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Posted by paalexan on August 04, 2002 at 23:03:53:
In Reply to: Yellow Racer Questions posted by Chance on August 03, 2002 at 23:14:14:
:Hello everyone. I recently went to a show and, wanting to up my colubrid population, bought a pair of "yellow racers" (the pair was $30, so I couldn't resist). I also bought a rather expensive false water cobra from the same guy, so I'm truly hoping there was no untruth with the purchase, but I'm confused. He told me that these yellow racers are a number of things that I wouldn't expect racers to be. For one, he said they were sexually dimorphic. With the pair I now have, one is a very nice meduium green color (which he said is the female), and one is a dark blue-gray (which is the male). I wasn't aware that any racers were sexually dimorphic.
Most colubrids are sexually dimorphic in size (though usually not very dimorphic), but I'm pretty sure there is no sexual dimorphism in color in racers, and I don't know of any colubrids that have sexual dimorphism in color.
: He also said that the males have stubbed tails. This male has a stub tail, but I'm more inclined to believe the stub is just from an old injury.
I've got a male eastern yellow-bellied racer with an intact tail, so I'd tend to agree with you.
: Lastly, he said that these yellow racers have been copulating a few times here recently and the female could be gravid, and that they are live bearers, much like the garters in this country. I have an Audobon Field Guide, and all racers are classed together as the generic racers, and it says nothing about any being live-bearers or being sexually dimorphic.
For what it's worth, some people consider western yellow-bellied racers to be a separate species (Coluber mormon) from the other racers in the US. I think they're full of it, though...
: What I'm guessing I have is a pair of either western or eatern yellow-bellied racers, and the male just happens to be a different color morph of the female.
If the male doesn't have a yellow belly, he might be a blue racer... but, depending on who you ask, blue racers may of may not be a separate subspecies from eastern yellow-bellied racers. *shrug*
: Lastly, if they are truly a pair and have been copulating, should I be expecting eggs within the next 7 weeks or so (like my prairie king did), or could they actually be live-bearers?
Live-bearers racers aren't...
: Go to the website below for pics of both the male and female racer (among all the rest of my snake)
For what it's worth, the website link doesn't appear to be working... my computer says that the server in question doesn't exist.