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Pantherophis spiloides (DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL, 1854)

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Midland Rat Snake, Gray Rat Snake
G: Graue Pilotnatter 
SynonymScotophis confinis BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 74
Elaphis spiloides DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 269
Coluber obsoletus lemniscatus COPE 1888: 386 (part.)
Elaphe obsoleta confinis — DUNN 1920: 136
Elaphe obsoleta confinis — FORCE 1928
Elaphe obsoleta confinis — ALLEN 1932
Elaphe obsoleta confinis — BURT 1933
Elaphe obsoleta spiloides — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 199
Elaphe obsoleta spiloides — CROTHER 2000: 62
Elaphe obsoleta spiloides — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 386
Elaphe spiloides — BURBRINK 2001
Elaphe obsoleta spiloides — TENNANT 2003: 395
Pantherophis obsoletus spiloides — SCHMIDT & KUNZ 2005: 68
Pantherophis obsoletus spiloides — LOVE 2007
Scotophis spiloides — COLLINS & TAGGART 2008
Elaphe obsoleta spiloides — ENGE 2009
Pantherophis spiloides — PYRON & BURBRINK 2009
Scotophis spiloides — MESHAKA & COLLINS 2009
Scotophis spiloides — SAVIOLA et al. 2012
Pantherophis spiloides — WALLACH et al. 2014: 530 
DistributionCanada (S Ontario),
USA (west of the Apalachicola River and the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River. South from Louisiana along the gulf Coast of the US to Florida, and north in W New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, S Michigan, NE Indiana, C Illinois, SW Wisconsin, Tennessee).

Type locality: La Nouvelle-Orleans [= New Orleans, Louisiana]  
TypesHolotype: MNHN-RA 0827
Holotype: USNM 1563 [Scotophis confinis] 
CommentHabitat: partly arboreal (Harrington et al. 2018). 
  • Adams, Ronald and Brian I. Crother. 2015. Pantherophis spiloides (gray ratsnake), Agkistrodon piscivorus (cottonmouth), Coluber constrictor (North American racer), Thamnophis proximus (western ribbonsnake) aggregation behavior. Herpetological Review 46 (2): 276 - get paper here
  • Allen, Morrow J. 1932. A survey of the Amphibians and reptiles of Harrison County, Mississippi. American Museum Novitates (542): 1-20 - get paper here
  • Baird, S. F. and C. Girard. 1853. Catalogue of North American Reptiles in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Part 1.-Serpents. Smithsonian Inst., Washington, xvi + 172 pp. - get paper here
  • Birkhead, R. D. 2012. Pantherophis spiloides (grat ratsnake) diet. Herpetological Review 43: 348-349 - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. 2001. Systematics of the Eastern Ratsnake complex (Elaphe obsoleta). Herpetological Monographs 15: 1-53 - get paper here
  • Burbrink, Frank T. Marcelo Gehara, Alexander D. McKelvy, and Edward A. Myers. 2020. Resolving spatial complexities of hybridization in the context of the gray zone of speciation in North American ratsnakes (Pantherophis obsoletus complex). Evolution 75(2): 260–277
  • Burt, Charles E. 1933. A collection of amphibians and reptiles from southern Missouri. American Midland Naturalist 14 (2): 170-173 - get paper here
  • Burt, Charles E. 1933. A contribution to the herpetology of Kentucky. American Midland Naturalist 14 (6): 669-679 - 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
  • Conant,R. & Collins,J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America, 3rd ed. Houghton Mifflin (Boston/New York), xx + 450 p.
  • Cope, E.D. 1889. On the snakes of Florida. Proc. US Natl. Mus. 11: 381-394 [1888] - 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
  • Doody, J.S., Godwin, C. & Brantley, C. 2017. Pantherophis spiloides (Gray Ratsnake) Diet and Mortality. Herpetological Review 48 (3): 679. - get paper here
  • Duméril, A.M.C., G. BIBRON & A.H.A. DUMÉRIL 1854. Erpétologie générale ou Histoire Naturelle complète des Reptiles. Vol. 7 (partie 1). Paris, xvi + 780 S. - get paper here
  • Dunn, E.R. 1920. Some reptiles and amphibians from Virginia, North Carolina, Tennesse, and Alabama. Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington 33: 129-137 - get paper here
  • Enge, Kevin M. 2009. Venomous and non-venomous snakes of Florida. Publication of the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 16 pp.
