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Posted by kerry on January 08, 2002 at 15:53:09:
In Reply to: subspecies posted by Mark Seward on January 08, 2002 at 07:14:57:
......and even though it looks like it, I don't really mean to come across sounding like "the last word"; I have no stake in the outcome. The same people who have been working on the complexities of Crotalus viridis subspecies have also been working on the Gila Monster. It is not just my opinion, but the opinion of many folks more qualified than you or I. Perhaps it would be wise to just sit back and wait until the work is finished and the paper published for all to see. It might already be, I need to check up on this.
I equate pattern morphology in Gila Monsters to be not unlike that of the Gray-Banded kingsnake(Lampropeltis alterna) where you have a gradual change in pattern from wide saddles to thin banding as you travel from east to west within their range. Once thought to be seperate subspecies based almost solely on pattern morphology, they were eventually forensically shown to be the same snake... just like what is happening with the Gila Monster at present.