A new species of snake was accidentally discovered by an amateur photographer taking photos of animals during lockdown.
University graduate Virendar Bhardwaj would post photos of birds, bugs and reptiles he found in his garden in Chamba, northern India, on Instagram.
But it was one photo of a snake he came across on a muddy road that caught the attention of herpetologists.
Virendar tagged the snake as a kukri, a common group of snakes found in the region, which are named after their dagger-like fangs.
Experts asked Virendar to go back and see if he could find the snake again, believing it could be unique.
The team studied the DNA of two specimens he managed to find and determined he had discovered a unique species.
It was named Oligodon churahensis after the Churah Valley in Himachal Pradesh, where it was found.
Zeeshan Mirza, from the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, said, "It is quite interesting to see how an image on Instagram led to the discovery of such a pretty snake that, until very recently, remained hidden to the world.
"What’s even more interesting is that the exploration of your own backyard may yield still undocumented species.
"Lately, people have been eager to travel to remote biodiversity hotspots to find new or rare species, but if one looks in their own backyard, they may end up finding a new species right there.
"Compared to other biodiversity hotspots, the Western Himalayas are still poorly explored, especially in terms of herpetological diversity, but they harbour unique reptile species that we have only started to unravel in the last couple of years."