  • Force, Edith R. 1928. A Preliminary Checklist of Amphibians and Reptiles of Tulsa County. Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science 8: - get paper here
  • Fulbright, Michael C., James P. Flaherty and C. M. Gienger. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Pantherophis spiloides (gray ratsnake). Herpetological Review 44 (4): 629 - get paper here
  • Gibbs, H Lisle; Sarah J. Corey, Gabriel Blouin-Demers, Kent A. Prior and Patrick J. Weatherhead 2006. HYBRIDIZATION BETWEEN MTDNA-DEFINED PHYLOGEOGRAPHIC LINEAGES OF BLACK RAT SNAKES (PANTHEROPHIS SP.). Molecular Ecology 15 (12) - get paper here
  • GIRASEK, QUINN L.;<br />BRENNA SCHIELDS<br />VINCENT P. BUONACCORSI<br />JOHN M. MATTER 2021. Phylogenetic Identification of North American Ratsnakes (Pantherophis) in Central Pennsylvania, USA. Herpetological Review 52 (1): 17–20.
  • GRISNIK, M., AND R. HANSCOM 2020. New County Records for Reptiles and Amphibians from Middle Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau. Herpetological Review 51: 282-284.
  • 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
  • Holt, Brian D. and Tidwell, Keith 2017. Geographic Distribution: Pantherophis spiloides (Gray Ratsnake). Herpetological Review 48 (1): 130 - get paper here
  • Kee, Joshua P. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Pantherophis spiloides (Gray ratsnake). Herpetological Review 46 (2): 221 - get paper here
  • Love, B. 2007. Eine Landpartie. Reptilia (Münster) 12 (65): 14-15 - get paper here
  • Lutterschmidt, William I.; J.M. Weidler, and Christopher M. Schalk 2019. Hot Moments and Hot Spots in the Bayou: Spatiotemporal Patterns of Road Occurrence in a Snake Assemblage in Louisiana, USA. Herp. Conserv. Biology 14 (2): - get paper here
  • McCallum, Malcolm L., Bradley A. McCallum and Donald B. McCallum, Jr. 2011. Pantherophis spiloides (gray ratsnake) attempted predation and aquatic escape behavior. Herpetological Review 42 (3): 443 - get paper here
  • Meshaka, Jr., Walter E. & Joseph T. Collins 2009. A POCKET GUIDE TO PENNSYLVANIA SNAKES. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 56 pp. - get paper here
  • Mullin, Stephen J. & Robert J. Cooper 2000. The foraging ecology of the gray rat snake (Elaphe obsoleta spiloides). II. Influence of habitat structural complexity when searching for arboreal avian prey. Amphibia-Reptilia 21 (2): 211-222 - get paper here
  • Nelson, Stephen K. and R. Michael Ogle. 2014. Geographical Distribution: Pantherophis spiloides (gray ratsnake). Herpetological Review 45 (4): 665 - get paper here
  • Peters, Ashley S., Evan Lawrence and Kay Stone. 2016. Pantherophis spiloides (Gray Ratsnake) Diet. Herpetological Review 47 (2): 314 - get paper here
  • Phillips, JG 2016. Updated Geographic Distributions of Michigan Herpetofauna: a Synthesis of Old and New Sources. The Journal of North American Herpetology 2016: 45–69 - 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
  • Saviola, Anthony J.; Valerie J. McKenzie, David Chiszar 2012. Chemosensory responses to chemical and visual stimuli in five species of colubrid snakes. Acta Herpetologica 7 (1): 91-103 - get paper here
  • Schmidt, D. & Kunz, K. 2005. Ernährung von Schlangen. Natur und Tier Verlag, Münster, 159 pp. - get paper here
  • Tennant, A. 2003. Snakes of North America - Eastern and Central Regions, revised edition. Lone Star Books, 605 pp.
  • Truelock, Zach. 2015. Geographic Distribution: Pantherophis spiloides (gray ratsnake). Herpetological Review 46 (4): 575 - 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.
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