'It's always the ones that terrify children': New species of snake in Peru named after Harrison Ford

'These scientists keep naming critters after me,' the 81-year-old said. Credit: AP

A new species of snake, discovered in Peru, has been named after Harrison Ford.

The reptile, known scientifically as Tachymenoides harrisonfordi, has been so named to honour the veteran actor’s environmental work.

Ford is well known for his roles as Han Solo in Star Wars and the globetrotting archaeologist Indiana Jones, who famously hates snakes.

The actor, who is vice chair of non-profit group Conservation International and reportedly a fan of snakes, unlike Indiana Jones, also has a spider – Calponia harrisonfordi – and a species of ant – Pheidole harrisonfordi – named after him.

He said: "These scientists keep naming critters after me, but it’s always the ones that terrify children.

"I don’t understand. I spend my free time cross-stitching. I sing lullabies to my basil plants, so they won’t fear the night."

The new snake named after veteran actor Harrison Ford. Credit: Edgar Lehr/Conservation International

The actor went on to say it was "humbling" and stressed the importance of learning about the natural world.

“The snake’s got eyes you can drown in, and he spends most of the day sunning himself by a pool of dirty water - we probably would’ve been friends in the early ‘60s,” he told Conservation International.

“In all seriousness, this discovery is humbling.

“It’s a reminder that there’s still so much to learn about our wild world — and that humans are one small part of an impossibly vast biosphere.

Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. Credit: Disney

“On this planet, all fates are intertwined, and right now, one million species are teetering on the edge of oblivion.

“We have an existential mandate to mend our broken relationship with nature and protect the places that sustain life.”

The discovery of the new snake species is a joint collaboration between researchers from Peru and the United States and was made in Peru’s Otishi National Park.

Tachymenoides harrisonfordi is a slender snake, measuring just 16 inches when fully grown.

It is well-camouflaged but harmless to humans, with a diet consisting of lizards and frogs.

Edgar Lehr, the biologist who led the expedition that discovered the snake, said: “Discovering a new species, naming it, and introducing it to the world is a beautiful and necessary activity.

“With the name, we want to honor Harrison Ford as an actor and conservationist, and we hope to create awareness that there are remote areas in the world left where we do not know its species.

“Only species that are known can be protected.”

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