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Thamnophis saurita (LINNAEUS, 1766)

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Higher TaxaColubridae (Natricinae), Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes) 
SubspeciesThamnophis saurita nitae ROSSMAN 1963
Thamnophis saurita sackenii (KENNICOTT 1859)
Thamnophis saurita saurita (LINNAEUS 1766)
Thamnophis saurita septentrionalis ROSSMAN 1963 
Common NamesE: Eastern Ribbonsnake
nitae: Bluestripe Ribbon Snake
sackenii: Peninsula Ribbon Snake
sauritus: Eastern Ribbon Snake
septentrionalis: Northern Ribbon Snake
G: Östliche Streifen-Strumpfbandnatter, Östliche Bändernatter 
SynonymColuber saurita LINNAEUS 1766: 385
Tropidonotus saurita — SCHLEGEL 1837: 323
Leptophis sauritus — HOLBROOK 1842
Eutaenia saurita — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Tropidonotus saurita — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 585
Prymnomiodon chalceus COPE 1861: 558 (fide ROSSMANN 1996)
Tropidonotus saurita — GARMAN 1884: 23
Tropidonotus saurita — BOULENGER 1893: 212
Thamnophis sauritus — STONE 1906
Thamnophis saurita — SURFACE 1906
Thamnophis sauritus — RUTHVEN 1908
Thamnophis sauritus chalceus — SMITH 1942
Thamnophis sauritus chalceus — MERTENS 1952: 76
Thamnophis sauritus sauritus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 170
Thamnophis sauritus — CROTHER et al. 2012
Thamnophis sauritus — WALLACH et al. 2014: 725

Thamnophis sauritus nitae ROSSMAN 1963
Thamnophis sauritus nitae ROSSMAN 1963: 163
Thamnophis sauritus nitae — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 171
Thamnophis sauritus nitae — CROTHER 2000
Thamnophis sauritus nitae — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 118
Thamnophis sauritus nitae — CROTHER et al. 2012

Thamnophis sauritus sackenii (KENNICOTT 1859)
Eutaenia sackenii KENNICOTT 1859
Thamnophis sackenii — LOENNBERG 1894
Thamnophis sauritus sackenii — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 171
Thamnophis sauritus sackenii — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 117
Thamnophis sauritus sackenii — SONNENBERG 2006
Thamnophis sauritus sackenii — CROTHER et al. 2012

Thamnophis sauritus sauritus (LINNAEUS 1766)
Thamnophis sauritus sauritus — CROTHER 2000
Thamnophis sauritus sauritus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 114
Thamnophis sauritus sauritus — CROTHER et al. 2012

Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis ROSSMAN 1963
Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis ROSSMAN 1963: 159
Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis — CROTHER 2000
Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 116
Thamnophis sauritus septentrionalis — CROTHER et al. 2012 
DistributionSE Canada (Nova Scotia, Quebec: Ottawa River, Ontario),
USA (SE Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, SE Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, S Maine),
Mexico (Tamaulipas)

Bahamas [HR 29: 55]

nitae: Florida

sackenii: Florida

sauritus: Florida

septentrionalis: USA (Wisconsin etc.?), Canada (Nova Scotia)

Type locality: South Carolina, Charleston County, Charleston [neotype]  
Reproductionovoviviparous. 
TypesNeotype: FMNH 73119
Holotype: Florida State Museum of Natural History 12150 [nitae]
Holotype: Florida State Museum of Natural History 12150 [septentrionalis] 
CommentType species: Coluber saurita LINNAEUS 1766 is the type species of the genus Thamnophis FITZINGER 1843: 26.

Thamnophis are usually considered as a harmless species. However, there are several reports in the literature that describe symptoms of envenomation after Thamnophis bites (e.g. Gomez et al. 1994, Jansen & Foerhing 1983, Jansen 1987). However, garter snakes are usually not agressive and bite very rarely.

Synonymy: Kaiser et al. 2013 rejected the (sub-) generic names Brucerogersus Hoser 2012, Gregshwedoshus Hoser 2012, Neilsonnemanus Hoser 2012, Pughus Hoser 2012, Whybrowus Hoser 2012 invalid and rejected their use instead of Thamnophis. 
EtymologyIt has been asserted that “The specific name sauritus is New Latin, meaning lizardlike” (Rossman 1970:99.1). This is incorrect for two reasons. First, the root sauros is Latinized Greek, not New Latin. Secondly, the suffix –ita does not mean like; it is a Spanish diminutive for feminine nouns. Kraus & Cameron (2016) have found no other explanation offered in the historical literature for the etymological origin of this name.
The Greek masculine a-stem noun σαυρίτης means “a kind of serpent.” Linnaeus correctly latinized the Greek masculine a-stem word as saurita, a noun in apposition ending in short “a”. Its emendation to sauritus by Holbrook (1842) was unjustified; hence, the proper name for this snake is Thamnophis saurita (Kraus & Cameron 2016). 
References
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