kingsnakes in Phoenix area

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Daniel.Iversen
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kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Daniel.Iversen » October 27th, 2016, 5:22 am

Hello!

I've got a Lampropeltis californiae coming from a pair captured by a guy named Don Shores in "Phoenix area. The guy who bought that pair says its called "yumanensis" (it's a new subspecie?) I'm trying to contact that DonShores but in the meantime I try to ask you guys if you have some environment pictures and maybe some kingsnakes pictures :)

thank you and greetings from Italy!
daniel

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 27th, 2016, 6:11 am

Hi Daniel
Yumensis is actually an old subspecies classification that was dropped decades ago. We used to call it the Yuma Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getulus yumensis. It was named for the region around Yuma, Arizona. For many, it was viewed as an intergrade between the California Kingsnake and the Mexican Black Kingsnake, L. g. nigrita. The color pattern is typically a jet black snake with narrow yellow or cream colored bands. Today, the yumensis morphs are considered to be L. californiae.

Like all Common Kingsnake morphs, the patterns can be highly variable between individuals. Thomas Brennan has a photo of an L. g. californiae from Maricopa County, AZ on his Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona website that is basically representative of what we used to call L. g. yumensis. http://www.reptilesofaz.org/Snakes-Subp ... etula.html

Hope this helps you

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Daniel.Iversen » October 27th, 2016, 6:21 am

Steve Bledsoe wrote:Hi Daniel
Yumensis is actually an old subspecies classification that was dropped decades ago. We used to call it the Yuma Kingsnake, Lampropeltis getulus yumensis. It was named for the region around Yuma, Arizona. For many, it was viewed as an intergrade between the California Kingsnake and the Mexican Black Kingsnake, L. g. nigrita. The color pattern is typically a jet black snake with narrow yellow or cream colored bands. Today, the yumensis morphs are considered to be L. californiae.

Like all Common Kingsnake morphs, the patterns can be highly variable between individuals. Thomas Brennan has a photo of an L. g. californiae from Maricopa County, AZ on his Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona website that is basically representative of what we used to call L. g. yumensis. http://www.reptilesofaz.org/Snakes-Subp ... etula.html

Hope this helps you
Thank you ! Nice pictures!
So, far as I know now it should be Lampropeltis californiae yumensis , because L.californiae it's a specie itself. But the ssp. yumenesis is not accepted anymore as a subspecie. Right ?

I'm searching for some other photos , both about snakes and environmentally, taken specifically from the Phoenix area ! Hope someone who read do have something :)

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 27th, 2016, 6:32 am

No, the yumensis subspecies is no longer recognized. Basically all of the common kingsnakes found west of Tucson and the Phoenix area are now considered to be L. californiae. I guess it may be proper to refer to this particular color morph as a yumensis morph. At least to a lot of older herpers like me, the reference would have some meaning, and offer a visual image to what the animal looks like, and a geographical reference to where it may have come from.

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Daniel.Iversen » October 27th, 2016, 8:21 am

ok, its clear now ! :) Im not interested to know if my snake is pure "yuma form" or not, I just wish to see random kingsnake from Phoenix area (or is thar area very big and with a big variety of kingsnakes forms?). When the man who captured the snakes answers I will give more informations I hope :)

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 27th, 2016, 8:33 am

There are plenty of photos of Cal Kings from the Phoenix / Maricopa County area on the HERP database site.

Go to the L. g. california record page via this link http://www.naherp.com/taxon.php?taxon=1401
Click on "View all records for Lampropeltis getula californiae" at the bottom of the page. This will open up hundreds of records for the species.
View the records shown to be from Maricopa County, AZ

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Jimi » October 27th, 2016, 9:05 am

Thanks for offering Daniel the tutorial, Steve. Curious about the variety there, I did it myself, and looked at a haphazard assortment of photos. (Also feeling a little guilty about an August Maricopa observation of my own that still needs to be uploaded...just a big, very mundane B&W Cal king a friend and I saw AOR by a reservoir north of town).

This one struck me as very unusual-looking: http://www.naherp.com/photo.php?v_id=328485

The degree of yellowness seems crazy - like, fake - to me. Am I wrong in feeling that way?

cheers

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Daniel.Iversen » October 27th, 2016, 9:41 am

thank you every body !! I will reply asap with further information about the area! :)

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 27th, 2016, 11:13 am

Jimi
I don't think it's fake. There may be some color enhancement going on with the camera itself, but some of the snakes from central and SE Arizona have some very bright yellow bands. The area around Tucson is especially interesting in that it's where three of the old getula subspecies intergraded - californiae, nigrita and splendida. As a result, you can find a huge variation of patterns in the kingsnakes from this region. I for one believe that there is at least some splendida influence in the snakes found in Maricopa County, which would explain the high yellow coloring, but then again, I'm no geneticist or professional herpetologist - just an old herper who "sees what he sees" in some of the snakes I find in the field.

