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Posted by Rich G.cascabel on December 20, 2002 at 18:58:28:

In Reply to: Merry Xmas to you too... posted by Kenny Wray on December 20, 2002 at 10:46:42:


This is my favorite crote group as a whole and I have been looking closely at them for years. They are all very close in head and body shape although color and pattern can make them look very different.The ranges fit together almost like a jigsaw puzzle. There is a a gradual north south cline in both scalation and pattern and wherever there are "zones of contact' it is always confusing which species your are looking at.The area of southern Sonora and Sinaloa are well known for confusion between basiliscus and molossus but as more exploration is done it is becoming obvious that the change from basiliscus to molossus is actually on an altitudinal cline. The coastal lowland snakes are basiliscus but gradually change to molossus as you proceed east and up the slope of the Sierra Madre.Over time I am seeing this actually is the case all the way down the western side of Mexico. Basiliscus oaxacus has already been changed to molossus oaxacus and I will not be at all surprised if nominate basiliscus is placed in synonomy with molossus. Take a good look at several photos of durissus totocanus. See the similarity to molossus? and why is it so disjunct from the rest of the durissus group? Most also have the same four large scales on teh snout although this tends to disappear in the southernmost durissus forms. And then there are the lungs. I could go on and on. Im sure in time DNA analysis will help iron it all out, some will be lumped into the same species and others such as some of the durissus forms will probably warrant full species recognition.


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