PHNOM PENH - A new species of snake which is scarlet with black and white rings has been discovered in Cambodia’s rainforest, conservationists announced on Monday.

The reptile, which has been named the Cambodian Kukri, was found in the southwest Cardamom Mountains, an area under threat from habitat loss, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) said in a statement.

Kukri snakes are so named because their curved rear fangs — designed to puncture eggs — are similar in shape to the Nepalese kukri knife, FFI said.

“Most kukri snakes are dull-coloured,” said Neang Thy, one of the herpetologists who discovered the new species. “But this one is dark red with black and white rings, making it a beautiful snake.”