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Opheodrys vernalis (HARLAN, 1827)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Smooth Green Snake
G: Glatte Grasnatter 
SynonymColuber vernalis HARLAN 1827: 361
Chlorosoma vernalis — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 108
Herpetodrays vernalis — HALLOWELL 1856: 243
Cyclophis vernalis — GuUNTHER 1858: 119
Liopeltis vernalis — COPE 1860: 560
Chlorosoma vernale — VERRILL 1863:196
Cyclophis vernalis — GARMAN 1884: 39
Contia vernalis — BOULENGER 1894: 258
Eurypholis vernalis — POPE 1935: 281
Liopeltis vernalis — BURT 1935
Opheodrys vernalis — SCHMIDT & NECKER 1936: 63
Opheodrys vernalis blanchardi GROBMAN 1941
Opheodrys vernalis blanchardi — MCCLURE 1969
Opheodrys vernalis blanchardi — VAN DEVENDER & LOWE 1977
Opheodrys vernalis — STEBBINS 1985: 179
Opheodrys vernalis blanchardi — TANNER 1985: 637
Liochlorophis vernalis - OLDHAM & SMITH 1991
Opheodrys vernalis — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 190
Opheodrys vermlis borealis GROBMAN 1992: 178
Liochlorophis vernalis — LINER 1994
Opheodrys vernalis — CROTHER 2000
Liochlorophis vernalis blanchardi — DIXON 2000
Liochlorophis vernalis — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 308
Liochlorophis vernalis — CNAH 2010
Opheodrys vernalis — CROTHER et al. 2012
Opheodrys vernalis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 506 
DistributionS Canada (incl. Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Quebec, Prince Edward Island),
USA (scattered in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine; Colorado [HR 32: 60], Texas),
Mexico (Chihuahua)

Type locality: E Pennsylvania or New Jersey (fide GROBMAN 1941).

blanchardi: USA (Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Illinois, Ohio, New Mexico, North Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, SE Texas), Canada (Manitoba); Type locality: Spanish Peaks, 8,000 feet, Colorado.

borealis: Canada (Nova Scotia); Type locality, "Wilson Cove, Guysborough County, Nova Scotia."  
Reproductiontypically oviparous but some females appear to have “facultative” viviparity (BLACKBURN 1999). 
TypesHolotype: ANSP (now lost, formerly Acad. Nat. Sc. Philadelphia)
Holotype: UMMZ 62439, Paratypes: UMMZ, USNM, LMK, FMNH [blanchardi]
Holotype, Nova Scotia Museum of Canada (NMC) 25237, collected by J. Gilhen and E. Odense,4 July 1973 [borealis] 
CommentSynonymy mostly after GROBMANN 1941 and WALLEY 2003.

Distribution: after GROBMANN 1941; see also map in WALLEY 2003. A single record from North Carolina is most likely in error (Stuart et al. 014).

