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Drymobius margaritiferus, commonly known as the Speckled Racer, is a species of nonvenomous colubrid snake native to the Americas. The specific name, margariiferus, means "pearl-bearing" in Latin, referring to the pearl-like spots on the dorsal scales.

Geographic rangeEdit

It is found from the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States[1] south to Colombia. As it is the northernmost ranging species of Drymobius, it is sometimes referred to as the Northern Speckled Racer.

Description Edit

The Speckled Racer is typically black in color with distinctive yellow and blue spotting, one light-colored spot on each scale,[2] which gives the snake an overall greenish hue. The labials are yellow, with black sutures.[3] The underside is typically yellow to green. They average 30-40 in. (76-102 cm)in length, record 50 in. (127 cm).[4]

Behavior Edit

Speckled Racers are fast moving, nervous snakes which do not often hesitate to bite if handled. They are typically found in densely vegetated habitats near permanent water sources. They will consume a wide variety of prey, but primarily feed on frogs and toads. They are oviparous, laying up to 8 eggs at any time in the spring or summer months. The eggs incubate for approximately two months before hatching. Hatchlings are approximately Template:Convert in length and reach maturity in 2-3 years.

Subspecies Edit

There are four recognized subspecies of D. margaritiferus:

  • Drymobius margaritiferus margaritiferus (Schlegel, 1837)
  • Drymobius margaritiferus fistulosus (Smith, 1942)
  • Drymobius margaritiferus occidentalis (Bocourt, 1890)
  • Drymobius margaritiferus maydis (Villa, 1968)

Conservation status Edit

The Speckled Racer is considered to be a threatened species in the US state of Texas.[5]

References Edit

Template:Commonscat Template:Wikispecies

  1. Drymobius margaritiferus. Herps of Texas. University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on 2010-04-27.
  2. Schmidt, K.P. and D.D. Davis. 1941. Field Book of Snakes of the United States and Canada. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York.
  3. Boulenger, G.A. 1894. Catalogue of the Snakes in the British Museum (Natural History) Vol. II. London.
  4. Conant, Roger. 1975. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Houghton Mifflin. Boston.
  5. Speckled Racer (Drymobius margaritiferus). Wildlife Fact Sheets. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved on 2010-04-27.

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