BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Researchers found a new snake species in Ankarana National Park in northern Madagascar in February 2014.
The Snake's pale coloration, elusiveness, and genetics verified that it is a new species. The researchers from LSU Museum of Natural Science, the American Museum of Natural History and the Universite de Mahajunga in Madagascar named the ghost snake Madagascarophis lolo, which means ghost in Malagasy.
Researchers found the ghost snake on the national park's iconic pale grey limestone Tsingy rocks, which is very rare being that the ghost snake is a part of the cat-eyed snakes who are normally found developed areas or degraded forests.
Lolo's next closest relative is a snake called Madagascarophis fuchsia, was discovered several years ago also in a rocky, isolated area.
Snakes and their prey are most active during rainy seasons in Madagascar. That's why Ruane said, "it was really tough. It was a lot of hard work, but the payoff was big."
This research was supported by the National Science Foundation. Ruane will participate in a live Twitter Q & A on Thursday, Sept.8 from noon to 1 p.m. about this new species from the LSU Museum of Natural Science's Twitter Handle.