New Snake Species is Named After National Scientist Angel Alcala

In recognition of his work in the study of reptiles, amphibians.
Photo/s: COMPOSITE: Ramon Magsaysay Awards/Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology

A new species of reed snake has been discovered in Mindoro Island and was named after National Scientist Angel Alcala in honor of his work studying amphibians and reptiles, his peers said.

The species Calamaria alcalai  is the second Calamaria species on Mindoro and eighth known in the Philippines. The snakes are believed to have originated from continental Asia, according to the Association of Systemic Biologists in the Philippines.

The snake was named after Alcala for his "numerous contributions on the systematics, biogeography, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles of the Philippines—and, in general, for his influential promotion of conservation and sustainable management of the archipelago’s terrestrial and marine biodiversity," according to the paper.

The new reed snake species has a longer tail and larger tail, according to the paper.


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Alcala was named National Scientist in 2014 by then President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III. The citation recognized, among others, his study and advocacy of "no-take" or protected marine zones.

Under the government of former President Fidel Ramos, he served as environment secretary and chairman of the Commission on Higher Education.

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