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Posted by Terry Cox on December 08, 2002 at 09:51:05:
In Reply to: an additional problem.... posted by vvvddd on December 07, 2002 at 07:37:55:
I think he was trying to show habitat preference to come up with a reason why they weren't in the Mississippi R. Valley. I think the guttata complex needs more work on the natural history of it's various ssps. to show habitat variation, and ecological aspects of these snakes.
After reading Burbrink's paper recently, I too was somewhat perplexed. As to the intergradation zones, I feel he lacked research in that area also, and missed the point that there is intergradation going on, at least with the guttata ssp. I feel there needs to be a serious paper looking at these intergrade zones, which clarifies the situation, once and for all. Then we'll still have to decide whether to call the complex all one species, or to just ignore the little intergradation bt. emoryi and slowinskii, and make it two species, i.e. emoryi and guttata.
I would vote for slowinskii to be E. guttata slowinskii.
Just my two centavos.
:I was reading it over with a few grad student friends of mine and we saw that Burbrink says E. guttata complex avoids mesic forest habitat, and thus the range maps have them not present around the mesic forests around the mississipi.
:Ok, so why are they in the Everglades (though most of it isn't forest...)? Every single E. guttata I've found, both dead and alive, has been in a mesic forest. I realize that isn't a scientific argument, but its true. We know people who have found E. guttata in the areas that they supposedly don't exist in TX, OK, etc. also.