Attested only from two specimens collected in 1907 and 1909 near the Khyber Pass, the Baja reticulates or reticulated cobra is sometimes called the “unicorn cobra” due to its rarity. Due to the difficulty in accessing its Afghan habitat during the 20th century, it has been the subject of much speculation, with some even guessing that the specimens were forgeries.

After a systematic search in late 2003 collected some sub fossil remains, a partial gene sequence was obtained that seemed to indicate that the reticulated cobra was a distinct species, perhaps a relict, and possibly a member of its own genus. Its current taxonomic status remains in dispute, with the IUCN listing it as Data Deficient while NatureServe classifies it as GX, Presumed Extinct.

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