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Lampropeltis mexicana (GARMAN, 1884)

IUCN Red List - Lampropeltis mexicana - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Mexican Kingsnake
S: Culebra Real Roja 
SynonymOphibolus triangulus mexicanus GARMAN 1884: 28
Coronella mexicana GÜNTHER 1893: 110
Oreophis boulengeri DUGÈS 1897
Coronella mexicana — GÜNTHER 1900
Lampropeltis mexicana — BLANCHARD 1921
Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana — GEHLBACH & BAKER 1962: 298
Lampropeltis mexicana — LINER 1994
Lampropeltis mexicana — WALLACH et al. 2014: 358
Lampropeltis mexicana — JOHNSON et al. 2017
Lampropeltis mexicana — HANSEN & SALMON 2017: 732 
DistributionMexico (S Durango, San Luis Potosi, N Jalisco, Guanajuato, Zacatecas [HR 8: 85], San Luis Potosi, Aguascalientes [HR 32: 278], Tamaulipas, Hidalgo [HR 47: 262], Nayarit, Nuevo León)

Type locality: near Ciudad San Luis Potosi, Mexico  
TypesSyntypes: MCZ 4652, 4653
Holotype: MDUG HE 103 [Oreophis boulengeri] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis: A moderate-sized (maximum TL = 1,156 mm) species of kingsnake most similar to some individuals of L. leonis (Tamaulipas). The presence of black-bordered red blotches or bands on a gray or brown ground color is distinctive. A black postocular dash is present in L. mexicana (rare in L. leonis). Red head markings typically are elaborate, and often are tri-lobed; in L. leonis, the dorsal head markings, if present, differ from those seen in L. mexicana (Fig. 18). Lampropeltis mexicana also differs from L. leonis in lacking pattern polymorphism. Sexual dichromatism is evident in captive-bred L. mexicana, as adult males tend to be more brightly marked, a character discernible even in some captive-produced hatchlings. This species does not exhibit the degree of ontogenetic pat- tern change commonly seen in non-coralsnake pattern phenotypes of L. leonis. The dorsal blotches of individuals from the northern part of the range (Sierra La Trinidad, San Luis Potosí) are elongated, compared to snakes from more southern localities (Fig. 27). The ventral scale counts (190–200) are slightly lower, but partly overlap those for L. leonis (194–212). [in HANSEN & SALMOIN 2017: 737] 
CommentSubspecies: L. m. alterna and leonis have been elevated to full species status (L. alterna now includes L. m. blairi, and leonis includes thayeri).

Synonymy: partly after GEHLBACH 1967, HANSEN & SALMON 2017.

