Lampropeltis splendida (BAIRD & GIRARD, 1853)
Can you confirm these amateur observations of Lampropeltis splendida?
|Higher Taxa||Colubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)|
|Common Names||Desert Kingsnake|
|Synonym||Ophibolus splendidus BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 83|
Coronella getulus var. splendida — JAN 1865
Lampropeltis splendida — COPE
Lampropeltis getulus splendida — TAYLOR 1952
Lampropeltis getulus splendida — WEBB 1984
Lampropeltis getulus splendida — TANNER 1985: 634
Lampropeltis getula splendida — DIXON 2000
Lampropeltis getula splendida — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 423
Lampropeltis splendida — PYRON & BURBRINK 2009
Lampropeltis getula splendida — LAITA 2013
Lampropeltis splendida — WALLACH et al. 2014: 359
|Distribution||USA (C Texas to SE Arizona), to NC Mexico (incl. San Luis Potosi, Durango, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua); isolated records from N New Mexico and S Colorado.|
Type Locality: Sonora, Mexico (no further locality given).
|Types||Holotype: USNM 1726, collected by Col. J.D. Graham.|
|Comment||Diagnosis: The Desert Kingsnake (L. splendida) is a medium- to large-bodied constrictor with an average adult size range of 90–114cm and a maximum size of 152cm (Conant & Collins 1998). Scales are smooth, anal plate single, with midbody scale rows typically numbering 23–25 (Blaney 1977). Ventral scales number 199–227 in males and 203–237 in females, while subcaudals range from 45–62 in males and 40–52 in females (Blaney 1977). The Desert Kingsnake can be distinguished from related species primarily on the basis of color pattern. The pattern of the Desert Kingsnake is characterized by a black or dark brown ground color with heavy yellow lateral and dorsolateral stippling. The remnant crossbands formed by this stippling yield a row of black or brown dorsal blotches or saddles, numbering 42–97. The head is typically black or dark brown, and the onset of the yellow dorsal patterning sometimes gives the appearance of a collar (Fig. 3; Blanchard 1921; Blaney 1977; Conant & Collins 1998). The Desert Kingsnake inhabits the Chihuahuan desert east of the Cochise Filter Barrier, from western Texas to extreme southeastern Arizona, north from central New Mexico in the Rio Grande River valley south to the south central portion of the Mexican Plateau (Fig. 2). Additionally, the ecological niche modeling results from Pyron & Burbrink (2009c) predict an area of habitat in northcentral Arizona as suitable for L. splendida which is not predicted as suitable for the geographically adjacent California lineage (Fig. 2; Pyron & Burbrink 2009c). While kingsnakes are known from this region of Arizona (Stebbins 2003), it is not known to which species this population belongs. The Desert Kingsnakes may hybridize with the Western lineage in a narrow area in extreme southeastern Arizona and extreme southwestern New Mexico, where haplotypes co-occur and some apparent hybrids have been found (Fig. 2; R.A. Pyron, pers. obs.), though morphological intermediacy is apparently not widespread (Conant & Collins 1998) [from PYRON & BURBRINK 2009].|
|Etymology||Specific epithet refers to the ‘splendid’ visage of the dorsal coloration.|
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