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23 reptiles, 16 amphibians, 9 fish, a mammal and various forms of insects and plants, for a total of 139 new species. It is the result of the research conducted in 2014 in the Greater Mekong (Greater Mekong Subregion), the Asian region that takes its name from the river of the same name and embraces Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, Vietnam and the Chinese province of Yunnan. The creatures, described in a report published by WWF, represent only the tip of an iceberg of vast proportions: in this area, from 1997 to 2014, scientists discovered 2216 species previously unknown.

In the list of newcomers there is no shortage of bizarre specimens: in the photo we see a wasp that with its poison paralyzes the preys before devouring them. The hymn was renamed Ampulex dementor in honor of being obscure who in the Harry Potter saga sucks the soul of men (Dementor in English, Dementor in the Italian version).

The mimetic snake. The Lycodon zoosvictoriae is a variant of the common wolf snake: in order to hunt and protect itself from predators it camouflages with the mosses and barks of the trees. According to the document drawn up by the WWF, the discovery of new animal and plant species in the Great Mekong represents a challenge with the counted hours. Although the territory is an extraordinary sanctuary of biodiversity, many of these creatures would be at risk of extinction due to deforestation and poaching.

Vampire fangs. In the list there is only one mammal, called Hypsugo dolichodon, a bat with sharp teeth (note above all the upper canines), which allow it to hunt even insects with a particularly leathery exoskeleton.

Like a chameleon. At night it is used to show itself to the public "dressed" in rose-yellow, but like many other species of frogs the Gracixalus lumarius is able to change color to blend in, thus protecting itself from the attack of predators. The back is covered with small white spikes that create a "sandpaper" effect.

Branch or insect? With its 54 centimeters, Phryganistria heusii yentuensis is officially the second longest insect in the world, beaten only by another stick insect that lives in Borneo (56 cm). The placement of honor could, however, falter very soon, because, according to the researchers, the area of ​​Vietnam where it was found has a high number of close relatives still to be cataloged.

Zebra-striped reptile. The peculiarity of Cyrtodactylus vilaphongi is not limited only to the coloring of the skin: according to the Reptile Database, this gecko is the ten thousandth species of reptile discovered by science.

Miniature Crocodile. The inhabitants of Taunggyi (Burma) had known this amphibian for some time, but only a genetic analysis made it possible to understand that it is a species of salamander in its own right. However, the survival of Tylototriton shanorum is in serious danger as a result of growing urbanization and illegal trade.

Regal demeanor Among the insects there are also four species of a new genus of moth, renamed Sirindhornia in homage to the Thai princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

Unexpected meeting. At first glance, the Ovabunda andamanensis may not excite excessive enthusiasm. However, for scientists it was an unexpected taxonomic discovery: so far the corals of the genus Ovabunda had been observed only in the Red Sea and in the western Indian Ocean. The likelihood of finding something similar near the Phuket island in Thailand was the same as finding "a new species of African monkey in Asia".

Not just animals. During the various research conducted in the markets of wild ornamental plants two new and very rare species of orchids have been discovered. In order not to attract the attention of collectors, scholars had initially thought of not making public disclosure.

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In the list of newcomers there is no shortage of bizarre specimens: in the photo we see a wasp that with its poison paralyzes the preys before devouring them. The hymn was renamed Ampulex dementor in honor of being obscure who in the Harry Potter saga sucks the soul of men (Dementor in English, Dementor in the Italian version).