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Regina septemvittata (SAY, 1825)

IUCN Red List - Regina septemvittata - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Queen Snake
G: Königinnennatter 
SynonymColuber septemvittatus SAY 1825: 240
Tropidonotus septemvittatus — BOULENGER 1893: 239
Nerodia septemvittata
Natrix septemvittata — WELLER 1930
Natrix septemvittata — BURT 1933
Natrix septemvittata — CLAY 1938
Natrix septemvittata — CONANT 1960
Natrix septemvittata mabila NEILL 1963
Regina septemvittata — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 157
Regina septemvittata — CROTHER 2000
Regina septemvittata — ERNST & ERNST 2003: 294
Regina septemvittata — WALLACH et al. 2014: 631 
DistributionSE Canada (Ontario),
USA (Arkansas, SE Wisconsin, NE Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, W New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, N/W Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, SW Missouri, NW Florida)

Type locality: Pennsylvania  
TypesSyntypes: ANSP (2), largest specimen 251 mm (R. Haines and T. M'Euen), now missing fide Malnate, 1972.
Holotype: Florida State Museum of Natural History [mabila] 
CommentType species: Coluber septemvittatus SAY 1825 is the type species of the genus Regina BAIRD in BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 45.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 considered the generic name Mariolisus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected its use instead of Regina. For a generic diagnosis see Rossman 1963.

Nomenclature: Smith and Huheey (1961:347) petitioned the ICZN to use its plenary powers to preserve the generic names Regina Baird and Girard, 1853 and Storeria Baird and Girard, 1853, particularly since Storeria had been used for over 100 years as the name for the genus of the North American Brownsnakes. Responding to the petition, the ICZN (1962: 145) placed the two genera on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology.

Phylogeny: R. grahami and R. septemvittata are paraphyletic in the trees shown in Burbrink et al. 2012 and Zaher et al. 2019, nested within Nerodia.

