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Thamnophis marcianus (BAIRD & GIRARD, 1853)

IUCN Red List - Thamnophis marcianus - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesThamnophis marcianus marcianus (BAIRD & GIRARD 1853)
Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis (BOCOURT 1892) 
Common NamesE: Checkered Garter Snake
G: Karierte Strumpfbandnatter
S: Sochuate 
SynonymEutainia [sic] Marciana BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 36
Eutaenia marciana — GARMAN 1887: 125
Eutaenia marcianus — BOCOURT 1893
Thamnophis marciana — MCLAIN 1899
Thamnophis marciana — RUTHVEN 1907: 589
Thamnophis ruthveni HARTWEG & OLIVER 1938: 1
Thamnophis rozellae SMITH 1940
Thamnophis ruthveni — HARTWEG & OLIVER 1940
Thamnophis bovalli DUNN 1940
Thamnophis ruthveni — SMITH 1942: 114
Thamnophis marcianus — MITTLEMAN 1949: 235
Thamnophis marcianus — SHANNON & SMITH 1949
Thamnophis marcianus nigrolateris BROWN 1889 (fide ROSSMAN 1971)
Thamnophis marcianus — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970: 302
Eutania marciana — MALNATE 1971: 368 (in error)
Thamnophis marcianus bovalli — ROSSMAN 1971
Thamnophis marcianus — STEBBINS 1985: 210
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus — TANNER 1985: 655
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 169
Thamnophis marcianus — LINER 1994
Thamnophis marcianus bovalli — ROSSMAN 1996: 198
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 108
Thamnophis marcianus marcianus — LINER 2007
Thamnophis marcianus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 723
Thamnophis marcianus — SUNYER & MARTÍNEZ-FONSECA 2023

Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis (BOCOURT 1892)
Eutaenia praeocularis BOCOURT 1892: 278
Tropidonotus praeocularis — BOULENGER 1893: 418
Thamnophis arabdotus ANDREWS 1937: 357
Thamnophis praeocularis — DUNN 1940: 191
Thamnophis sumichrasti praeocularis — SMITH 1942: 99, 111
Thamnophis eques praeocularis — BOGERT & OLIVER 1945: 385
Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis — PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970
Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis — ROSSMAN 1971
Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis — ROSSMAN 1996: 198
Thamnophis marcianus praeocularis — LINER 2007 
DistributionSW USA (incl. S Kansas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oklahoma, Texas), Mexico (Baja California, Campeche, Tamaulipas, Coahuila, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Chiapas, Hidalgo, Sonora, Durango, Veracruz etc.), Belize, Guatemala ?, El Salvador ?,
Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica

bovalli (invalid): Nicaragua, N Costa Rica

marcianus: USA (Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma); Mexico (Chihuahua); Type locality: Indian Territory between Camp 5 and Red River (Tillman County near HoUister, Oklahoma, fide H. A. Dundee, cited in Cochran 1961: 182). Note that TAYLOR 1949 restricted the type locality to Red River, Arkansas. Originally included New Braunfels, Sand Pedro, and Indianola, Texas.

praeocularis: Mexico (Yucatan, Quintana Roo), Belize; Type locality: Belize

ruthveni: Mexico (Oaxaca)  
Reproductionovoviviparous; there is evidence for parthenogenesis in this species (REYNOLDS et al. 2013). 
TypesSyntypes: ANSP 6563 (fide Malnate 1971: 368), USNM 844 (holotype fide Cochran 1961: 182)
Holotype: UMMZ 82469 [ruthveni]
Holotype: FMNH 26994 [arabdotus]
Syntypes: MNHN-RA 1172 and MNHN-RA 2012.0457 (formerly MNHN-RA 1172A) [praeocularis]
Holotype: USNM 108597 [Thamnophis rozellae] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis (identification): “Dorsal scales in a maximum of 21 or 19 rows; supralabials 8; a distinctive head pattern (black-bordered brown area covering supralabials 7 and 8, bracketed anteriorly by a light area extending from postoculars to edge of the lip and posteriorly by a narrow light crescent; a third light area also extending from preoculars to edge of the lip); lateral stripe confined to 3rd dorsal scale row on neck (rows 2 and 3 thereafter).” (Rossman 1996: 198) 
CommentSynonymy after VILLA et al. 1988 and PETERS & OREJAS-MIRANDA 1970. SHREVE & GANS (1957) considered T. bovalli as valid.

Behavior: While most Thamnophis are diurnal, T. marcianus is at least partially nocturnal. 
EtymologyThe specific name is a patronym honoring Capt. Randolph Barnes Marcy of the 5th Infantry, United States Army, as he and Capt. George B. McClellan collected the type material during their survey of the Exploration of the Red River of Louisiana, in the year 1852 (LEMOS-ESPINAL & DIXON 2013). 
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  • Villegas-Patraca R, Aguilar-López JL, Hernández-Hernández JC, Muñoz-Jiménez O 2022. Diversity and conservation of terrestrial vertebrates (birds, mammals, and reptiles) of Sierra Cucapá, Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico. ZooKeys 1088: 17-39 - 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.
  • Werler, John E. & James R. Dixon 2000. Texas Snakes. University of Texas Press, 544 pages
  • Werning, Heiko 2012. Die Reptilien und Amphibien des Südwestens. Draco 13 (50): 18-60 - get paper here
  • Woodin, W.H., III 1950. Notes on Arizona Species of Thamnophis Herpetologica 6 (2): 39-40. - get paper here
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