Russian and Vietnamese scientists have announced their discovery of a new species of rattle-snake, which belongs to Protobothrops family, in the Trung Khanh Nature Reserve in the north-western province of Cao Bang.

Nguyen Thien Tao, who is in charge of amphibians and reptiles at the Vietnam Nature Museum, said this is the fourth species of rattle-snake of the Protobothrops family identified in Vietnam. The three others are Protobothrops cornutus, P.jerdonii and P. mucrosquamatus.

The new species of rattle-snake is named Protobothrops trungkhanhensis Orlov, Ryabov, an endemic species found in only the Trung Khanh Nature Reserve in Cao Bang, Vietnam.

The snake is only 733mm in length, quite small compared to other Protobothrops species, with a small triangle-shaped head and small scales./.