Diet: recently molted crayfish 
EtymologyThe genus is named after Latin “regina” = royal or queen. The name is therefore feminine. 
  • ANTON, T. G 2020. Geographic Distribtion: Regina septemvittata (Queen Snake). USA: Illinois: Bureau Co. Herpetological Review 51: 81.
  • Anton, T.G.; Redmer, M. 1991. Regina septemvittata (Queen snake). Herpetological Review 22 (1): 26-26 - get paper here
  • Arndt, Rudolf G. 1994. Regina septemvittata (queen snake). USA: South Carolina. Herpetological Review 25 (4): 168 - get paper here
  • Barton, Lee J., Larissa L. Morningstar and Joshua M. Hall. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (queensnake). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 576 - get paper here
  • BEILER, RACHEL; R. ELLIOT MILLER & NORMAN REICHENBACH. 2021. Population Ecology of the Queensnake (Regina septemvittata) in an Urban Creek, 2008 to 2019. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 16(3): 562–570. - get paper here
  • Boulenger, G.A. 1893. Catalogue of the snakes in the British Museum (Nat. Hist.) I. London (Taylor & Francis), 448 pp. - get paper here
  • Bradford, J. W. and B. P. Butterfield 2016. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (Queensnake). Herpetological Review 47(3): 428-429. - get paper here
  • Burbrink FT, Futterman I. 2019. Female‐ biased gape and body-size dimorphism in the New World watersnakes (tribe: Thamnophiini) oppose predictions from Rensch's rule. Ecol Evol. 00:1–10
  • Burbrink, Frank T.; Xin Chen, Edward A. Myers, Matthew C. Brandley and R. Alexander Pyron 2012. Evidence for determinism in species diversification and contingency in phenotypic evolution during adaptive radiation. Proc. R. Soc. B 279: 4817-4826 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1933. A contribution to the herpetology of Kentucky. American Midland Naturalist 14 (6): 669-679 - get paper here
  • Camper, Jeffrey D. 2019. The Reptiles of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, 288 pp. [review in Copeia 107 (3): 590, 2019] - get paper here
  • Conant, Roger 1938. The Reptiles of Ohio. American Midland Naturalist 20 (1): 1-200 - get paper here
  • Conant, Roger 1960. The Queen snake, Natrix septemvittata, in the interior highlands of Arkansas and Missouri, with comments upon similar disjunct distributions. Proccedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 112 (2): 25-40 - 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.
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Dwyer, C.M. & H. Kaiser 1997. Relationship between Skull Form and Prey Selection in the Thamnophiine Snake Genera Nerodia and Regina Journal of Herpetology 31 (4): 463-475. - get paper here
  • Enge, Kevin M. 2009. Venomous and non-venomous snakes of Florida. Publication of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 16 pp.
  • Ernst, C.H., & Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of eastern North America. George Mason Univ. Press, Fairfax, VA 282 pp.
  • Ernst, C.H.; Gibbons, J.W.; Dorcas, M.E. 2002. Regina Baird and Girard - Crayfish snakes. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (756): 1-4 - get paper here
  • Gibbons, J. W. & Mike Dorcas 2004. North American Water Snakes. University of Oklahoma Press, 496 pp.
  • Gilbert, Carter R. 1974. Catalogue of type specimens in the Department of Natural Sciences, Florida State Museum. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum Biological Sciences 18 (2): 102-120 - get paper here
  • Green, N.B., & Pauley, T.K. 1987. Amphibians and reptiles in West Virginia. Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, 241 pp.
  • Guyer, Craig; Mark A. Bailey, and Robert H. Mount 2018. Lizards and snakes of Alabama. University of Alabama Press, 397 pp. - get paper here
  • Hoser, R. 2012. Two new genera of water snake from North America. The subdivision of the genera Regina Baird and Girard, 1853 and Nerodia Baird and Girard 1853 (Serpentes: Colubridae: Natricinae). Australasian J. Herpetol. 11: 29-31 - get paper here
  • Hromada, S. J. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (Queensake). Herpetological Review 48 (2): 392 - get paper here
  • ICZN 1962. Opinion 632. Regina Baird and Girard, 1853 (Reptilia); designation of a type-species under the plenary powers. Bull. Zool. Nomenclature 19: 145–147
  • Irwin, Kelly J. 2004. Arkansas Snake Guide. Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, Little Rock, 50 pp.
  • Jackrel, Sara L. and Howard K. Reinert 2011. Behavioral Responses of a Dietary Specialist, the Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata), to Potential Chemoattractants Released by Its Prey. Journal of Herpetology 45 (3): 272-276. - get paper here
  • Jensen, John B.; Carlos D. Camp, Whit Gibbons, & Matt J. Elliott 2008. Amphibians and reptiles of Georgia. University of Georgia Press, 575 pp.
  • Kaiser, H.; Crother, B.I.; Kelly, C.M.R.; Luiselli, L.; O’Shea, M.; Ota, H.; Passos, P.; Schleip, W.D. & Wüster, W. 2013. Best Practices: In the 21st Century, Taxonomic Decisions in Herpetology are Acceptable Only When Supported by a Body of Evidence and Published via Peer-Review. Herpetological Review 44 (1): 8-23
