky, Nurul Fitriyana, and Wempi Endarwin in Treubia Journal 2023.

Amir, a researcher at BRIN Biosystematics and Evolution Research Center, said that identifying this new species took a long time, around 16 years, because the number of specimens is limited.

“There is an interesting story from the discovery of H. indonesiensis. This snake specimen comes from six specimens collected in 2003 and one specimen in 2019. If you look at the time span, it is quite long, around 16 years. Why is the identification process delayed? Because the number of specimens is still limited,” explained Amir.

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Based on molecular studies by the BRIN research team, the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Tanjungpura University and the Environment and Forestry Ministry, the brownish-gray snake has a flat tail, more rows of scales in the middle of the body, and fewer tail scales and distinctive color patterns compared to other Hypsiscopus.

“If you look at its physical characteristics, this snake endemic to Sulawesi is popularly called the flat-tailed water snake. This genus group lives in fresh waters and preys on small fish, young frogs and crabs,” said Amir. (bp)

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