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Some comments


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Posted by Tom Lott on April 27, 2003 at 17:32:19:

In Reply to: Texas & Eastern Coral Snakes? posted by jungledomain on April 25, 2003 at 12:02:46:

During a quick viewing of your site I noticed several items that should be corrected.

Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus fulvius tener/M. tener) - Regardless of whether this taxon is a full species or a subspecies of fulvius (even the "experts" cannot agree on this and, yes, they are virtually identical visually), you needn't mention the Eastern/Harlequin form since it does not occur within Texas. To bring up the taxonomic confusion will serve only to perplex your reader. Also the Texas Coral Snake is hardly exclusively diurnal. Here in south Texas it adjusts to increasing temperatures by becoming nocturnal; from April through October I have found more at night than during the daytime.

Trans-Pecos Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictogaster) - The specimen in your photo for this race is not a pictogaster. It appears to be either phaeogaster or mokasen.

Canebrake Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus atricaudatus) - This taxon (under "Timber Rattler - C. horridus") is currently the only venomous reptile afforded "protection" in Texas.

Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus) - neither race of Rock Rattler is currently "protected" in Texas (although they were from 1977-1987).

Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) - occurs sparingly throughout the southern portion of the Edwards Plateau (even as far east as San Marcos and New Braunfels). Your account gives the impression that it is restricted to west Texas.

Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) - Relying upon the number of crown scales is not likely the best method for the casual observer to distinguish between this species and C. atrox (additionally, this criterion is not absolute in the Trans-Pecos region). A much simpler and more reliable method consists of referring to the color of the basal segment of the rattle:

black = C. atrox
white = C. scutulatus

This distinction is visible in your own photos of these forms whereas the number of crown plates is not.

Except for these few nit-picking details, you have put together an informative site.

Tom Lott




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