Sinomicrurus gorei: Mizoram University researchers find a new coral snake species

Sinomicrurus gorei
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Scientists from the Zoology Department at Mizoram University have identified a previously unknown species of coral snake in Mizoram. The snake has been named Sinomicrurus gorei in honor of Dr. Gore, a medical officer from British India.

During their research on the skeletal structures and DNA (nuclear and mitochondrial gene 5) of coral snakes in Mizoram, the researchers stumbled upon this new species. The unveiling of the species is documented in a study titled “Reappraisal of the systematics of two sympatric coral snakes (Reptilia: Elapidae),” published in the British science journal, Systematics & Biodiversity (Taylor & Francis Group), on January 10.

Researchers globally have identified nine species of Sinomicrurus coral snakes. In northeast India, only one species, Sinomicrurus macclellandi, had been previously discovered, as reported by the researchers.

The recently identified coral snake is known locally as “Rul Thi Hna” because of its striking resemblance to Thi Hna, a traditional amber necklace in Mizo culture, as emphasized by the researchers.

In their summary, the researchers mentioned, “We found both physical and genetic evidence supporting the reclassification of Sinomicrurus gorei comb. nov., previously considered a color variant of Sinomicrurus macclellandi, from being synonymous with Sinomicrurus macclellandi. We have elevated it to the status of a distinct species. The redescription of the species is based on the examination of 36 adult specimens from Mizoram, including the type material from Assam, and specimens from Bangladesh.”

The study also disclosed that Sinomicrurus macclellandi typically lays a clutch of six to 14 eggs, while Sinomicrurus gorei lays three eggs per clutch.

Pankaj Luitel is a graduate from Manipur University and loves reading and writing. At MountainEcho, Pankaj contributes to the content team efforts and regularly writes for our website

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