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New snake species uncovered in north

Date Posted: 2006-07-28

A new snake has been discovered in northern Okinawa’s Oginmi-Higashi area.

The beauty snake, discovered in June, is a very aggressive species, but is not poisonous. A snake expert says the beauty snake eats small birds and rats, and lives in a forest in the northern part of the island. There are several varieties of the species in the Yanbaru area.

“If the beauty snake takes root in the Yanabaru area,” says Professor Ota of the University of the Ryukyus, “it is a serious threat to indigenous species on Okinawa.” Ota, a reptiles specialist, points out that animals now living in the Yanabaru area have no way of defending themselves from this snake.

The beauty snake was discovered as an apparent escapee from a sightseeing spot. Unlike the habu, says Ota, the beauty snake is very active both in daytime and at night.

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