Distribution: see map in HANSEN & SALMON 2017: 722 (Fig. 17). 
EtymologyNamed after the type locality. 
  • Applegate, Robert 1991. Literature: Captive breeding of the Durango mountain king snake (Lampropeltis mexicana greeri) and the Arizona mountain king snake (Lampropeltis pyromelana). Litteratura Serpentium 11 (4): 93 - get paper here
  • Assetto Jr., R. 1978. REPRODUCTION OF THE GRAY-BANDED KINGSNAKE. LAMPROPELTIS MEXICANA ALTERNA. Herpetological Review 9 (2): 56-57 - get paper here
  • BADILLO, LEONARDO FERNÁNDEZ. 2021. Lampropeltis mexicana (Colubridae). Revista Latinoamericana de Herpetología 4(1): 234–234. - get paper here
  • Blanchard, Frank N. 1920. A synopsis of the king snakes: Genus Lampropeltis Fitzinger. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan (87): 1-7 - get paper here
  • Bryson Jr., Robert W.; Jennifer Pastorini, Frank T. Burbrink and Michael R.J. Forstner 2007. A phylogeny of the Lampropeltis mexicana complex (Serpentes: Colubridae) based on mitochondrial DNA sequences suggests evidence for species-level polyphyly within Lampropeltis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 43 (2): 674-684 - get paper here
  • Carbajal-Márquez, Rubén A. and Gustavo E. Quintero-Díaz 2016. The Herpetofauna of Aguascalientes, México. Revista Mexicana de Herpetología 2(1):
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  • Dugès, A. 1897. Description d’un ophidien nouveau du Mexique (Oreophis boulengeri, g. et sp. nn.). Proc. Zool. Soc. London 1897: 284-285 - get paper here
  • Dunn, E. R. 1922. Note on Lampropeltis mexicana (Garman). Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 35:226. - get paper here
  • Eerden, Hans van der 1991. Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana in the terrarium. Litteratura Serpentium 11 (1): 15-20 - get paper here
  • Eerden, Hans van der 1992. Lampropeltis mexicana mexicana in the terrarium II. Litteratura Serpentium 12 (4): 89-92 - get paper here
  • Fernández-Badillo, Leonardo; Norma Leticia Manríquez-Morán; Jesús Martín Castillo-Cerón & Irene Goyenechea 2016. Análisis herpetofaunístico de la zona árida del estado de Hidalgo. Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad 87: 156–170 - get paper here
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  • FLORES-VILLELA, OSCAR; VICTOR HUGO REYNOSO & GLORIA MAGAÑA-COTA 2010. More notes on Alfredo Dugès’ names for Mexican reptilian taxa. [Chalinocnemis, Spasmocnemis, Sceloporus westphalii nomina nuda]. Zootaxa 2600: 66–68 - get paper here
  • Garcia-Vazquez, Uri O., Sánchez-Garcia, Juan Carlos, Gray, Levi N., White, Brittney A., Hansen, Robert W. and Pavón-Vázquez, Carlos J. 2017. Geographic Distribution: Lampropeltis mexicana (San Luis Potosi Kingsnake). Herpetological Review 48 (1): 128 - get paper here
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The reptiles and batrachians of North America. Mem. Mus. comp. Zool, Cambridge (Massachusetts), 8 (3): xxxiv + 185 pp. [1883] [CNAH reprint 10] - get paper here
  • Garman,Samuel 1884. The North American reptiles and batrachians. A list of the species occuring north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, with references. Bull. Essex Inst. 16: 1-46 - get paper here
  • Garstka,W.R. 1982. Systematics of the mexicana species group of the colubrid genus Lampropeltis, with an hypothesis [of] mimicry. Breviora (466): 1-35 - get paper here
  • Gehlbach, Frederick R. 1967. Lampropeltis mexicana. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles (55): 1-2 - get paper here
  • Gehlbach,F.R. & Baker,,J. 1962. Kingsnakes allied with Lampropletis mexicana: taxonomy and natural history. Copeia 1962 (2): 291-300 - get paper here
  • Gehlbach,F.R. & McCoy,C. 1965. Additional observations on variation and distribution of the gray-banded kingsnake, L. mexicana (Garman). Herpetologica 21 (1): 35-38 - get paper here
  • Hansen, R. W., and G. T. Salmon. 2017. Distribution analysis, taxonomic updates, and conservation status for the Lampropeltis mexicana group (Serpentes: Colubridae). Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(4): 700–758 - get paper here
  • Hansen, Robert W., Leo Fernàndez-Badillo, Aurelio Ramìrez-Bautista and Omar Avalos-Torales. 2016. Geographic Distribution: Lampropeltis mexicana (Mexican Kingsnake). Herpetological Review 47 (2): 262-263 - get paper here
  • Heimes, P. 2016. Snakes of Mexico. Chimaira, Frankfurt, 572 pp
  • Hilken,G. & Schlepper,R. 1998. Der Lampropeltis mexicana-Komplex (Serpentes: Colubridae): Naturgeschichte und Terrarienhaltung. Salamandra 34 (2): 97-124 - get paper here
  • Johnson, J. D., L. D. Wilson, V. Mata-Silva, E. García-Padilla, and D. L. DeSantis. 2017. The endemic herpetofauna of Mexico: organisms of global significance in severe peril. Mesoamerican Herpetology 4(3): 544–620 - get paper here
  • 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
  • Lemos-Espinal JA, Smith GR, Woolrich-Piña GA 2018. Amphibians and reptiles of the state of San Luis Potosí, Mexico, with comparisons with adjoining states. ZooKeys 753: 83-106 - get paper here
  • Lemos-Espinal, Julio A. and James R. Dixon 2013. Amphibians and Reptiles of San Luis Potosí. Eagle Mountain Publishing, xii + 300 pp.
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  • Leyte-Manrique, Adrian; Christian Berriozabal-Islas, Vicente Mata-Silva, and Juan Pablo Morales-Castorena 2018. Herpetofaunal diversity in Área Natural Protegida Las Musas, Guanajuato, Mexico. Mesoamerican Herpetology 5 (1): 122–136 - get paper here
  • Loveridge,A. 1924. A new snake of the genus Lampropeltis. Occ. Pap. Boston Soc. Nat. Hist. 5: 137-139 - get paper here
  • Mattison, Chris 1998. The Nuevo Leon kingsnake, Lampropeltis mexicana thayeri. Reptilia (GB) (2): 43-46 - get paper here
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  • Nevárez-de los Reyes, Manuel, Javier Banda-Leal, David Lazcano, Robert W. Bryson, Jr. and Robert W. Hansen. 2016. Noteworthy records of snakes of the Lampropeltis mexicana complex from northeastern Mexico. Mexico, Coahuila, Nuevo León. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3(4): 1055–1058 - get paper here
  • Nevárez-de-los-Reyes, Manuel, David Lazcano, Elí García-Padilla, Vicente Mata-Silva, Jerry D. Johnson and Larry David Wilson. 2016. The Herpetofauna of Nuevo León, Mexico: Composition, Distribution, and Conservation. Mesoamerican Herpetology 3 (3): 558–638 - get paper here
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  • Sánchez, F.C., G.A. Woolrich-Piña & J.S. Morales 2009. Range extension of the King Snake Lampropeltis mexicana (Serpentes: Colubridae) to Tepotzotlan, State of Mexico Bull. Maryland Herpetol. Soc., 45(3): 76-79. - get paper here
  • Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. - get paper here
  • Secor, S.M. 1990. Reproductive and Combat Behavior of the Mexican Kingsnake, Lampropeltis mexicana Journal of Herpetology 24 (2): 217-221. - get paper here
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