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Posted by dryguy on February 01, 2003 at 13:30:59:
In Reply to: on keels ....and thanks for the great pic Dr Phil (more) posted by DeanAlessandrini on February 01, 2003 at 11:41:43:
for keels...I doubt they will have them, altho "Chainsaw" probably has horns!! And I know "Bubba" has spurs...Not sure what "Bowie" carries:-) Carl
:I first learned this from the folks at KSC space center studing eastern indigos. In over 5 years and collecting over 80 snakes total, EVERY SINGLE adult make they have collected has had the keels, and NO females had them.
:They are SO confident in this method that they do not even probe anymore. Now keep in mind, they have NEVER collected a snake under about 4'. The neonates either do no have them or they are too small to easily see.
:I do have a pair from '01 and the male now has them visible and of course the female does not.
:I challange anyone to prove this theory wrong in couperi. Every captive or wild male over 4' that I have seen has these and none of the females.
:It's a great feature when studying them in the field...ie when you find shed skins, you can ID them as male or female (you can very obviously see the indentations on the male shed skins)
:I have NOT found this sexual dimorphism to hold true in any other subspecies other than couperi. As a matter of fact, the only other sub I've personally ever seen the keels in is a HUGE (over 8') Texan that I used to own.
:None of my other texans or cribos have ever had them.
:oh, and as a side note, apparently the late great Roger Conant and the live great Joe Collins beat us to the punch on this...they mention this in the newest version of the Peterson field guide.