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Posted by chrish on February 11, 2003 at 13:33:47:
In Reply to: Different Types? posted by ShySymon on February 11, 2003 at 09:15:45:
Blair's phase gray banded kingsnakes have a background color of gray with wide orange bands that are outlined in black (sometimes with white edges).
Alterna phase snakes are gray with typically narrower orange bands, but have another "alternate" narrow black band between the orange bands. Sometimes this intermediate band is broken up into a series of spots. Some "alterna" phase snakes have no orange at all and therefore are just gray snakes with narrow black bands.
Some people think that the difference in pattern is based on width of the orange bands, which isn't true. It is the presence or absence of the secondary black bands between the orange bands that was used to separate the snakes originally.
They were originally described as separate species. Most of the other names you hear are locality names.
Look at the Alterna site image gallery for lots of pics.