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Posted by Sacha Korell on April 15, 2002 at 22:00:16:
In Reply to: Re: I haven't seen the paper... posted by BGF on April 15, 2002 at 18:41:56:
You would think that the absence of a gland would warrant a major distinction, but you may have noticed that this partial revision was only on the Old World species. Maybe Notker (or whoever is covering the New World species in this revision) is taking that into account. I didn't even know that this was the case until you mentioned it in the "Rear-Fanged Forum", BGF.
As for my opinion, I am not a scientist, but only a herpetoculturist who keeps and breeds various Elaphe species (mainly Old World), and can only base these opinions on external morphology and behavior in captivity (which really doesn't count for much compared to such an extensive study).
I can only mention what makes sense to me as an amateur:
- Coelognathus makes sense. Species in this group are all very similar.
- Oocatochus rufodorsatus (finally!)
- Rhinechis scalaris; I keep and breed these and they are very different from other Old World Elaphe species. They actually remind me of Pituophis.
- Most of the other groupings make sense to me as well, except that I would have thought E. mandarina and E. conspicillata to be more closely related. Also, E. porphyracea somehow looks different than most Elaphe with their long, narrow heads.
I think Notker and the folks at the University of Switzerland have done a fantastic job, and I know that this revision has been in the making for years (and is still ongoing). I am very much looking forward to the next "chapters", and to see what the future brings for this Genus.
WW and BGF, please post a comment or two in this forum once you have had the chance to read the paper. Both of your opinions are always welcome here (by most readers ;-)