The newly described snake belongs to the family Colubridae—the largest family of snakes with more than 1,700 species. The family name comes from the Latin word for snake—coluber. S. atemporalis falls under Natricinae, a subfamily of colubrid snakes that are found in or near water, and have rotund bodies and heads that are broader than their bodies.
The discovery is the result of toil by researchers at two Bengaluru-based institutes, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), along with their collaborators at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, Mizoram University, and Pachhunga University College, Aizawl and Ashok Captain an eminent snake taxonomist from Pune. They were led by Dr. Varad Giri, a researcher at NCBS. He has described several new species of caecilians, geckos and snakes. The study was partially funded by the Scientific and Engineering Research Board (DST-SERB).