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RE: is this like the most southern range for rubber boas?....

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Tue Nov 23 12:38:59 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  

Although I am skeptical about certain claims, I have learned not to altogether discount imformation that does not conform to current knowledge. However, Eric's input is pretty much on the mark.

The Southern Rubber Boa is known to exist in the San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mts. but has never been documented further south. Its known distribution in the San Jacinto Mts. has never been established as there are very few locality records and it seems that no governmental agency nor herpetologist has ever
attemped to determine the extent of the range in that region as has been the case in the San Bernardino Mts.

Even in the San Bernardino Mts., the documented distribution of the SRB has continued to increase over time with additional locality discoveries from time to time.

Even though the species has not been documented south of the greater Idyllwild area in the San Jacinto Mts., I would not discount that the species may exist in small isolated peaks further south.

I checked my De Lorme atlas software to check elevations in that region and see if I could find the Fish Creek to which you referred but could not find it without more precise informatio. As Eric mentioned, the species is usually found at higher elevations. Thus far, it is known from about 5600 -5800 ft. and above in the San Bernardino Mts. However, I suspect it occurs at lower elevations on north facing slopes at the west end of those mts. where searches have not been undertaken as sutable habitat occurs in the area of Lake Gregory and Cedarpines Park.

In the San Jacinto Mts., the SRB has been documented in the
Idyllwild area with that community being at about 5200 ft. One sighting is known at the outskirts of the west end of that community at somewhat lower elevation and here again, in the shaded, forested drainages to the west and northwest, I suspect the species may exist a bit lower than 5000 ft.

I see from my De Lorme atlas that Santa Rosa Mt. and Toro Peak just south of Idyllwild are above 8000 ft. If they have the same habitat type that occurs in the San Jacinto Mts., there is every reason to believe the species would occur in that nearby area. Further south, I noted that about 6-7 mile northeast of Warner Springs on highway #79 (and northwest of Borrego Springs) there is a ridge with a number of peaks above 6000 ft. to about 6300 ft. If those peaks have a good amount of pine (perhaps some fir) forests at the upper elevations, then there may be some chance the species occurs there as well. But if the habitat or elevation is not suitable, then the chances diminish with respect to the species occuring in any particular region.

But I should add that the species does occur in some very dry type habitats such as east of Big Bear Lake in dry juniper, pinion pine, sagebrush / grass type habitat. Same can be said for where the species occurs in the Scodie Mts. east of Lake Isabella and on the southern Kern Plateau in the vicinity of Kennedy Meadows. In those regions and elsewhere, the there is even cactus growning but both regions are around 6000 ft.

Last, ask your father what was the color of the snakes ventral surface. I am not familiar with the Rosy Boa but is it my impression that the species does not possess a yellow ventral surface and often Rosy boas will have some dark flecking on the ventrals or at least on the lower 1 to 3 scale rows above the ventral scutes. The Rubber Boas in all of S. Calif. are tan above (rarely darker brown) and have an immaculate, light yellow vertral surface with no dark flecking on the ventral or first 1 - 3 scale rows.

Richard F. Hoyer


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