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Jimi » October 27th, 2016, 12:52 pm

Cool, thanks Steve. I'm accustomed to lots of yellow - sometimes gorgeous, intense yellow - in many splendida and holbrooki. And a wide range of creams/butters in many non-desert californiae. But screaming yellow in desert californiae is new to me. Perhaps it is as you suggest - there's some significant splendida influence (even though otherwise that animal looks "pure Cal king"). If it hadn't been squashed on the road, perhaps that juvenile would have matured into a less vibrant yellow? Much as juvenile "pure yumensis" (ha ha) have very narrow bright-white bands, which typically fade/dull to a light or even medium grey with maturity?

Thanks for chatting. I'm not a "lampro-dork" by any means, I mainly just view them as bycatch during my viper quests. And I don't spend much time at all cruising low desert in central AZ, so my lampro sample size "up there" is quite limited.

cheers

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 27th, 2016, 1:04 pm

"Lampro dork"?
Is that anything like a "Crote jerk"?
:lol: :lol:

When I was younger, I used to consider a lot of the more common species to be "junk snakes", but these days I find pleasure in finding and observing all of them. Vipers aren't my favorites, but they're always exciting to find, unless it's another helleri. Those things are everywhere in my neck of the woods!

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Jimi » October 28th, 2016, 3:31 pm

"Lampro dork"?
Is that anything like a "Crote jerk"?
:lol: :lol:
Yes, and more than a little bit. Lampro dorks aren't as well hung, their chest (and back, and ...) hair isn't as full and lush, and they don't have all the cool tats and guns like the uber crote jerks. They really need better truck clearance, and maybe a set of those pink dangly bits to hang off their tow hitch. Maybe some exhaust enhancement. But otherwise, yeah, they're pretty similar. Ha ha ha.

Nothing alive is "junk" to me. It's just a matter of what kind I am actively trying to encounter, versus finding as "bycatch". Mostly, I like vipers. Can't choose the thing, it chooses you.

I hear you on helleri. They can be hazardously ubiquitous. The interest fades into mere self-preservation. Although I can appreciate the blacker "montane" ones, and any on the desert slopes are an unexpected treat.

Anyway, that little "Cal" king looked like a mangrove snake, it was so yellow. Like I said, speckled or desert king, sure, I get ya. But a +/- "Cal" king like that? Strikes me as exceptional. But then again I'm not a lampro dork. So, ya know...I could be wrong.

cheers

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Rancorrye » October 29th, 2016, 11:10 am

Jimi wrote:Yes, and more than a little bit. Lampro dorks aren't as well hung, their chest (and back, and ...) hair isn't as full and lush, and they don't have all the cool tats and guns like the uber crote jerks. They really need better truck clearance, and maybe a set of those pink dangly bits to hang off their tow hitch. Maybe some exhaust enhancement. But otherwise, yeah, they're pretty similar. Ha ha ha.
Hahaha! Now that is funny!
Jimi wrote: This one struck me as very unusual-looking: http://www.naherp.com/photo.php?v_id=328485

The degree of yellowness seems crazy - like, fake - to me. Am I wrong in feeling that way?
Wow, that is one amazing cal king. Looks like a mangrove. I've never seen anything like that.

I thought the same thing. There may be a little color enhancement due to the camera or lighting, but otherwise looks legit to me.
Jimi wrote:Also feeling a little guilty about an August Maricopa observation of my own that still needs to be uploaded...just a big, very mundane B&W Cal king a friend and I saw AOR by a reservoir north of town.
Here is the Maricopa Co. king Jimi is referring to

Image

Rye

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 29th, 2016, 2:29 pm

That snake of yours looks pure Cal King, no doubt.


Here's one I found in NE Maricopa County last July. Another typical Cal King looking specimen.
Image

And here's one that a friend of mine found just south of Phoenix and the Maricopa County line near Casa Grande. This snake is very typical of what I think of as L. g. yumensis.
Image

Image

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Steve Bledsoe » October 29th, 2016, 3:32 pm

Jimi and Rye
Since you guys are crote enthusiasts, please take a look at this post. I'd like to get your opinions.
Thanks
Steve

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =4&t=23866

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Re: kingsnakes in Phoenix area

Post by Jimi » October 29th, 2016, 4:52 pm

Oh, don't let me drag Rye down into that "crote enthusiast" classification. He can claim it if he wants, but from what I've seen he's very well-rounded in his herp appreciation. And he takes some real nice photos, some recent of which I've been hoping to see here on the FHF.

So anyway, my opinion on that cerb? Not quite sure what aspect of the phenotype interests you - I take it, the lack of white or yellow? It isn't quite patternless, you can still see the retained juvenile blotches etc under the melanin. Anyway, I like most any cerb, even those coffee-looking buggers from further NE beyond the Mazatzals. The vaunted Arizona Brown. Ha ha. Anyway though, that is an extreme lack of pale colors, but one does encounter such animals in most any cerb population, it seems. I'm not familiar with the one you got into, where most or many of the adults are so color-reduced.

A couple of us carried on a chat about cerbs and day/night color changing with a couple folks in one of Billy Gorum's epic photo shares: http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=23762. You'll see a couple pics and some chatter. It would be interesting to detain one of those animals like the one you depicted, through a day/night/day cycle, to see what you see.

cheers

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