Newly Discovered Snake Named After Slytherin Founder

Apr 22, 2020

Posted by: Dawn Johnson

Fandom, Fans, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Philosophers / Sorcerers Stone, J.K. Rowling, News

Researchers in India recently discovered a new variety of green pit viper, publishing their findings in the journal Zoosystematics and Evolution last week. They called the species Trimeresurus Salazar, after Salazar Slytherin, founder of Slytherin house at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The snake is the symbol, or mascot, of the Slytherin house, known for its ambition, cunning and resourcefulness. The house colors are also emerald green and silver, and Salazar’s pit viper, as it will be commonly known, is a stunning bright green.


According to CNN, another identifying characteristic of the new species is an orange-reddish stripe running along the head of the males. It is also venomous, like other snakes of this genus.

Slytherin was known to be a pureblood and arranged for the placement of basilisk, a venomous serpent, deep within the bowels of the school. The basilisk was hidden in the Chamber of Secrets for a future heir to unleash on unsuspecting muggles. It responded to Parseltongue, or snake language, in which Slytherin was fluent.

The heir, later discovered to be Tom Riddle, was also able to speak Parseltongue and commanded the basilisk at will. Harry Potter was shown to possess the ability as well, speaking to a captive Boa constrictor in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. To the surprise of his classmates, he used his unusual skill again in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, conversing with a snake conjured by Draco Malfoy during a duel.


J.K. Rowling revealed in subsequent books that this power was transferred to Harry when a piece of Voldemort’s soul became embedded in him, the horcrux Slytherin’s heir never meant to make.

Physical similarities aside, there is no sign of the Trimeresurus Salazar exhibiting any magical characteristics–and probably all for the better–however exciting this new discovery may be for proud Slytherins!

For those interested, read the research article on the new green pit viper here.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.