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Posted by terryp on March 26, 2003 at 14:05:11:
In Reply to: Re: Identification posted by serpentdude on March 26, 2003 at 11:01:29:
There are those subtle visible differences that a few seem to be able to use to identify. That's why in some cases I say they are most likely correct. It isn't the norm though, and I don't think everyone should think that is the way to identify; especially when talking about the catenifer species. They naturally integrade so readily; it keeps me thinking how closely they are together.
:In my experiences over the years in dealing with plant and animal identifications, I have found considerable variability often the norm rather than the exception. Color and pattern can be pretty "plastic" as specific identifiers for some species vs. other morphologic characteristics. There does seem to be very fine lines of difference between certain bull and gopher snake varieties IMO and look forward to comments by more experienced Pituophis folks to help clarify. I think locale references are critical to identifying or at least differentiating one type from another.