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Thamnophis foxi ROSSMAN & BLANEY, 1968

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Fox's Mountain Meadow Snake
S: Pradera de Fox 
SynonymAdelophis foxi ROSSMAN & BLANEY 1968
Adelophis foxi — ROSSMAN & WALLACH 1987
Adelophis foxi — LINER 1994
Adelophis foxi — DE QUEIROZ et al. 2002
Adelophis foxi — WALLACH et al. 2014: 8
Thamnophis foxi — HALLAS et al. 2021
Thamnophis foxi — NUÑEZ et al. 2023 
DistributionMexico (Durango)

Type locality: "from a meadow in pine forest (8,600 feet) 1/4 mi. E Mil Diez (approx. 2 mi. W El Salto), Durango, México."  
TypesHolotype: LSUM 14330, a 419 mm female (D.A. Rossman and R.M. Blaney, 16 July 1966). 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A species of natricine snake distinguished from its sole congener, Adelophis copei Dugès, by possessing 17-17-17 dorsal scale rows (15-15-15 in copei), a semidivided nasal (entirely divided in 6 of 8 cases in copei), a discrete loreal scale (fused with prefrontal in copei), longer anterior than posterior genials (posterior longer in copei), 4th and 5th supralabials of nearly equal size (5th equal to combined length of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in copei), six infralabials (five in copei), two posterior tem porals (one in copei), a proportionately longer muzzle (frontal only 28.3 to 28.6 per cent longer than muzzle1 in male foxi, 37.2 to 51.7 per cent longer in male copei?), a proportionately longer tail (23.4 to 25.6 per cent of total length in adult male foxi, 19.8 to 21.0 per cent in male copei), 20 or 21 maxillary teeth (23 of 24 in copei), a pair of dark paravertebral stripes (lacking in copei), and no light lateral stripe (present in copei). The combined characteristics of an undivided anal plate and no dorsal scale row reduction readily distinguish the genus Adelophis from all other New World natricines. (Rossman & Blaney 1968) 
CommentAdelophis foxi and its congener, A. copei, share several morphological characteristics not seen in Thamnophis, including the presence of only five supralabial scales (vs six or more in all Thamnophis) and a lack of reduction in dorsal scale row numbers posteriorly. In addition, both species of Adelophis have striping patterns unlike those of any Thamnophis, although they also differ from each other in this respect (Rossman and Blaney, 1968). However, all of these traits can be interpreted as autapomorphies of Adelophis as a whole or of A. foxi and A. copei individually. If this is the case, these traits would have no bearing on the relationships of Adelophis to other taxa. Interestingly, both species of Adelophis possess the one obvious morphological synapomorphy for Thamnophis, an undivided anal plate (Rossman and Blaney, 1968). Interestingly, Adelophis foxi is nested within Thamnophis by DNA analysis (De QUEIROZ et al. 2002, Hallas et al. 2021). 
EtymologyNamed after Dr. Wade Fox Jr. (1920-1964), zoologist and herpetologist at the University of California, Berkeley until he died from a heart attack. 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - 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
  • HALLAS, JOSHUA M.; THOMAS L. PARCHMAN & CHRIS R. FELDMAN. 2021. Phylogenomic analyses resolve relationships among garter snakes (Thamnophis: Natricinae: Colubridae) and elucidate biogeographic history and morphological evolution. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 107374. [2022 in print] - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR, Gadsden-Esparza H, Valdez-Lares R, Woolrich-Piña GA 2018. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of Durango, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 748: 65-87 - get paper here
  • Nuñez, L.P., Gray, L.N., Weisrock, D.W., Burbrink, F.T., 2023. The Phylogenomic and Biogeographic History of the Gartersnakes, Watersnakes, and Allies (Natricidae: Thamnophiini). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution - get paper here
  • Queiroz, Alan de; Robin Lawson and Julio A. Lemos-Espinal 2002. Phylogenetic Relationships of North American Garter Snakes (Thamnophis) Based on Four Mitochondrial Genes: How Much DNA Sequence Is Enough? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 22: 315-329 - get paper here
  • Rossman D A; Wallach V 1987. Adelophis Duges. Mountain meadow snakes. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles ( 408: 1-2 - get paper here
  • Rossman, Douglas A. & Blaney, R. M. 1968. A new Natricine snake of the genus Adelophis from western Mexico. Occasional papers of the Museum of Zoology, Louisiana State University (35): 1-12 - get paper here
  • Valdez-Lares, R.; R. Muñiz-Martínez; E.Gadsden; G. Aguirre-León; G. Castañeda-Gaytán; R. Gonzalez-Trápaga 2013. Checklist of amphibians and reptiles of the state of Durango, México. Check List 9 (4):714-724 - 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.
  • Webb, R.G. 1984. Herpetogeography in the Mazatlán-Durango Region of the Sierra Madre Occidental, Mexico. Vetrebrate Ecology and Systematics - A ribute to Henry S. Fitch; Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, Lawrence, pp. 217-241
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