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Diadophis punctatus (LINNAEUS, 1766)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Dipsadinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesDiadophis punctatus acricus PAULSON 1966
Diadophis punctatus amabilis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus arnyi KENNICOTT 1859: 99
Diadophis punctatus dugesii VILLADA 1875
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii (MERREM 1820: 136)
Diadophis punctatus modestus BOBOURT 1866
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis punctatus pulchellus BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus punctatus (LINNAEUS 1766)
Diadophis punctatus regalis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus similis BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys COPE 1860
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii BLANCHARD 1923 
Common NamesE: arnyi : Ringneck Snake
acricus: Key Ringneck Snake
amabilis: Pacific Ringneck Snake
arnyi: Prairie Ringneck Snake
edwardsii: Northern Ringneck Snake
modestus: San Bernardino Ringneck Snake
occidentalis: Northwestern Ringneck Snake
pulchellus: Coralbelly Ringneck Snake
punctatus: Southern Ringneck Snake
regalis: Regal Ringneck Snake
similis: San Diego Ringneck Snake
stictogenys: Mississippi Ringneck Snake
vandenburgii: Monterey Ringneck Snake
G: Halsbandnatter, Ringhalsnatter 
SynonymColuber punctatus LINNAEUS 1766: 376
Natrix punctatus — MERREM 1820: 136
Homalosoma punctata — WAGLER 1830: 191
Calamaria punctata — SCHLEGEL 1837: 39
Diadophis amabilis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 113
Diadophis pulchellus BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 115
Ablabes punctatus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 310
Diadophis punctatus — JAN 1866
Diadophis punctatus — GARMAN 1884: 73
Diadophis anthonyi VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1923
Diadophis amabilis anthonyi — BLANCHARD 1942: 47
Diadophis punctatus — STEBBINS 1985: 174
Diadophis punctatus — LINER 1994
Diadophis punctatus — SCHWARTZ & HENDERSON 1991: 599
Diadophis punctatus — MATTISON 2007: 134
Diadophis punctatus — CROTHER et al. 2012
Diadophis punctatus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 227

Diadophis punctatus punctatus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 178
Diadophis punctatus punctatus — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis punctatus punctatus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus acricus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 179
Diadophis punctatus acricus — CROTHER 2000: 60
Diadophis punctatus acricus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 74
Diadophis punctatus acricus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus amabilis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus var. amabilis — JAN 1866
Diadophis occidentalis BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis amabilis occidentalis — FITCH 1936
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis — STEBBINS 1985: 174
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis vandenburgii BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii — STEBBINS 1985: 174
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis punctatus amabilis — CROTHER 2000: 60
Diadophis punctatus amabilis — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus arnyi KENNICOTT 1859
Diadophis arnyi KENNICOTT 1859
Diadophis punctatus var. Arnyi — JAN 1866
Diadophis punctatus var. arnyi — GARMAN 1884: 72
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — FORCE 1928
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — BURT 1935
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — STEBBINS 1985: 174
Diadophis punctatus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 179
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — DIXON 2000
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — CROTHER 2000: 60
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 76
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — BARTS 2006
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — CROTHER et al. 2012
Diadophis punctatus arnyi — HUBBS 2016

Diadophis punctatus docilis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus var. docilis — JAN 1866
Diadophis punctatus var. docilis — GARMAN 1884: 72
Diadophis blanchardi SCHMIDT & SMITH 1944
Diadophis docilis — COLLINS 2008 (online)

Diadophis punctatus dugesii VILLADA 1875
Diadophis punctatus dougesii VILLADA 1875: 226
Diadophis regalis dougesii — TAYLOR & SMITH 1939: 240
Diadophis dugesii — BLANCHARD 1942: 51
Diadophis dugesii — SMITH & TAYLOR 1945: 47
Diadophis punctatus dugesii — LEMOS-ESPINAL 2004: 27

Diadophis punctatus edwardsii (MERREM 1820)
Diadophis torquatus (SHAW 1802) (preoccupied)
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii — DUNN 1920: 136
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii — CONANT 1938
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii — CROTHER 2000: 60
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 72
Diadophis punctatus edwardsii — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus modestus BOBOURT 1866
Diadophis anthonyi VAN DENBURGH & SLEVIN 1923
Diadophis similis BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis punctatus modestus — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis punctatus modestus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus occidentalis BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis amabilis occidentalis BLANCHARD 1923: 6
Diadophis punctatus pallidus COPE 1860: 250
Diadophis occidentalis — COLLINS 2008 (online)
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus pulchellus BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis punctatus var. pulchellus — JAN 1866
Diadophis pulchellus — STEJNEGER 1893: 203
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis punctatus pulchellus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus regalis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis regalis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Diadophis laetus JAN 1863
Diadophis punctatus var. laetus — JAN 1866
Diadophis regalis — GARMAN 1884: 73
Diadophis regalis — COCKERELL 1896: 326
Diadophis regalis arizonae BLANCHARD 1923: 2
Diadophis punctatus regalis — TANNER 1985: 629
Diadophis punctatus regalis — LINER 1994
Diadophis punctatus regalis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 180
Diadophis punctatus regalis — DIXON 2000
Diadophis punctatus regalis — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 78
Diadophis punctatus regalis — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus similis (BLANCHARD 1923)
Diadophis amabilis similis BLANCHARD 1923: 4
Diadophis amabilis similis — SMITH 1945: 47
Diadophis punctatus similis — LINER 1994
Diadophis punctatus similis — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus stictogenys COPE 1860
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — ALLEN 1932
Diadophis punctatus strictogenys [sic] — BURT 1935
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 179
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — CROTHER 2000: 61
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — DIXON 2000
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 75
Diadophis punctatus stictogenys — CROTHER et al. 2012

Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii BLANCHARD 1923
Diadophis amabilis vandenburgii BLANCHARD 1923: 5
Diadophis punctatus vandenburgii — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionSE Canada (incl. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec)
USA (California, Oregon, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, SE/NE Minnesota, SE Colorado, SE Idaho, Utah, SE South Dakota,
Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, S New Hampshire, S Vermont, S Maine)

Mexico (incl. Aguascalientes, Queretaro, Durango, Hidalgo), Cayman I

Type locality: Carolina; restricted to Charleston, South Carolina, by Schmidt, 1953; California, USA (fide GRISMER 2002).

acricus: Florida; Type locality: Big Pine Key

amabilis: California; Type locality: San Jose, California (see Stejneger & Barbour, 1943)

anthonyi: Type locality: Islas Todos Santos, Baja California

arnyi: Wisconsin, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas,Nebraska; Type locality: Hyatt, Anderson County, Kansas

docilis: Texas; Type locality: between Rio San Pedro or Devil’s River and Comanche Spring, Texas

dugesii: Mexico (central plateau from C Veracruz (Mirador) westward to Nayarit, northward to Guanajuato, south to Distrito Federal); Type locality: Potreros de Balbuena, near Mexico (city), Distrito Federal.

edwardsii: Wisconsin, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, North Carolina, etc.; Type locality: Pennsylvania

modestus: California; Type locality: California (see Stejneger & Barbour, 1943)

occipitalis: South Carolina; Type locality: designated as “Charleston, South Carolina” (see Schmidt, 1953)

pulchellus: California; Type locality: El Dorado County, California (see Stejneger & Barbour, 1943)

punctatus: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida; Type locality: Carolina (in Linnaeus, 1766), but given as “Carolina and Eastern Gulf States” by Stejneger & Barbour (1943), and restricted to “Charleston, South Carolina” by Schmidt (1953)

regalis: USA (W Texas, New Mexico), Mexico (Sonora); Type locality: Sonora, Mexico

similis: California; Type locality: San Diego, California.

stictogenys: Illinois, Arkansas, E Texas; Type locality: designated as “southern Illinois” (see Schmidt, 1953: 183)

texensis: Louisiana, Texas; Type locality: “New Orleans to Galveston” 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.
Reproductionoviparous, but occas 
TypesHolotype: Unknown; presumably lost.
Holotype: CAS 13748 [vandenburghii]
Holotype: ANSP 3468; California [D. p. pallidus]
Holotype: UMMZ [similis]
Holotype: MVZ 7260, female [occidentalis] 
CommentFor illustrations see Wright and Wright, 1957; Conant and Collins 1991; Ashton and Ashton, 1982, among many others.

Subspecies: D. amabilis, modestus, occidentalis, pulchellus, similis, and vandenburghi appear to be nearly indistinguishable and therefore are of questionable validity (C. Feldman, cited in CROTHER 2000).

Using mtDNA, Fontanella et al. (2008) identified fourteen lineages of Ringneck

Snakes but declined to recognize them as distinct species, pending the acquisition of additional data from Mexican populations and the evaluation of nucleic molecular data for the entire complex.

Based on known type localities (as they appear in Blanchard, 1942, Stejneger and Barbour, 1943, and Schmidt, 1953, plus information generously provided by Van Wallach, Walter E. Meshaka, Jr., James N. Layne, Travis W. Taggart, and Curtis J. Schmidt, pers. comms.) for already described, published, and available taxa, minimally the following distinct species (see Figures 3 & 5 in Fontanella et al. for lineage designations) are recognized by Joe Collins (CNAH): D. acricus, D. amabilis, D. arnyi, D. docilis, D. edwardsii, D. modestus, D. occipitalis, D. pulchellus, D. punctatus, D. regalis, D. stictogenys, D. texensis.

The three specimens from Islas To- dos Santos were originally described as D. anthonyi and differ from snakes of the adjacent peninsula in that the body tends to be more stout or robust (Blanchard 1942) and the neck ring obscure with poorly defined edges (Van Den- burgh and Slevin 1923). Subsequent authors have consid- ered it to be D. punctatus [GRISMER 2002].

Taxonomy: Has been assigned to the family “Xenodontidae” by POTTS & COLLINS 2005 and other authors.

Mimicry: Diadophis punctatus mimicks Micrurus elegans (TORRE-LORANCA et al. 2006).

Diet: With the exception of the southwestern populations that feed exclusively on reptiles (Gehlbach, 1965), ringnecks have generalist diets, preying on salamanders, earthworms, reptiles and insects (Blanchard, 1942; Fitch, 1975; Blanchard et al., 1979; Stebbins, 1985; Conant and Collins, 1991).

Type species: Coluber punctatus LINNAEUS 1766: 376 is the type species of the genus Diadophis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853. 
EtymologyThe generic name is derived from the Latin words diadem , meaning "headband" and ophis, meaning "snake." The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word punctum, meaning "spotted" (Lemos-Espinal & Dixon 2013). 
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