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Pantherophis alleghaniensis (HOLBROOK, 1836)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Subspecies 
Common NamesE: Eastern Rat Snake (alleghaniensis)
E : Western Rat Snake (obsoleta)
E: Texas Rat Snake (lindheimeri)
E: Yellow Rat Snake (quadrivittata)
E: Everglades Ratsnake (rossalleni)
G: Erdnatter 
SynonymColuber Alleghaniensis HOLBROOK 1836: 111
Coluber quadrivittatus HOLBROOK 1836
Coluber quadri-vittatus HOLBROOK 1842 (fide DUMÉRIL et al. 1854)
Scotophis alleghaniensis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 73
Scotophis Lindheimerii BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 74
Scotophis quadrivittatus — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 80
Elaphis quadri-vittatus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 265
Elaphis alleghaniensis — HALLOWELL 1856: 243
Elaphis obsoletus var. alleghaniensis — GARMAN 1884: 54
Elaphis obsoletus var. Lindheimerii — GARMAN 1884: 54
Elaphis quadrivittatus — GARMAN 1884: 56
Coluber obsoletus lemniscatus COPE 1888: 386 (part.)
Callopeltis quadrivittatus — LOENNBERG 1894
Elaphe williamsi BARBOUR & CARR 1940: 340
Elaphe quadrivittata parallela BARBOUR & ENGELS 1942: 103
Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni NEILL 1949
Elaphe obsoleta deckerti — STANKOWSKI 1986
Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 197
Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 198
Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 198
Elaphe obsoleta lindheimerii CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 199
Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri — CROTHER 2000: 62
Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 388
Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta — CROTHER 2000: 62
Elaphe obsoleta quadrivittata — CROTHER 2000: 62
Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni — CROTHER 2000: 62
Elaphe obsoleta rossalleni — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 385
Elaphe alleghaniensis — BURBRINK 2001
Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri — SCHMIDT 2004
Pantherophis obsoletus lindheimeri — HALLMEN 2005
Scotophis alleghaniensis — MESHAKA & COLLINS 2009
Pantherophis alleghaniensis — PYRON & BURBRINK 2009
Pantherophis alleghaniensis — WALLACH et al. 2014: 528 
DistributionUSA: east of the Apalachicola River in Florida, east of the Chattohoochee River in Georgia, east of the Appalachian Mountains, north to Ohio, SE New York, W Vermont, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, south to the Florida Keys. Compare to obsoleta (fide BURBRINK 2001).

Type locality: sumit of the blue Ridge in Virginia and highlands of the Hudson.  
Reproductionoviparous 
TypesHolotype: ANSP 16792
Syntype: ANSP 10893 [Coluber obsoletus lemniscatus]
Holotype: ANSP 3773; South Carolina (?) [quadrivittatus]
Holotype: Florida State Museum of Natural History [rossalleni]
Holotype: MCZ 45705, adult male [williamsi] 
CommentHybrids: BRÖER (1977) reports a hybrid between E. guttata guttata and E. obsoleta quadrivittata. Bechtel & Mountain (1960) report hybrids between Elaphe guttata and E. obsoleta rossaleni.

Colour images: various subspecies in STANKOWSKI (1986) and SCHWEIGER (1995).

Subspecies: Elaphe obsoleta deckerti and E. o. parallela are not recognized as subspecies any more (CROTHER 2000). BURBRINK (2001) doesn’t recognize any subspecies of E. obsoleta but elevates some of its clades to species status. Illustration of E. o. lindheimeri in SCHMIDT (2004).

The diagnosis of E. alleghaniensis by BURBRINK (2001) is unfortunately not very useful as it gives mostly relative characters (”E. alleghaniensis tends to have a higher number of subcaudals than E. spiloides” etc.) and hardly any comparisons with other species. 
References
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