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I'm not sure that I agree with that statement......

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Posted by chrish on March 03, 2003 at 22:18:03:

In Reply to: Re: dusty, plains,mexican, are they all westerns??? posted by jediknight on March 03, 2003 at 12:07:08:

"There are many photos posted here on the forum that are labeled as Mexicans that are not truly PURE Mexicans......It is a case where the pet trade has termed anything that looks remotely similar to a Mexican Hog MUST be a Mexican Hog".

I have seen quite a few Mexican Hogs in my time. I have seen several dozen in the wild (in S. TX, W. TX, S. NM and SE AZ). I have also looked a few museum specimens of Hogs from the areas where nasicus and kennerlyi are parapatric.

While SE AZ and south TX (and Mexican) specimens have a distinctive kennerlyi gestalt, other specimens from closer to the contact zone obviously look more like nasicus (but they still retain the small number of azygous scales).

Prior to Curtis's study, I started looking at preserved hogs (just out of curiousity really) and saw some that looked very much like nasicus in pattern yet had less than 6 azygous scales and came from within the range of kennerlyi.

I agree that there is a certain kennerlyi gestalt, but not all snakes in the range of kennerlyi (and with less than 6 azygous scales) look like good Mexican Hogs. Some are very "nasicus-looking", particularly where the two species come close together.

What is strange though is that (if I remember correctly from Curtis's work) where the two species come together, there isn't a broad region showing intergradation. Hudspeth county, TX comes to mind. In the southern and middle of the county, you get "good" kennerlyi. In the northern parts (as little as 30 miles north) you get good nasicus. (I need to read some of Curtis's stuff about the contact between these species. I have talked to him about it, but never read any of it. If I remember correctly, there isn't much evidence of gene flow between nasicus and kennerlyi.)

I guess my point is that I haven't really ever seen a snake that I knew to be a nasicus that had the kennerlyi gestalt. So I don't think it likely that there are nasicus being passed as kennerlyi in the hobby. If you know a link to a pic, I would love to see it.

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