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Posted by Kenny Wray on December 08, 2002 at 21:21:49:
In Reply to: Re: an additional problem.... posted by Terry Cox on December 08, 2002 at 09:51:05:
: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.
***Although, I don't think their is a habitat they don't occupy. I have found these things in a variety of different habitats throughout their southern range. I think they are generalists that will adapt to pretty much whatever habitat they are in (i.e. swamps and prairies of south Florida thru the various pine forests and mesic hammocks of the deep South, through the semi-arid and desert country of Texas.
: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 could at least see it as a subspecies, the problem is "slowinskii" is the intergrade between E. g. guttata and E. guttata emoryi. At best, it would make for a poorly defined subspecies because it is simply a clinal variation between the east/west populations.
:I would vote for slowinskii to be E. guttata slowinskii.
***Not anymore than I would vote for the South Florida Kingsnakes to be their own subspecies (and I wouldn't).
The really sad thing is, as Troy pointed out, many records do exist in relatively large collections. The only problem is corns like to leach pigments quickly in alcohol. Even sadder, Troy has the background, access to specimens, and the gusto for this species to thouroughly solve this taxonomic issue once and for all and he's wasting his time freezing in west Texas trying to shoot bambi! LOL!