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Elaphe gloydi

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The Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe gloydi) is a species of Fox Snake.

SpeciationEdit

The Eastern Fox Snake (Elaphe gloydi) is a North American Rat Snake. It was recently split from its phylogenetically similar cousin the Western Fox Snake (Elaphe vulpina), of which it had been considered a subspecies, and now has full species recognition.

StatusEdit

The Eastern Fox Snake is a denizen of the freshwater marshes found along Lake Erie and Lake Huron. They are found in Michigan, Ohio, and Ontario with historical populations also occurring in New York (extirpated). The Eastern Fox Snake is considered threatened over most of its range due to habitat loss and collection for the pet trade. In Ohio the Easten Fox Snake is listed as a "Species of Concern" by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.[1] In Michigan it is listed as a "Threatened Species" by the DNR and is protected by state law.[2] In Ontario the species is listed as "Threatened Provincially and Nationally".[3]

BehaviorEdit

Powerful constrictors, Eastern Fox Snakes will consume a variety of small mammals and birds. It has been hypothesized that they will also consume amphibians, but this has not been well documented.

TaxonomyEdit

Utiger et al. (2002) argued that North American Rat Snakes of the genus Elaphe are a monophyletic group and thus separate from Old World members of the genus. They therefore resurrected the available name Pantherophis Fitzinger for all North American taxa (north of Mexico).[4]

However, much controversy over the taxonomic suggestion surfaced and the International Committee for Zoological Nomenclature has not supported the change. In 2003, Crother et al. rejected the taxonomic change to Pantherophis, preferring to retain the current concept of Elaphe.[5]

External linksEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/tabid/6607/Default.aspx
  2. http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12201-61210--,00.html
  3. http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&id=146
  4. Elaphe obsoleta at The Center for North American Herpetology. Accessed 20 June 2008.
  5. Crother BI, Boundy J, Campbell JA, De Quieroz K, Frost D, Green DM, Highton R, Iverson JB, McDiarmid RW, Meylan PA, Reeder TW, Seidel ME, Sites Jr JW, Tilley SG, Wake DB. 2003. Scientific and Standard English Names of Amphibians and Reptiles of North America North of Mexico: Update. Herp. Rev. 34: 196-203. PDF at Southeastern Louisiana University. Accessed 11 December 2010.
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