  • King, Richard B.; Oldham, Michael J.; Weller, Wayne F.; Wynn, Douglas. 1997. Historic and current amphibian and reptile distributions in the Island Region of Western Lake Erie. American Midland Naturalist 138(1):153-173 - get paper here
  • Lacy, Gregory B. 1996. Geographic Distribution. Regina septemvittata. Herpetological Review 27 (3): 154-155 - get paper here
  • Lawson, R. 1987. Molecular studies of Thamnophiine snakes: 1. The phylogeny of the genus Nerodia. Journal of Herpetology 21 (2): 140-157 - get paper here
  • Layne, J.R., Jr. & N.B. Ford 1984. Flight Distance of the Queen Snake, Regina septemvittata Journal of Herpetology 18 (4): 496-498. - get paper here
  • Linzey, D.W., & Clifford, M.J. 1981. Snakes of Virgina. Univ. Press of Virginia, Charlottesville 159 pp.
  • Lipps, Greg, Jr. and Jeffrey G. Davis. 2014. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (queensnake). Herpetological Review 45 (1): 96 - get paper here
  • Lovich, J.E. & Jaworski, T.R. 1988. Annotated checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles reported from Cedar Bog, Ohio. Ohio J. Sci. 88 (4): 139-143 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Mehrtens, J.M. 1987. Living snakes of the world in color. Sterling Publ. Co., hic., New York, NY: 480 pp.
  • 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
  • Meyer, Dan T; Mathew McKinney, Zachary Loughman 2018. Habitat requirements of two common aquatic snakes, Regina septemvittata and Nerodia sipedon sipedon. Proceedings of the West Virginia Academy of Science 90 (1) - get paper here
  • Mitchell, J.C. 1994. The reptiles of Virginia. Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, ca. 350 pp.
  • Newcomer, R.T., D.H. Taylor & S.I. Guttman 1974. Celestial orientation in two species of water snakes (Natrix sipedon and Regina septemvittata) Herpetologica 30 (2): 194-200. - get paper here
  • Oldham, Christian R., Steven J. Price, Wade A. Boys and Leo J. Fleckenstein. 2015. Regina septemvittata (queensnake) defensive behavior / death-feigning. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 276-277 - get paper here
  • O’Shea, M. 2018. The Book of Snakes. Ivy Press / Quarto Publishing, London, - get paper here
  • Palmer, W.M. & Braswell, A.L. 1995. Reptiles of North Carolina. Univ. North Carolina Press
  • Petzing, John; Phillips, Christopher A. 1998. Geographic Distribution. Regina septemvittata. Herpetological Review 29 (2): 115 - get paper here
  • Phillips, JG 2016. Updated Geographic Distributions of Michigan Herpetofauna: a Synthesis of Old and New Sources. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2016: 45–69 - get paper here
  • Pierson, T. 2012. Geographic distribution: Regina septemvittata (queen snake). Herpetological Review 43: 308 - get paper here
  • Plummer, Michael V. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (Queensnake). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 264 - get paper here
  • Plummer, Michael V. and Jo M. Goy. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Regina septemvittata (Queensnake). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 264 - 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
  • Rossman, Douglas A. 1963. Relationships and taxonomic status of the North American natricine snake genera Liodytes, Regina and Clonophis. Occasional papers of the Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University (29): 1-29 - get paper here
  • Say, T. 1824. Description of three new species of Coluber, inhabiting the United States. J. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia 4 (2): 237-242 - get paper here
  • Smith, H. M.; Huheey, J. E. 1961. Proposed use of the plenary powers to designate a type-specimen for Regina Baird and Girard, 1853 (Reptilia). Z.N.(S.) 1443. Bull. Zool. Nomenclature 17: 346–348. - get paper here
  • Spangler, J. A.; Mount, R. H. 1969. The taxonomic status of the natricine snake Regina septemvittata mabila (Neill). Herpetologica 25: 113-119 - get paper here
  • Spinner, Leo 2017. Lebensweise und Haltung der Königinnennatter. Terraria-Elaphe 2017 (1): 38-42 - get paper here
  • STEVENSON, DIRK J. et al. 2021. New County Records for Amphibians and Reptiles in Georgia, USA. Herpetological Review 52 (2): 350-359
  • Tennant, A. 2003. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions, revised edition. Lone Star Books, 605 pp.
  • Tuck, R.G., Jr. 1973. A Craniodichotomous Queensnake, Regina septemvittata (Say) (Serpentes: Natricidae), from Frederick County, Maryland Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 9(2): 22-23. - 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.
  • Weller, W.H. 1930. Records of Some Reptiles and Amphibians from Chimney Rock Camp, Chimney Rock N. C., and Vicinity. Proc. Jr. Soc. Nat. Hist. Cincinnati 1 (8-9): 51-54 [unnumbered pages]
  • Williams, M. & Foster, N. 2012. Geographic distribution: Regina septemvittata (queensnake). Herpetological Review 43: 450 - get paper here
  • Wood, John Thornton;Duellman, William E. 1950. Size and scutellation in Natrix septemvittata (Say) in Southwestern Ohio. American Midland Naturalist 43 (1): 173-178 - get paper here
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