Specimens of two rare snake species, the la koroa snake (Oligodon lacroixi bellus) and the bella rat snake (Maculophis bellus chapaensis) have been found in Hoang Lien mountainous area in the northwestern province of Lao Cai.
LAO CAI —
In early January, the research department from the Viet Nam National Museum of Nature, the Saint Petersburg Zoology Institute and the Tu-la Amphibian and Reptile Taming Centre (Russia) jointly surveyed the area.
The two rare snakes were discovered for the first time in the 1980s by French scientists.
The la koroa snake is recognisable through its brown with yellow spotted back and black stripes along its length. Its orange belly also has black stripes. The species is acknowledged to exist in Lao Cai of Viet Nam, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces of China.
The bella rat snake has a red-orange back with yellow and black stripes, and an orange belly with purple veins.
It has two subspecies including the Maculphis bellus bellus populating southern China and the Maculophis bellus chapaensis which is recorded as being unique in Viet Nam. — VNS