Lampropeltis pyromelana

The Sonoran mountain kingsnake displays a good deal of variability, much more so than the original taxonomists had believed. In the time since the original classifications, many more specimens of pyromelana have been produced. Additionally a new population of pyromelana has surfaced. The new availability of locality specimens has brought into question the validity of the original classifications; some of the defining characteristcs used to classify these snakes have proven ambiguous. In an effort to better understand subspecific relationships, the author has begun an investigation of Lampropeltis pyromelana. For now, the standing classifications have been presented.

Lampropeltis p. infralabialis (Tanner)

Type Locality: Beaver Canyon, Beaver County, Utah.
Holotype: Brigham Young University, 10340.
Collector Leichty, R. 1950.

Description: 42-57 white annuli to tail, 9-12 on tail, white annuli complete ventrally; almost invariably 9 infralabials

Lampropreltis p. knoblochi (Taylor)

Type Locality: Mojarachic, Chihuahua, Mexico.
Holotype: Field Museum of Natural History, 100013.
Collector Knobloch, Irving. 1939.

Description: 63-85 white transverse bars to tail, terminating into irregular lateral white stripe on 3rd-5th scale rows

Lampropeltis p. pyromelana (Cope)

Type Locality: Fort Whipple, Yavapai County, Arizona.
Syntype: United States Nat. Mus., 7845.
Collector Palmer, E. 1864.

Description: 42-61 white annuli to tail, 9-15 on tail, ventrum mottled black with white encroachments; many red triads split with black dorsally

Lampropeltis p. woodini (Tanner)

Type Locality: Carr Canyon, Cochise County, Arizona.
Holotype: Univ. Michigan Mus. Zool., 696533.
Collector Gloyd, H. K. 1930.

Description: 37-43 white annuli to tail, 9-11 on tail, ventrum black with white encroachments; less tendency for red triad to be split with black dorsally

More to come...

Photo by Matthew J. Ingrasci; Lampropeltis pyromelana woodini

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