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Posted by Deron on March 11, 2002 at 16:19:44:
Iíve been reading through past postings on here in the last couple of days since I donít get much time to check the forums on a regular basis. It sure seems that there is a heck of a lot of arguing about what differentiates the various subspecies of horridum or even how many subspecies there are. How many people on here are actually working with animals that have locality data? How many of you have actually been to horridum habitat and actually found them in the wild? How many of you actually have any experience whatsoever with the animals in their natural state? With exasperatum in the Rio Fuerte area in Sinaloa or horridum in the Rio Balsas depression in Michoacan, or alvarezi in the Rio Grijalva Valley in Chiapas?
I donít want to hurt anyoneís feelings and have no intention of bashing anybody but it never ceases to amaze me how many herp breeders we have here in the US who have absolutely no experience whatsoever in regards to the various species that they keep and breed in that speciesí wild, natural state. They donít read the scientific journals. They donít make any attempt to communicate with people who spend their lives in the field with the animals. They seldom make an attempt to actually learn about their animals except in regards to getting them to produce in captivity. They rely on 3rd, 4th, 5th hand info or worse or buy a map to use as their base of knowledge.
The most common English name for charlesbogerti is the Blue Beaded Lizard. Having said that, it doesnít matter whether you call them beadeds or escorpion, or whatever. As long as you and the person youíre talking to understand that you mean H. h. charlesbogerti, all is fine.
All subspecies of H. horridum are born with a pattern and the subspecies are not so easily distinguishable by pattern alone as babies.
H. h. alvarezi are not pitch black. As adults they are either dark brown, light brown, brown-red, rusty red-orange, or brownish-gray with black tails. Some do retain a faint pattern on the back portion of their body. These specimens do not necessarily represent intergrades with H. h. horridum and can be found SE of the overlapping area.
Just because someone published a study does not mean that it has been nor will be accepted by other scientists. I have not read this beaded DNA paper that people have mentioned but if anyone knows where I can find it, Iíd like to. A DNA research project such as this should not use captive bred specimens or specimens that do not have very precise locality data. Only wild caught specimens that have precise data should be used. For example ďN19 48í 25.4, W104 10í 46.1, 1004m elevation, ~3.0 kms from turnoff to El Limon, Jalisco, MexicoĒ is good data, ďColimaĒ is not. After you gather a large, diverse sample of DNA from throughout horridum range and build a base then you can collect DNA from captive animals and compare them to help determine what the captive stuff really is. (BTW that locality data above is for a DOR boa and does not represent a beaded locality.)
H. horridum has a large range and all the subspecies are variable both within a given population and between populations. The species as a whole is very understudied and is not well represented in captive collections, neither private nor public within Mexico, Guatemala or outside of these two countries. There is a serious need for some good, thorough field based research followed by lab based DNA work that needs to be done on the species. For all of you beaded keepers/breeders or potential keepers/breeders, youíre dealing with a species whose future at this time is very uncertain. Although both gilas and beadeds have good size ranges, both are in decline particularly south of the US border due mainly to habitat destruction/fragmentation. I think it was Zack who said something about not purchasing animals that are on the fence. I think for those interested in the species itself you should buy your animals from someone who actually knows something about the species and knows the history of his/her stock. Try to keep and breed animals that represent the natural diversity of the species or subspecies you have. For those interested in creating and producing the most yellow beadeds or the most pink gilas for the herp trade then buy animals that have those traits and ignore the locality but donít sell them as something they arenít.