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Southwestern Center for Herpetological Research
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RE: Rosy Record

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Fri Jan 6 12:26:35 2006  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

There seems to be no standardized method for taking length measurements on snakes. Consequently, lengths reported for this or that species by different individuals are not always comparable.

For the smaller species that reach maximum lengths of about 5 feet and under, I use what I call the stretched length method. I have found that this method produces the most reliable results when one wishes to record growth information on specimens that are recaptured over time. The method is similar to what many individuals do when they measure a dead specimen, that is, stretched it out to obtain the snake's maximum length.

At any rate, in the early 1880's, for my classroom students I purchased a female Rosy Boa from a local pet shop that measured slightly over 42 inches total stretched length. I recall looking up the maximum length listed in the 1966 edition of the Western Field Guide by Robert Stebbins that then listed the maximum length for the species at 42 inches. The 1985 and current 2003 field guide editions by Stebbins list 44 inches as the maximum length for the Rosy Boa.

Richard F. Hoyer


   

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