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Carphophis amoenus (SAY, 1825)

IUCN Red List - Carphophis amoenus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesCarphophis amoenus amoenus (SAY 1825)
Carphophis amoenus helenae (KENNICOTT 1859) 
Common NamesE: amoenus: Eastern Worm Snake
helenae: Midwestern Wormsnake
G: Wurmschlange 
SynonymColuber amoenus SAY 1825: 237
Calamaria amoena — SCHLEGEL 1837: 130 (fide DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854)
Celata amoena — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853 (fide DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854)
Carphophis amoenus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 131
Carphophis amoena — GARMAN 1884: 100
Carphophis amoenus amoenus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 180
Carphophis amoenus amoenus — CROTHER 2000: 57
Carphophis amoenus amoenus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 82
Carphophis amoenus amoenus — CROTHER et al. 2012
Carphophis amoenus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 149

Carphophis amoenus helenae (KENNICOTT 1859)
Celuta helenae KENNICOTT 1859: 100
Carphophis amoena var. Helenae — JAN 1865
Carphophis helenae — GARMAN 1884: 100
Carphophis amoena helenae — CONANT 1938
Carphophis amoenus helenae — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 181
Carphophis amoenus helenae — CROTHER 2000: 57
Carphophis amoenus helenae — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 83
Carphophis amoenus helenae — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionUSA (Arkansas ?, E Missouri, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, N Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, S Illinois, S Indiana, S Ohio, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, SE New York, Connecticut)

Type locality: Pennsylvania

helenae: Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois, etc.; Type locality: “Monticello, Miss., [...], Southern Illinois (abundant in the woods)”; Map legend:
TDWG region - Region according to the TDWG standard, not a precise distribution map.

NOTE: TDWG regions are generated automatically from the text in the distribution field and not in every cases it works well. We are working on it.
TypesHolotype: Var. A, location unknown (not ANSP or USNM), a 261 mm specimen.
Syntypes: UMMZ, USNM [helenae] 
CommentEtymology: Carphophis amoenus helenae has been named after Miss Helen Teunison, apparently one of the collectors of the types.

Type species: Coluber amoenus SAY 1825: 237 is the type species of the genus Carphophis GERVAIS in D’ORBIGNY 1843. 
  • Burt, Charles E. 1933. A contribution to the herpetology of Kentucky. American Midland Naturalist 14 (6): 669-679 - get paper here
  • Clark, Donald R., Jr. 1968. A proposal of specific status for the western worm snake, Carphophis amoenus vermis (Kennicott). Herpetologica 24 (2): 104-112 - get paper here
  • Conant, Roger 1938. The Reptiles of Ohio. American Midland Naturalist 20 (1): 1-200 - get paper here
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Crother, B. I. 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Herpetological Circular 29: 1-82
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Dundee, H.A., & Rossman, D.A. 1989. The amphibians and reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana St. Univ. Press, Baton Rouge 300 pp.
  • Dury, R. 1932. Notes on Reptiles and Amphibians From Clifty Falls State Park, Jefferson County, Indiana Proc. Jr. Soc. Nat. Hist. Cincinnati 3 (2): 23-26
  • Ernst, C.H., & Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of eastern North America. George Mason Univ. Press, Fairfax, VA 282 pp.
  • Ernst, C.H.; Orr, J.M. & Creque, T.R. 2003. Carphophis Gervais Wormsnakes. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (773): 1-4 - get paper here
  • Foster, Nicole and Mary Christensen. 2014. Geographic Distribution: Carphophis amoenus (common wormsnake). Herpetological Review 45 (3): 464
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Gray, Brian S. 2014. Carphophis amoenus amoenus (eastern wormsnake) longevity. Herpetological Review 45 (2): 256
  • Green, N.B., & Pauley, T.K. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 241 pp.
  • Hamed, M. Kevin 2017. Geographic Distribution: Carphophis amoenus (Eastern Worm Snake) Herpetological Review 48 (1): 127 - get paper here
  • Irwin, Kelly J. 2004. Arkansas Snake Guide. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Little Rock, 50 pp.
  • Jan, G. 1865. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 12. Livraison. J.B. Bailière et Fils, Paris - get paper here
  • Jensen, John B.; Carlos D. Camp, Whit Gibbons, & Matt J. Elliott 2008. Amphibians and reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 575 pp.
  • Jones, Kara S. 2014. Carphophis amoenus (eastern worm snake) association with ants. Herpetological Review 45 (4): 705-706
  • Kapfer, Joshua M. and Coleman Slone. 2011. Carphophis amoenus (eastern wormsnake) defensive behavior. Herpetological Review 42 (3): 437 - get paper here
  • Kennicott, R. 1859. Notes on Coluber calligaster of Say, and a description of a new species of Serpents in the collection of the north Western University of Evanston,Ill. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 11: 98-100 - get paper here
  • King, Richard B.; Oldham, Michael J.; Weller, Wayne F.; Wynn, Douglas. 1997. Historic and current amphibian and reptile distributions in the Island Region of Western Lake Erie. American Midland Naturalist 138(1):153-173 - get paper here
  • Klueh, Sarabeth and Jason Mirtl. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Carphophis amoenus helenae (midwestern wormsnake). Herpetological Review 44 (2): 274
  • Linzey, D.W., & Clifford, M.J. 1981. Snakes of Virgina. Univ. Press of Virginia, Charlottesville 159 pp.
  • Mitchell, J. C. & Reay, K.K. 1999. Atlas of amphibians and reptiles in Virginia. Specialty Publication 1, VA Dept of Game and Fisheries, 122 pp. - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J.C. 1994. The reptiles of Virginia. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ca. 350 pp.
  • Nelson, Stephen K. and Joseph T. Altobelli. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Carphophis amoenus amoenus (eastern wormsnake). Herpetological Review 46 (1): 61
  • Palmer, W.M. & Braswell, A.L. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. Univ. North Carolina Press
  • Pyron, R.Alexander; Frank T. Burbrink 2009. Neogene diversification and taxonomic stability in the snake tribe Lampropeltini (Serpentes: Colubridae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 52 (2): 524-529 - get paper here
  • Say, T. 1824. Description of three new species of Coluber, inhabiting the United States. J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 4 (2): 237-242 - get paper here
  • Tennant, A. 2003. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions, revised edition. Lone Star Books, 605 pp.
  • Tennant, A. & Bartlett, R.D. 2000. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions. Gulf Publishing, Houston, TX, 588 pp.
  • Terrell, Vanessa C., Jaimie L. Klemish, Nathan J. Engbecht, John A. May, Peter J. Lannoo, Rochelle M. Stiles, and Michael J. Lannoo. 2014. Amphibian and reptile colonization of reclaimed coal spoil grasslands. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2014(1):59-68 - get paper here
  • Viosca, Percy, Jr 1931. Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Southern Biological Supply Co. Price List No. 20, Herpetology : 1-12
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Wright, A. 1986. Notes on defensive postures in captive specimens of the Western worm snake Carphophis amoenus vermis (Kennicott). Litteratura Serpentium 6 (5): 167-170 - get paper here
  • Wynn, D.E. & Moody, S.M. 2006. Ohio Turtle, Lizard, and Snake Atlas. Ohio Biological Survey, 80 pp.
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