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Posted by kerry on December 08, 2001 at 14:23:02:
In Reply to: 6 tail bands on a gila? posted by kearley on December 08, 2001 at 08:20:23:
......but when it comes to the tail, most gilas have four dark bands plus a dark tip, PERIOD! It's not uncommon to see suspectum with three plus the tip, and occasionally you even see two plus the tip(for a total of three). But this doesn't answer your question(LOL). Yes, On three occasions I have observed gilas with five dark bands plus the tip for a total of six(two in the wild, one preserved). All three were Utah specimens. Utah is also the only place I have seen five body bands plus the collar for a total of six(most of both subspecies are four plus the collar, with three plus the collar occasionally showing up in suspectum), but only once out of some forty or so specimens, both in the wild and preserved. And then there are all of those specimens with the "Y" bands in cinctum that confuse everybody, let's not go there this time(LOL). I've got a photo lying around somewhere of a six band tail, I'll try to get it posted for you.
I would also like to add at this time that there is a huge misconception when it comes to the general belief that the prettiest gilas with the most reduction of black(originating from Bogert and DelCampo) occur at the extreme northern end of their range, in Utah. While that occasional "screamer" specimen does show up, most are of a more "dirty" appearance, with lots of dark mottling to be seen in the interspaces of the body bands. The truly awesome specimens occur far more frequently not too far to the south in Nevada, California, and northwestern Arizona.
(My apologies to the NDOW, the CDOFG, and the ADOGF)