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Lampropeltis elapsoides (HOLBROOK, 1838)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesScarlet Kingsnake, Scarlet Milksnake 
SynonymColuber elapsoides HOLBROOK 1838:123
Coluber doliatus LINNAEUS (fide COPE 1860: 256)
Coronella doliata HOLBROOK 1842 (fide COPE 1860: 256)
Calamaria elapsoides — HOLBROOK 1842:119.
Ophibolus doliatus — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 89
Osceola elapsoides — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853:133.
Coronella doliata — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 621
Lampropeltis doliata — COPE 1860: 256
Coronella doliata — JAN 1865
Ophibolus doliatus coccineus — YARROW 1883: 90
Ophibolus doliatus coccineus — COPE 1893: 1067
Ophibolus doliatus temporalis COPE 1893: 1068
Ophibolus doliatus triangulus — LARGELAMB 1907
Lampropeltis triangulum virginiana BLANCHARD 1920
Lampropeltis elapsoides elapsoides — ALLEN 1932
Lampropeltis triangulum doliata - TAYLOR 1951
Lampropeltis elapsoides virginiana — COCHRAN 1961: 188
Lampropeltis triangulum temporalis — COCHRAN 1961: 188
Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 210
Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides — CROTHER 2000: 64
Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 429
Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides — MATTISON 2007: 133
Lampropeltis triangulum elapsoides — JENSEN et al. 2008: 364
Lampropeltis elapsoides — PYRON & BURBRINK 2009
Lampropeltis elapsoides — CROTHER et al. 2012
Lampropeltis elapsoides — RUANE et al. 2014
Lampropeltis elapsoides — WALLACH et al. 2014: 357 
DistributionUSA (N Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, S Florida (incl. St. George Island, Apalachicola Island [HR 31: 114]), Mississippi, Tennessee, S Kentucky)

Type-locality, "South Carolina and Georgia.” 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: unknown (WILLIAMS 1994) 
CommentPhylogenetics: Lampropeltis elapsoides is clearly paraphyletic with respect to L. triangulum and therefore needs to be elevated to species status (PYRON & BURBRINK 2009).

Synonymy: partly after WILLIAMS 1994. 
  • Akcali, C. K. and Pfennig, D. W. 2017. Geographic variation in mimetic precision among different species of coral snake mimics. J. Evol. Biol., doi:10.1111/jeb.13094 - get paper here
  • Allen, Morrow J. 1932. A survey of the Amphibians and reptiles of Harrison County, Mississippi. American Museum Novitates (542): 1-20 - get paper here
  • Alvis, Cameron and John B. Jensen. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Lampropeltis elapsoides (Scarlet Kingsnake). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 262
  • Baird, S. F. and C. Girard. 1853. Catalogue of North American Reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Part 1.-Serpents. Smithsonian Inst., Washington, xvi + 172 pp. - get paper here
  • Blanchard, Frank N. 1920. Three new snakes of the genus Lampropeltis. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (81): 1-10 - get paper here
  • Blanchard, Frank N. 1920. A synopsis of the king snakes: Genus Lampropeltis Fitzinger. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (87): 1-7 - get paper here
  • Cochran, Doris M. 1961. Type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in the United States National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. (220): xvi + 291 pp. - 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.
  • Cope, E.D. 1860. Catalogue of the Colubridae in the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, with notes and descriptions of new species. Part II. Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 12: 241-266 - get paper here
  • Cope, E.D. 1893. The Color Variations of the Milk Snake. American Naturalist 27 (324): 1066-1071 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Denzer, W. 1986. Die Herpetofauna Südfloridas, Teil 2: Die natürlichen Amphibien - und Reptilienpopulationen nearktischen Ursprungs. Sauria 8 (3): 23-26 - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Enge, Kevin M. and Kenneth D. Benfield. 2015. Lampropeltis elapsoides (scarlet kingsnake) size record. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 209
  • Herman, J. E. 2017. Lampropeltis elapsoides (Scarlet Kingsnake) Arboreality. Herpetological Review 48 (2): 451-452
  • Herr, Mark W. and Sean P. Graham. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Lampropeltis elapsoides (scarlet kingsnake). Herpetological Review 44 (3): 476-477
  • Holbrook, John E. 1838. North American Herpetology, Vol. 2 (1st ed.). J. Dobson, Philadelphia, 130 pp. - get paper here
  • Holbrook, John E. 1842. North American Herpetology; or, A description of the reptiles inhabiting the United States. Vol II (2nd ed.). J. Dobson, Philadelphia, 142 pp. - get paper here
  • Holbrook, John E. 1842. North American Herpetology; or, A description of the reptiles inhabiting the United States. Vol I (2nd ed.). J. Dobson, Philadelphia, 152 pp. - get paper here
  • Jan, G. 1865. Iconographie générale des ophidiens. 14. Livraison. [Elapomorphus d’Orbignyi, Coronella getulus var. Sayi]. 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.
  • Kunz, K. 2015. Dauerbrenner im Terrarium: Nattern Reptilia (Münster) 20 (115): 18-27 - get paper here
  • Largelamb, H. A. 1907. Notes on the remarkable habits of certain turtles and lizards. National Geographic 18(6):413-419
  • Lillywhite, Harvey B. 2014. How Snakes Work: Structure, Function and Behavior of the World's Snakes. Oxford University Press, New York, 256 pp
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • Mays, Jonathan D., Kevin M. Enge and Bess B. Harris. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Lampropeltis elapsoides (Scarlet Kingsnake). Herpetological Review 47 (1): 83
  • 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
  • Ruane, Sara; Robert W. Bryson, Jr., R. Alexander Pyron, and Frank T. Burbrink 2014. Coalescent Species Delimitation in Milksnakes (genus Lampropeltis) and Impacts on Phylogenetic Comparative Analyses. Systematic Biology 63 (2): 231-250, doi:10.1093/sysbio/syt099 - get paper here
  • Tennant, A. & Bartlett, R.D. 2000. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions. Gulf Publishing, Houston, TX, 588 pp.
  • 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.
  • Yarrow, H. C. 1882. Check List of North American Reptilia and Batrachia, with Catalogue of Specimens in U. S. National Museum. Bull. US Natl. Mus. 24: 249 - get paper here
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