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Sistrurus tergeminus (SAY, 1823)

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Higher TaxaViperidae, Crotalinae, Colubroidea, Caenophidia, Alethinophidia, Serpentes, Squamata (snakes)
Common NamesE: Desert Massasauga [edwardsi]
E: Western Massasauga, Prairie Massasauga [tergeminus]
G: Wüsten-Massasauga [edwardsi]
G: Prairie-Massasauga [tergeminus] 
SynonymCrotalus tergeminus SAY 1823
Crotophorus tergeminus — AGASSIZ 1850: 380
Crotalophorus tergeminus — BAIRD & GIRARD 1853
Crotalophorus Edwardsii BAIRD & GIRARD 1853: 15
Crotalus tergeminus — DUMÉRIL & BIBRON 1854: 1479
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus — KLAUBER 1936
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — GLOYD 1955
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — STEBBINS 1985: 226
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus — CONANT & COLLINS 1991: 232
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — WELCH 1994: 109
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — CROTHER 2000
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 510
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus — CROTHER 2000
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus — TENNANT & BARTLETT 2000: 507
Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus — CROTHER et al. 2012
Sistrurus catenatus edwardsii — CROTHER et al. 2012
Sistrurus tergeminus edwardsii — ICZN 2013
Sistrurus tergeminus tergeminus — ICZN 2013
Sistrurus tergeminus — PATTEN et al. 2016
Sistrurus tergeminus — SOVIC et al. 2016
Sistrurus tergeminus tergeminus — POWELL et al. 2016: 445
Sistrurus tergeminus — HEIMES 2016: 495
Sistrurus tergeminus edwardsii — POWELL et al. 2016: 445 
Distributiontergeminus: USA (Texas, Oklahoma), Mexico (C Coahuila, S Nuevo León; possibly in Tamaulipas, N Chihuahua); Type locality: "between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains."

edwardsi: USA (W Texas, New Mexico, SE Arizona), N Mexico; Type locality: "Tamaulipas ... S. Bank of Rio Grande ..."  
TypesNeotype: DU 3917 (Drake University), designated by Crother et al. 2012; originally USNM 86472 was proposed as neotype (ICZN Case 3571) (tergeminus)
Lectotype: USNM 509, according to designation by Yarrow (1882:78); selected from syntypes USNM 506 (Sonora), USNM 507 [lost fide USNM catalogue] (Tamaulipas), USNM 508 (Texas [south bank of Rio Grande]), and USNM 509 (Mexico [presumably Tamaulipas]); Minton (1983b:332.2) listed USNM 507 as the "holotype." [edwardsi] 

Subspecies: Kubatko et al. 2011 and later Ryberg et al. 2015 found that S. t. tergeminus and S. t. edwardsii populations were genetically indistinguishable, and thus “most likely represent polytypic phenotypes of S. tergeminus rather than discrete taxonomic entities”. Ryberg et al. did not explicitly synonymize them though.

The type locality of S. catenatus places it within the range of S. c. tergeminus Say, 1823. Thus, the name S. c. catenatus incontrovertibly applies to the form currently recognized as S. c. tergeminus, which in turn renders the latter as a subjective junior synonym of the former, leaving the eastern form with an unfamiliar name (Crotalus messasaugus Kirtland, 1838). To conserve prevailing usage, HOLYCROSS et al. (2008) are preparing an appeal to the International Commission of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) to allow a neotype of Sistrurus catenatus to be designated from the type locality of Crotalus massassaugus (from HOLYCROSS et al. 2008). The ICZN has ruled that tergeminus and catenatus be conserved.

Synonymy: Kubatko et al. 2011 suggested to elevate S. c. catenatus to full species status with another clade formed by edwardsii and tergeminus. However, they do not explicitly propose a name for this clade although tergeminus would have priority.

Illustration: The animal shown in Roggenkamp (2013) is not a Sistrurus catenatus edwardsi but Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus. Juvenile tergeminus have a yellow tail tip. See Niehoff 2013, Terraria Elaphe 2014: (1): 12.

Distribution: Not in Nuevo León fide Nevárez-de los Reyes et al. 2016 (who consider tergeminus as part of catenatus). For maps see Kubatko et al. 2011: 395, Heimes 2016: Map 198; Powell et al. 2016: 334, Ryberg et al. 2015. Not in Sonora fide Lemos-Espinal et al. 2019. 
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