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Posted by dryguy on February 01, 2003 at 16:54:11:
In Reply to: Deano...I'll go check my big TX boys this afternoon.... posted by dryguy on February 01, 2003 at 13:30:59:
my TX boys are too!! As is my big Uni male!!...
Phil, I just never thought of those as "keels"...They do not appear as prominent as on my Eastern males, which I think you could realistically say are "keeled"...Perhaps there is another term to to define the marking you showed in that great close-up...
I'd say the "keels" on my TXN's are more like "wrinkles", not very scientific sounding, but definitely present and NOT on my 2 girls..And they are in the same location...Top 2-4 dorsal spine scale rows!!
BTW...All my Dry's are in hot feeding mode now, except my Rubidi...Maybe there's still a chance they would be receptive to each other...Gonna go put them together right now!! Carl email@example.com
: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 p
air 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.