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Pantherophis slowinskii (BURBRINK, 2002)

IUCN Red List - Pantherophis slowinskii - Data Deficient, DD

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Slowinski ’s Cornsnake
G: Slowinski-Kornnatter 
SynonymElaphe slowinskii BURBRINK 2002
Pantherophis slowinskii — JIANG et al. 2007
Pantherophis slowinskii — CROTHER et al. 2012
Pantherophis slowinskii — WALLACH et al. 2014: 530 
DistributionUSA (Louisiana, E Texas)

Type locality: Longleaf Pine Highway, 0.5 miles west of Hwy 119, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, USA  
TypesHolotype: LSUM 55922 
DiagnosisDescription: Elaphe slowinskii is very similar to E. guttata in body shape and head markings, but is distinguished from the nearby southern E. guttata by lacking the brighter yellow and red dorsal color patterns (Vaughan et al., 1996). They generally have a grayish, brown, or tan ground color with dark red, maroon, or brownish blotches. In some specimens, the dark brown ground color may obscure the dorsal color pattern. The belly pattern may be checkered, but often displays smaller and more evenly paired rows of ventral blotches with some degree of peppering across the cream ventral ground color. The black margin surrounding the dorsal blotches at midbody tends to occupy only 25–50% of each scale in E. slowinskii, but usually occupies an entire scale in E. guttata. Some specimens of E. slowinskii appear similar to E. emoryi. However, most E. emoryi tend to be gray
with dark gray or olive colored blotches and often have more sparsely patterned bellies than E. slowinskii (Vaughan et al., 1996).

The number of combined dorsal body and tail blotches in E. slowinskii (mean=48, range=42–56, n = 17) are greater than that of E. guttata (mean=38, range=34–47, n = 18) and less than that of E. emoryi (mean=58, range=48–65, n = 19). The width of dorsal blotches at midbody,measured in number of scales, in E. slowinskii (mean=13, range=10.5–15, and n = 17) is less than E. guttata (mean=16.0, range=13–19, and n = 18) and greater than E. emoryi (mean=12, range=9–15, and n = 19). The length of dorsal blotches at midbody, measured in number of scales, in E. slowinskii (mean=4, range=3–5, and n = 17) is less than E. guttata (mean=6, range=5–7, and n = 18) and greater than E. emoryi (mean=4, range=2.5–5.5, and n = 19). 
CommentHabitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
EtymologyNamed after Joseph Bruno Slowinski (1963-2001), American herpetologist, who died from snakebite at age 38. For an obituary see Donnelly & Crother 2003. For more biographical details see James (2008). 
  • Beolens, Bo; Michael Watkins, and Michael Grayson 2011. The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA - get paper here
  • Burbrink, F.T. 2002. Phylogeographic analysis of the cornsnake (Elaphe guttata) complex as inferred from maximum likelihood and Bayesian analyses. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 25 (3): 465-476 - get paper here
  • Collins, Joseph T. & Travis W. Taggart 2008. An alternative classification of the New World Rat Snakes (genus Pantherophis [Reptilia: Squamata: Colubridae]). Journal of Kansas Herpetology 26: 16-18 - get paper here
  • Crother, B. I. (ed.) 2012. Standard Common and Current Scientific Names for North American Amphibians, Turtles, Reptiles, and Crocodilians, Seventh Edition. Herpetological Circular 39: 1-92
  • Donnelly, Maureen A. & Brian I. Crother 2003. Obituary: JOSEPH BRUNO SLOWINSKI 1962–2001. Copeia 2003 (2): 424–428 - get paper here
  • Harrington, Sean M; Jordyn M de Haan, Lindsey Shapiro, Sara Ruane 2018. Habits and characteristics of arboreal snakes worldwide: arboreality constrains body size but does not affect lineage diversification. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 125 (1): 61–71 - get paper here
  • James, J. 2008. The Snake Charmer. Hyperion eBooks, 260 pp.
  • Jiang Z, Castoe T, Austin C, Burbrink F, Herron M, McGuire J, Parkinson C, Pollock D 2007. Comparative mitochondrial genomics of snakes: extraordinary substitution rate dynamics and functionality of the duplicate control region. BMC Evolutionary Biology 7:123 - get paper here
  • Marcou, Zachary John 2018. Delineating Metrics of Diversity for a Snake Community in a Rare Ecosystem. MSc Thesis, Stephen F. Austin State University - 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
  • SKUBOWIUS, Bernd 2012. Die Slowinski-Kornnatter, Pantherophis slowinskii: ein seltener Gast in deutschen Terrarien. Terraria-Elaphe 2012 (6): 31-37 - get paper here
  • Vaughan, R. Kathryn; Dixon, James R.; Thomas, Robert A. 1996. A reevaluation of populations of the corn snake Elaphe guttata (Reptilia: Serpentes: Colubridae) in Texas. Texas Journal of Science 48 (1): 175-190 - 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.
  • Weidler, J M 2019. Protected areas of Texas in relation to Texas reptiles. Herpetological Review 50 (3): 462-473 - get paper here
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