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Pantherophis emoryi (BAIRD & GIRARD, 1853)

IUCN Red List - Pantherophis emoryi - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
Common NamesE: Great Plains Rat Snake
G: Präriekornnatter
E: Southern Plains Rat Snake [meahllmorum] 
SynonymScotophis emoryi BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 157
Scotophis calligaster KENNICOTT 1859: 88
Coluber rhinomegas COPE 1860: 255
Coluber emoryi — COPE 1886: 284
Coluber laetus BOULENGER 1894: 49
Elaphe laeta — TAYLOR 1935: 213
Elaphe laeta intermontanus WOODBURY and WOODBURY 1942: 139
Elaphe quivira BURT 1946: 116 (nomen nudum)
Elaphe guttata emoryi — STEBBINS 1985: 186
Elaphe guttata emoryi — TANNER 1985: 630
Elaphe guttata emoryi — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 196
Elaphe guttata meahllmorum SMITH et al. 1994: 259
Elaphe emoryi — VAUGHAN et al. 1996
Elaphe guttata emoryi — CROTHER 2000: 61
Elaphe guttata meahllmorum — CROTHER 2000: 61
Elaphe guttata emoryi — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 394
Elaphe guttata emoryi — TENNANT 2003: 403
Elaphe emoryi — BURBRINK 2002
Pantherophis emoryi — POTTS & COLLINS 2005
Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum — COLLINS et al. 2008
Pantherophis emoryi emoryi — SKUBOWSKI 2012
Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum — SKUBOWSKI 2012
Pantherophis emoryi — CROTHER et al. 2012
Pantherophis emoryi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 528 
DistributionUSA (SW Illinois, Kansas to SE Colorado and E New Mexico and south through Texas; disjunct areas in NE Utah)
N Mexico (to San Luis Potosí and N Veracruz, Chihuahua, N Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Quéretaro, Jalisco, Hidalgo, Aguascalientes)

meahllmorum: S Texas, Mexico (San Luis Potosí and N Veracruz, Chihuahua, N Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Quéretaro)  
TypesHolotype: USNM, lost (Dowling,1951). 
CommentHybridization: Vaughan et al. (1996 Texas Journal of Science 48(1): 175-190) in their detailed study clearly demonstrated that the defined, diagnosed, allopatric population emoryi is a distinct species (see the map on page 185). [from:]. However, it intergrades with Elaphe guttata guttata in S-Arkansas, NW-Louisiana and adjacent E-Texas (STEBBINS 1985).

Subspecies: Pantherophis emoryi meahllmorum (SMITH et al. 1994) does not appear to be a distinct lineage and was synonymized with emoryi (BURBRINK 2002).

Synonymy partly after BURBRINK 2002.

Description: Compared to other members of the E. guttata complex, E.emoryi is more robust and has a larger head that is distinctly offset from the neck
(Schultz,1996). Adults of this species reach a total length of 80 –150 cm and have 197 –236 ventral scales and 58 –83 subcaudal scales,with 27 –73 dorsal blotches (Schultz,1996).The dorsal ground color is gray,olive, or brown with brown or olive dorsal and lateral blotches with black borders.The pattern on the head is very similar to the other two species,whereas the belly may be only sparsely patterned (particularly in the southern part of the distribution)with small triangular or semi-circular blotches (Schultz,1996). 
EtymologyThe specific epithet is a patronym honoring the collector, William Hemsley Emory. 
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