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Posted by patricia sherman on May 11, 2003 at 05:09:31:
In Reply to: Clarification posted by chris_harper2 on May 10, 2003 at 12:11:36:
:::"Pantherophis and Elaphe (and Spalerosophis) are incompatible."
:Almost certainly true, but science is a process of rejection, not verification. On this level, we do not know that any of the three possible inter-generic crosses are "incompatible".
As to the compatibility of Elaphe and Spalerosophis, I certainly don't know the answer, since I only breed New World rat snakes. Asian and American ratsnakes both have extremely similar body structure, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are closely related. The Pantherophis are certainly proven to be incompatible with the Old World genera. One of the most notable differences between them, is that many or all Old World rats have a Duvernoy's gland, and that organ is absent in all New World rats (and related New World genera). Another thing that I suspect would prevent such hybridization, is a discrepancy between the diploid chromosome numbers of animals from the different genera.