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Pituophis deppei (DUMÉRIL, 1853)

IUCN Red List - Pituophis deppei - Least Concern, LC

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Higher TaxaColubridae, Colubrinae, Lampropeltini, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
SubspeciesPituophis deppei deppei (DUMÉRIL 1853)
Pituophis deppei jani (COPE 1861) 
Common NamesE: Mexican Bull Snake, Mexican Pine Snake
S: Cincuate Mexicano 
SynonymElaphis deppei DUMÉRIL 1853: 453
Elaphis pleurostictus – DUMÉRIL 1853: 57
Elaphis Deppei — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 268
Elaphis pleurostictus — DUMÉRIL, BIBRON & DUMÉRIL 1854: 244
Arizona pleurosticta – COPE 1861: 370
Arizona deppei – COPE 1861: 301
Pituophis Deppei – JAN & SORDELLI 1867: Pl. II.2
Spilotes deppei – COPE 1887: 72
Pituophis pleurostictus – BOCOURT 1888: 666
Pityophis [sic] pleurostictus – MÜLLER 1892: 203
Coluber deppii — BOULENGER 1894: 66
Pityophis Deppei — DUGÈS 1898: 40
Epiglottophis pleurostictus – COPE 1900: 861
Epiglottophis pleurostictus – WERNER 1929: 82
Pituophis deppei deppei — WEBB 1984
Pituophis deppei — LINER 1994
Pituophis deppei deppei — LINER 2007
Pituophis deppei — WALLACH et al. 2014: 561
Pituophis deppei — SCHÄTTI et al. 2020

Pituophis deppei jani (COPE 1861)
Arizona jani COPE 1861
Pituophis deppei jani — SMITH 1944
Pituophis deppei jani — TAYLOR 1949: 200
Pituophis deppei jani — LINER 1994
Pituophis deppei jani — LINER 2007 
DistributionMexico (Jalisco, Morelos, Nuevo León, Hidalgo, Coahuila, Aguascalientes, Quéretaro, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosí, Oaxaca, Sonora, Guanajuato, Nayarit, Jalisco, Puebla, Sinaloa)

deppei: Mexico (Jalisco, Durango, Coahuila); Type locality: "Mexico"; restricted to San Juan Teotihuacán, state of México, by Smith and Taylor (1950: 334). Corrected to “Zimapán (ca.
20°44’ N 99°23’ W) in NW Hidalgo close to the border with Querétaro” by Schätti et al. 2020: 497.

jani: Mexico (Nuevo León, Hidalgo, Coahuila); Type locality: Buenavista, Coahuila.  
TypesType: RMNH, Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Histoire, Leiden
Type: USNM 1522 [jani]
Syntypes: MNHN 6616, ZMB 1733, ZMB 1734, ZMB 1735 [pleurostictus] 
DiagnosisDiagnosis. This subspecies is characterized by the presence of solid body-blotches and lateral intercalary spots, dorsal interspaces less than five scales in length, and the absence of paired stripes or rows of blotches, on the anterior part of the body. There are 209 to 232 ventrals and 52 to 62 caudals. The body-blotches number 27 to 49. In adults the anterior and posterior body-blotches are black; the lateral intercalary spots are solid black. In many individuals black dashes connect the adjacent corners of the dorsal body-blotches (Pl. 45, Fig. 1). In juveniles the anterior, dorsal body-blotches are black, whereas those at the midbody and posteriorly are brown [from DUELLMAN 1960].

Diagnosis: Two prefrontals (exceptionally 3, once 1 and ≥ 4 scales), usually two (4th –5th) out of eight supralabials (rarely 7, occasionally 9) in contact with eye, parietal mostly large (undivided), dorsals with two apical pits and keeled middorsal series, in 27–31 rows at midbody, 209–239 ventrals (♂♂ 209 –239, ♀♀ 212–235), anal plate entire, 46 –69 paired subcaudals (50 –69, 46–67, resp.), total body scales 260 –301 (266 –301, 260–292), and 23 – 45 (21–50) dark mid-dorsal blotches on trunk (Tables 1– 2, see Note 11 for potentially higher northwest body scale counts as well as preceding and next section and Note 40 as to UAZ 34884 and UCM 67211) [Schätti et al. 2020: 491].

Typical catenifer and deppei can reliably be diagnosed through the number of prefrontal scales. Their geographic distribution largely concurs with the number of supralabials in eye contact and parietal size that normally separate these species. The type series of P. mexicanus exhibits a perplexing diversity of head and body scales including combinations characteristic of phenotypical hybrids between catenifer and deppei [Schätti et al. 2020: 517].

Diagnosis (jani): This subspecies is characterized by solid body-blotches that are black anteriorly and brown posteriorly, anterior dorsal interspaces six or more scales in length, and the absence of dark stripes or rows of spots on the anterior part of the body. There are 215 to 235 ventrals, 52 to 68 caudals, and 21 to 31 dorsal body-blotches. The position of the lateral intercalary spots and lateral streaks are the same as in deppei deppei [from DUELLMAN 1960]. 
CommentDistribution maps in Rodríguez-Robles & De Jesús-Escobar (2000), Schätti et al. 2020: 499 (Fig. 7).

Synonymy: for a more complete synonymy see Schätti et al. 2020.

Subspecies: Dixon et al. (1962) questioned the validity of the two subspecies of P. deppei (P. d. deppei and P. d. jani), whereas Conant (1965) suggested that intergradation or introgression occurred between P. deppei and P. m. affinis in northern Mexico, perhaps implying that P. deppei was not a valid species, a suggestion with which Morafka (1977) agreed. SCHMIDT 1933 ddescribed Pituophis deppei brevilineata from Michoacan whose status is currently unknown as recent authors do not mention this form any more (e.g. LINER 2007). 
EtymologyNamed after one of the collectors, Ferdinand Deppe. P. d. jani is named after Giorgio Jan, another European herpetologist. 
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