A new species of snake discovered in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra has been named after the younger son of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, PTI reported on Thursday. Tejas Thackeray made immense contribution to the find, and hence the newly found species has been named ‘Thackeray’s cat snake’ (scientific name Boiga thackerayi).
The new species was found in the Koyna region of Satara district in western Maharashtra. Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation Director Varad Giri said the species fell in the category called cat snakes and belonged to the genus Boiga. “Snakes belonging to this genus are distributed across India, but a few species are endemic to the Western Ghats,” he said, adding that a research paper describing the new species was published in the Bombay Natural History Society journal on Thursday.
Tejas Thackeray had spotted this species for the first time in 2015 and studied its behaviour. “He presented these details to the Foundation for Biodiversity Conservation and helped us with further research,” said Giri.
Tejas Thackeray’s elder brother and Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray posted a picture of the snake on Twitter. “My brother, Tejas discovered this beautiful species of the snake in the Western Ghats! Hence the name,” he tweeted.
This snake lives in trees close to forest streams, and is active at night, Giri said. “It is non-venomous and is known to grow up to three feet in length. It feeds on eggs of Humayun’s night frog (Nyctibatrachushumayuni). This behaviour was never reported in cat snakes from the Western Ghats earlier.”
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