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Posted by JJFeldner on September 07, 2002 at 20:01:36:
In Reply to: Re: Cope\'s Rattlesnake??? posted by JJFeldner on September 07, 2002 at 19:33:02:
Below is a direct quote from the SDNHM about C.v. helleri. The San Diego Region consists of San Diego County, the western deserts of CA and Northern Baja.
"Coloration: The Western Rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) is a widely distributed and highly variable species. In our region, this snake is lighter gray or brown. Pale margins edge the pattern of its dark dorsal blotches. In some individuals, the pale margins can be yellow, giving the snake a greenish cast. Specimens from high elevations can be a velvety, jet black with only a slight hint of patterning. A light stripe runs from outside corner of the eye to the corner of the mouth, and the tail has dark rings. Juveniles have a yellowish tail, and their dorsal patterning contrasts more than that in adults.
There are as many as nine subspecies. Only the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (C. v. helleri) and the Los Coronados Island Rattlesnake (C. v. caliginis) occur in our region."
Cope was very busy. Here are the Baja species named by Cope:
C. enyo - 1861
C. mitchellii - 1861
He also named ssp C.m. pyrrhus in 1866 but C.m. stephensi was not named until 1930 by Klauber
C. ruber - 1892. This is where the problem occurred. When ruber and exsul were declared synonymous, exsul actually took precedence since Garman named it in 1884, 8 years before Cope named ruber.