Masked deadly snake discovered and named after the shape-shifting Chinese goddess

A deadly novelty snake was discovered after spending decades disguised as a much less dangerous species, according to researchers – who named the snake after a shape-shifting snake goddess from a Chinese folk tale.

The new species is a type of krait snake native to southwest China and northern Myanmar and was previously categorized as the multi-banded krait (Bungarus multicinctusHowever, morphological and genetic differences, as well as a particularly painful and deadly bite, were enough to classify this reptile as its own species.