It’s very thin and just 11 centimetres long, but long-time snake enthusiast hopes it might be a new species

By Bejay Browne

A Paphos-based Austrian snake and reptile expert has found a rare type of dwarf snake that could even be a totally new species.

Hans-Jorg Wiedl, ‘Snake George’, 75, is well known in the field of herpetology and has a string of triumphs to his name including rediscovering the Cyprus grass snake, which was believed extinct, and proving that the blunt nosed viper lays eggs and doesn’t give birth to live young as had previously been thought.

He told the Sunday Mail that after the third sighting, he believes the black headed dwarf snake to be an endemic sub species of the Rhynchocalamus Melanocephalus, or perhaps even a totally new find.

The tiny, thin, non-venomous snake was found around a month ago by a British couple in a stone wall in their garden in Peyia. They contacted the herpetologist through his daughter, Demetra, as he was abroad.

“We were very lucky, I have had to wait five years to see this snake again and it’s thanks to them. They saw it three or four times but were not able to catch it, because it’s so fine and delicate, you can’t just take hold of it as you don’t want to hurt it,” said Wiedl.

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