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GARTER subspecies ID


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Posted by KITKAT on April 01, 2002 at 18:34:21:

I've read that there is a "Florida Blue" garter, Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis.

I've read that there is a "blue striped" garter, Thamnophis sirtalis similis (which appears to be mimicry of a blue striped subspecies of T. sauritis)

I've read that T. sirtalis similis and the blue striped ribbonsnake, both live on the western coast of Florida, but that the "blue phase" of the eastern Garter (T. sirtalis sirtalis) lives elsewhere in Florida.

Now for the question...

What characteristics, other than color and range, identify the difference between the "Florida blue phase" of T. sirtalis sirtalis, versus the "blue striped" garter, T. sirtalis similis?

I assume there must be something other than color to differentiate these subspecies, otherwise, there would be no reason to believe that the range of T. sirtalis similis is restricted to the northwest coast of Florida only.

???


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