Dwarf Boa New To Science Discovered In Ecuador’s Upper Amazon BasinThe little boa, Tropidophis cacuangoae sp. nov, which measures a foot long in length, was determined to be a new species based on external and osteological morphology.

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Dwarf Boa New To Science Discovered In Ecuador’s Upper Amazon Basin

The little boa was determined to be a new species based on external and osteological morphology.

Researchers have discovered and described a new species of dwarf boa of the family Tropidophiidae living high in the cloud forests of northeastern Ecu

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Researchers have discovered and described a new species of dwarf boa of the family Tropidophiidae living high in the cloud forests of northeastern Ecuador. The little boa, Tropidophis cacuangoae sp. nov, which measures a foot long in length, was determined to be a new species based on external and osteological morphology. The snake is unique in that it possesses what the scientists say is a vestigial pelvis, which is a characteristic in primitive snakes, supporting the notion that some snake species descended from lizards, having lost their limbs over millions of years.

Tropidophis cacuangoae

Head views of Tropidophis cacuangoae sp. nov. in life. A–C. ♂, holotype (DHMECN 16725). D–F. ♀, paratype (DHMECN 15893). Photograph credits: A–C = H. Mauricio Ortega-Andrade; D–F= Danilo Medin


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The researchers found Tropidophis cacuangoae sp. nov to inhabit the Amazon Tropical Rainforest biome. Its habitat includes tropical piedmont and lower evergreen montane forests. The researchers believe the dwarf boa is endemic to the Andes of Ecuador.


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Adult males of the species has a total length of 12.5 inches (320 mm) with a snout to vent length of 271mm. The snake is alight brown in coloration with noticeable black blotches on the belly and muted blotches running down the back. Dark brown pigmentiaotn is found through the center of the head.

The complete paper, “A time relic: a new species of dwarf boa, Tropidophis Bibron, 1840 (Serpentes: Amerophidia), from the Upper Amazon Basin” describing the new species can be read on Researchgate.net.

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