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RE: weighing in on whipsnake taxonomy

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Posted by: Royreptile at Thu Jun 5 18:43:07 2008  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Royreptile ]  
   

I'm not sure exactly what you are suggesting, but it seems that you're implying that pink Western coachwhips are a seperate subspecies than standard brown Western coachwhips - which is not correct. I believe that the subspecies of Masticophis flagellum are broken apart due to range, and surely other deciding factors. Coachwhips found in East Texas and across the Eastern United States are the Eastern coachwhip; not a seperate species from the Western coachwhip, but indeed a seperate subspecies, Masticophis flagellum flagellum. Specimens from West Texas, no matter the color, are Western coachwhips (Masticophis flagellum testaceus). In Arizona, several subspecies are found; the Red coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum piceus), the Sonoran coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum cingulum), and the Lined coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum lineatulus). All three of these subspecies produce intergrades in Southeastern Arizona. However, I am not entirely aware of intergrades between M.f.flagellum and M.f.testaceus in Texas, but I am not surprised if they do intergrade. If they don't, it is possible that the Eastern coachwhip and Western coachwhip are actually completely seperate species, which would cause a revision in Masticophis (or Coluber), it seems now) once again.
That's my understanding of the genus. I would be obliged to see other opinions, as well.
-----
Roy Blodgett
Green Man Herpetoculture
royreptile@yahoo.com

1.1 Drymarchon corais
2.2 Pseustes sulphureus
1.1 Pseustes poecilonotus poecilonotus
1.1 Lystrophis pulcher
1.1 Lampropeltis getula californiae (desert phase)
1.1 Boiga dendrophila dendrophila
2.3 Pogona vitticeps (snow and red/gold)
1.0 Iguana iguana

“All men lie enveloped in whale-lines. All are born with halters round their necks; but it is only when caught in the swift, sudden turn of death, that mortals realize the silent, subtle, ever-present perils of life.”- Herman Melville


   

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