Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana

Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by ThatFrogGuy »

Just curious, is there any advantage to a Blue Striped Thamnophis in the Northwest F. Peninsula vs a non striped one? The fact that two species evolved these stripes intrigues me.

Posts: 258
Joined: April 23rd, 2011, 6:49 pm

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by Reptiluvr »

Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't think anyone has studied this particular question yet, or at least found an answer. In fact in 2008 it was recommended in my herpetology class that someone could probably get a Ph.D. project out of that question. As far as I know there's no increase in blue vegetation or blue prey items that might explain this odd occurrence. Again someone can correct me if I'm wrong.

User avatar
Posts: 689
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by JakeScott »

Not a lot of study, not a lot of true interest....but a lot scepticism on the validity of this subspecies. I've personally seen this animal numerous times, as well as ones from the same area that I would say more resembles easterns. Most of the Florida easterns are also blueish, so even though they are not considered a subspecies, why are they this color? I guess you could ask this question for a lot of snake species and subspecies. I believe it's an interesting one though.


User avatar
Don Becker
Posts: 3331
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:21 am
Location: Iowa

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by Don Becker »

Jake, I don't think the question is about why one single species is blue, but rather, why is it that T. sirtalis and T. sauritus are both blue in that area. The simple answer is just to say convergence and leave it at that, but what is it about that region that caused two separate species to develop blue coloring?

User avatar
Posts: 2292
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 3:28 pm

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by gbin »

I think some degree of convergence (or maybe a bit of hybridization at some point?) is a likely hypothesis for the blue-stripe garter and ribbon snakes of FL's Gulf Hammock, but it seems clear that plain and simple biogeography is also a contributing factor. A few other herps (e.g. the Gulf Hammock ratsnake) reside only there as well, after all. (It sometimes seemed to me that the scarlet kings there looked somewhat different than elsewhere, too, but there's so much variability in scarlet kings even at a single locale that I couldn't be very sure of that.)


Posts: 8025
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 7:12 am
Location: Hesperia, California.

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by hellihooks »

User avatar
Posts: 2336
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Location: Unicoi, TN

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by BillMcGighan »

When looking at the BS Ribbon, BS Garter, Gulf Hammock Rat Variant, Appalachicola King, "Suwannee Kings", etc. area, think glaciers.
It's not so long ago that low country (like much of the coastal plain) was a virtual mix-master of salt water innundation and dry!

In fact, those folks in Gainsville may want to set up beach umbrella and boogie board rentals in the future! :) :)

will lattea
Posts: 160
Joined: August 30th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: East Coast

Re: Blue Striped Thamnophis Question

Post by will lattea »

I've been told that those in the deepest, darkest swamps (basic pH, no pines) have the most blue. I have no experience though.

Post Reply