A new species of snake has been discovered in Malta. Experts at the University of Malta said on Tuesday that while the snake is harmless to humans, it may become invasive.

“This small burrowing non-venomous snake rarely comes to the surface, and the habitat it lives in allows easy undetected transportation of specimens between different locations mostly between areas associated with plant nurseries, golf courses, compost deposits, agricultural farms and gardens including domestic gardens, botanical gardens and parks,” said the university research group.

Experts said the reptile, which is officially known as the Brahminy blindsnake Indotyphlops braminus, has an established population on the island of Malta and is native to Indo-Malayan region. The Conservation Biology Research Group of the Department of Biology and NGO BICREF also revealed that two snakes of the same kind had been sighted in Malta but it remains unknown how they got on the island.

The research group said the distinct pathogenic reproductive strategy of the snake boosts its potential to multiply fast and become invasive. Because of this, experts said countries should implement a better control strategy to help manage such species.

“Application of risk analysis on any potential bio-invasion associated with pet, crop, plant, tree species importation and their associated pathogens and pests has been increasingly advocated due to globalization of trade in biological resources,” wrote the experts in their report.

Experts believe the blindsnake has been able to spread throughout the world through the international transportation of goods. The university research group recommended in their paper stricter control measures when it comes to the importation of exotic species to prevent the snake from establishing populations across unlikely locations.

The researchers explained that while the Brahminy blindsnake is invasive, it almost never comes to the surface so it remains undetected for long periods of time. This allows the species to thrive underneath plant nurseries, golf courses, agricultural farms, domestic gardens, compost deposits, and parks.

A snake slithered its way upon a Mexican flight. Reuters

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