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Pantherophis bairdi (YARROW, 1880)

IUCN Red List - Pantherophis bairdi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Baird's Rat Snake
G: Bairds Kletternatter
S: Ratonera de Bosque 
SynonymColuber bairdi YARROW 1880
Elaphe obsoleta bairdi — DOWLING 1952
Elaphe bairdi — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 200
Elaphe bairdi — LINER 1994
Elaphe bairdi — SCHULZ 1996: 269
Elaphe bairdi — BURBRINK 2001
Pantherophis bairdi — UTIGER et al. 2002
Elaphe bairdi — ERNST & ERNST 2003: 105
Pantherophis bairdi — SCHMIDT 2004
Elaphe bairdi — NOACK 2004
Pantherophis bairdi — MATTISON 2007: 55
Pituophis bairdi — BURBRINK 2007
Scotophis bairdi — COLLINS & TAGGART 2008
Pantherophis bairdi — PYRON & BURBRINK 2009
Pantherophis bairdi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 528 
DistributionUSA (SW/C Texas) south to
Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas)

Type locality: USA: Texas, Jeff Davis County, Apache Mountains, Fort Davis (Yarrow,1880)  
TypesHolotype: USNM 10403 (W.F. von Manteuffel, 1878). 
CommentClosely related to P. obsoletus. However, while P. obsoletus and P. bairdi co-occur in sympatry, hybridization between the two species does not result in gradual intergradation and gene flow (Olson 1977; Hillis 2022).

Habitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Spencer Fullerton Baird (1823-1887), American naturalist. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. 2001. Systematics of the Eastern Ratsnake complex (Elaphe obsoleta). Herpetological Monographs 15: 1-53 - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. and Robin Lawson 2007. How and when did Old World ratsnakes disperse into the New World? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (1): 173-189 - get paper here
  • Collins, Joseph T. & Travis W. Taggart 2008. An alternative classification of the New World Rat Snakes (genus Pantherophis [Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae]). Journal of Kansas Herpetology (26): 16-18 - 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.
  • 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
  • Dixon, James R. 2000. Amphibians and reptiles of Texas, second edition. Texas A&M University Press, 421 pp.
  • Dowling, H. G. 1952. A taxonomic study of the ratsnakes, genus Elaphe Fitzinger, IV. A checklist of the American forms. Occ. Pap. Mus. Zool. Univ. Michigan No. 541, 12 pp. - get paper here
  • Ernst, C.H. & Ernst, E.M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Inst. Press, Washington, 668 pp.
  • Gloyd, Howard K.;Smith, Hobart M. 1942. Amphibians and reptiles from the Carmen Mountains, Coahuila. Bulletin of the Chicago Academy of Sciences 6 (13): 231-235
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • HILLIS, DAVID M. 2022. Species, Clades, and their Relationship to Paraphyly and Monophyly: Examples from the Pantherophis obsoletus Complex. Herpetological Review 53 (1): 47–53.
  • Lawson, R. & Lieb,C.S. 1990. Variation and hybridization in Elaphe bairdi (Serpentes: Colubridae). Journal of Herpetology 24 (3): 280-292 - get paper here
  • Lazcano D, Nevárez-de los Reyes M, García-Padilla E, Johnson JD, Mata-Silva V, DeSantis DL, Wilson LD. 2019. The herpetofauna of Coahuila, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13(2) [General Section]: 31–94 (e189) - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 1995. The Encyclopedia of Snakes. New York: Facts on File, 256 pp.
  • Mattison, Chris 2007. The New Encyclopedia of Snakes. Princeton University Press
  • Nevárez-de-los-Reyes, Manuel, David Lazcano, Elí García-Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The Herpetofauna of Nuevo León, Mexico: Composition, Distribution, and Conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (3): 558–638 - get paper here
  • Noack, M. 2004. Haltung, Nachzucht und Aufzucht von Baird’s Ratten- oder Kletternatter, Elaphe bairdi (YARROW 1880). Elaphe 12 (1): 46-49
  • Olson, R. Earl 1977. Evidence for the species status of Baird's ratsnake. Texas Journal of Science 29 (1-2): 79-84 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • 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
  • Schmidt, D. 2004. Zur Reproduktion von Schlangen im Terrarium: Aufgaben - Fakten - Probleme. Draco 5 (17): 22-36 - get paper here
  • Schulz, K. D. 1996. Eine Monographie der Schlangengattung Elaphe Fitzinger. Bushmaster, Berg (CH): 1-460
  • Schulz, Klaus-Dieter 1996. A monograph of the colubrid snakes of the genus Elaphe Fitzinger. Koeltz Scientific Books, 439 pp.
  • Smith, Hobart M. 1938. Additions to the herpetofauna of Mexico. Copeia 1938 (3): 149-150 - get paper here
  • Tennant, A. 2003. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions, revised edition. Lone Star Books, 605 pp.
  • Tennant, A. & Bartlett, R.D. 2000. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions. Gulf Publishing, Houston, TX, 588 pp.
  • Terán-Juárez, Sergio A., Elí García Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The herpetofauna of Tamaulipas, Mexico: composition, distribution, and conservation status. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (1): 43–113 - get paper here
  • Utiger, Urs, Notker Helfenberger, Beat Schätti, Catherine Schmidt, Markus Ruf and Vincent Ziswiler 2002. Molecular systematics and phylogeny of Old World and New World ratsnakes, Elaphe Auct., and related genera (Reptilia, Squamata, Colubridae). Russ. J. Herpetol. 9 (2): 105-124. - get paper here
  • Vandewege, Michael W.; David Rodriguez, Jeremy P. Weaver, Troy D. Hibbitts, Michael R. J. Forstner, and Llewellyn D. Densmore 2012. Evidence of Hybridization between Elaphe bairdi and Elaphe obsoleta lindheimeri Including Comparative Population Genetics Inferred from Microsatellites and Mitochondrial DNA. Journal of Herpetology 46 (1): 56-63. - get paper here
  • Wallach, Van; Kenneth L. Williams , Jeff Boundy 2014. Snakes of the World: A Catalogue of Living and Extinct Species. [type catalogue] Taylor and Francis, CRC Press, 1237 pp.
  • Weidler, J M 2019. Protected areas of Texas in relation to Texas reptiles. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 462-473 - get paper here
  • Werler, John E. & James R. Dixon 2000. Texas Snakes. University of Texas Press, 544 pages
  • Yarrow, H.C. 1880. Coluber bairdi sp. nov. In: Cope, E.D., On the zoological position of Texas. Bull. US Natl. Mus., No.17: 41 - get paper here
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