Subspecies: after WALLEY 2003 who does not recognize any subspecies. Supposedly, O. v. blanchardi is characterized by a greater number of ventrals [holotype: 138](<140 in females and <131 in males of vernalis). Named after Dr. Frank Blanchard. Similarly, Grobman 1992 diagnoses borealis as a “A smooth-scaled Opheodrys closely related to 0. v. vernalis,from which it differs most conspicuously in having a lesser number of ventrals. Ventrals in females usually less than 127; usually less than 119 in males.” 
References
  • 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
  • Beck, Terrell, Ben Johnston, Andrew F. Badje and Richard A. Staffen. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Opheodrys vernalis (smooth greensnake). Herpetological Review 46 (1): 62-63
  • Black, J. H.;Bragg, A. N. 1968. New addition to the herpetofauna of Montana. Herpetologica 24 (3): 247 - get paper here
  • Blackburn, Daniel G. 1999. Are Viviparity and Egg-guarding Evolutionarily Labile in Squamates?. Herpetologica 55 (4): 556-573 - get paper here
  • Blahnik, James F.;Cochran, Phillip A. 1994. Opheodrys vernalis (smooth green snake). USA: Wisconsin. Herpetological Review 25 (2): 77 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1935. Further records of the ecology and distribution of amphibians and reptiles in the middle west. American Midland Naturalist 16 (3): 311-336 - get paper here
  • Casper, G. S. and R. D. Rutherford 2016. Geographic Distribution: Opheodrys vernalis (Smooth Greensnake). Herpetological Review 47(3): 428.
  • Casper, Gary S. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Opheodrys vernalis. Herpetological Review 27 (4): 214 - 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.
  • Cox, Christian L.; Eugenia S. Farrar, Jane D. Hey, and Matthew C. Morrill 2009. Cover Object Usage Among an Assemblage of Iowa Snakes. Herp. Cons. Biol. 4: 80-84 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Davis, Drew R. and Zimmer, Myron B. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Opheodrys vernalis (Smooth Greensnake) Herpetological Review 48 (1): 129-130 - get paper here
  • Davis, William B. 1949. The smooth green snake in Texas. Copeia 1949 (3): 233 - get paper here
  • Davis, William B. 1953. Another record of the smooth green snake in Texas. Herpetologica 9: 165 - get paper here
  • Degenhardt, William G.; C. W. Painter, and A. H. Price 1996. Amphibians and reptiles of New Mexico. Univ. New Mexico Press, 431 pp.
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  • Elmberg, J. 1980. Herpetological observations 77-78 [in Vernon county, Wisconsin]. Fältbiologerna Umea.
  • Ernst, C.H., & Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of eastern North America. George Mason Univ. Press, Fairfax, VA 282 pp.
  • Fritts, T. H. 1968. Intrabrood variation in Opheodrys vernalis (Harlan). Herpetologica 24 (1): 79-82 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Green, N.B., & Pauley, T.K. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 241 pp.
  • Grobman,A.B. 1941. A contribution to the knowledge of variation in Opheodrys vernalis (Harlan), with the description of a new subspecies. Misc. Publ. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan, No. 50: 1-38 - get paper here
  • Grobman,A.B. 1992. Metamerism in the snake Opheodrys vernalis, with a description of a new subspecies. Journal of Herpetology 26 (2): 175-186 - get paper here
  • Harlan, R. 1827. Genera of North American Reptilia, and synopsis of the species. J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 5: 317-372 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hughes, Daniel F. and Jaclyn M. Adams. 2015. Opheodrys vernalis (smooth greensnake) nest site selection. Herpetological Review 46 (3): 453
  • Hunter, M.L., Jr., Albright, J., & Arbuckle, J., eds. 1992. The amphibians and reptiles of Maine. Maine Agric. Experiment Station, Orono, Bull. 838 188 pp.
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  • Kunz, Kriton 2015. Schlangen, die Wirbellose fressen Terraria-Elaphe 2015 (5): 14-20 - get paper here
  • LeClere, Jeff 1994. Snakes of Minnesota: Smooth green snake (Opheodrys vernalis). Newsletter of the Minnesota Herpetological Society 14 (3): 10-13
  • Liner, E.A. 1994. Scientific and common names for the Amphibians and Reptiles of Mexico in English and Spanish. Herpetological Circular 23: 1-113
  • Linzey, D.W., & Clifford, M.J. 1981. Snakes of Virgina. Univ. Press of Virginia, Charlottesville 159 pp.
  • Livo, Lauren J.;Chiszar, David;Smith, Hobart M. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Liochlorophis (=Opheodrys) vernalis. Herpetological Review 27 (3): 154 - get paper here
  • McCure, E.L. 1969. A NEW RECORD OF OPHEODRYS VERNALIS BLANCHARDI IN TEXAS. Southwestern Naturalist 14 (1): 129
  • McVay, John David; Bryan Carstens 2013. Testing monophyly without well-supported gene trees: Evidence from multi-locus nuclear data conflicts with existing taxonomy in the snake tribe Thamnophiini. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, Volume 68, Issue 3, September 2013, Pages 425–431 - get paper here
  • Meshaka Jr, Walter E.;, Jane Netting Huff & Robert C. Leberman 2008. Amphibians and Reptiles of Powdermill Nature Reserve in Western Pennsylvania. Journal of Kansas Herpetology 25: 12-18 - get paper here
  • Meshaka, Jr., Walter E. & Joseph T. Collins 2009. A POCKET GUIDE TO PENNSYLVANIA SNAKES. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 56 pp. - get paper here
  • Mifsud, David A., Maegan M. Stapleton and Scott A. Jackson. 2016. Opheodrys vernalis (Smooth Greensnake) Reproduction. Herpetological Review 47 (1): 150-151
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  • Robins, C. Richard 1952. Variation in the greensnake, Opheodrys vernalis (Harlan), from the Black Hills, South Dakota. Copeia 1952 (3): 191-192 - get paper here
  • Ryerson, William G. 2017. A Novel Form of Behavioral Camouflage in Colubrid Snakes. Copeia Jun 2017, 105 (2): 363–367
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  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1958. Herpetological range extensions. Herpetologica 14: 195-196 - get paper here
  • Tanner, Wilmer W. 1985. Snakes of Western Chihuahua. Great Basin Naturalist 45 (4): 615-676 - get paper here
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