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Posted by kerry on December 19, 2001 at 17:42:27:
In Reply to: Kerry............. posted by John on December 19, 2001 at 06:57:38:
I have worked with them in the past both in the wild(documenting populations) and in captivity(husbandry & propagation). Gilas are my favorite reptile and have been ever since the first wild specimen I encountered some 30+ years ago in the desert just west of Phoenix, Arizona. I noticed quite some time ago that there were problems with the way the subspecies were "keyed-out" and once discussed the validity and possible methods of verification Dr. James Mc Mahon of Utah State University, one of the key figures along with Daniel Beck and Dr. Charles Lowe in the research that brought most of the natural history mysteries surrounding the gila monster to light.
Recent and ongoing research is now showing that there isn't much evidence to support subspecific designation on the basis of percentage of dark vs. light coloration and pattern morphology, and that only the lizards at the extreme northern part of their range show much forensic variation...
...which is something I've been claiming for some time, that the lizards north and west of the Colorado River are different.