By John E. Werler
From the mythical, fear-inspiring Western Diamondback rattlesnake to the tiny, innocuous Plains blind snake, Texas has a greater variety of snake species than the other nation within the nation. spotting the public's desire for a whole advisor to selecting and knowing Texas' snakes, of the state's most precious herpetologists have joined forces to create this definitive connection with all 109 species and sub-species of Texas snakes.
Well-written species money owed describe every one snake's visual appeal, lookalikes, measurement, habitat, habit, feeding, and copy. The authors additionally comprise colour photographs and finely targeted line drawings to assist box identity, besides actual diversity maps, a record of Texas snakes, a key to the species, and a quick dialogue of type and taxonomy. The authors around out this quantity with essays on snake myths and incorrect information, snakebite and its prevention, conservation, Texas biotic provinces, and a quick background of Texas herpetology.
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Extra resources for Texas snakes : identification, distribution, and natural history
Nose scale (rostral) turned up 47 Nose scale (rostral) normal, not turned up 48 47. Prefrontal scales separated by small scales; nose scale turned up sharply and keeled; underside of tail not paler than belly; belly and undertail usually black, marked with yellow areas,- dorsum with five rows of brown blotches, a larger middle row and two smaller rows per side; length about 22 inches, maximum about 39 inches Western hog-nosed snake (plains, dusty, Mexican), Heterodon nasicus Prefrontal scales contact one another, 33 underside of tail paler than belly; belly often mottled with gray or greenish on yellow-gray or rose,- dorsum normally with transverse brown to black blotches in a single or double row, background color sometimes reddish; occasionally the dorsum appears uniform black or gray; length about 25 inches, maximum length about 45 inches Eastern hog-nosed snake, Heterodon platirhinos 48.
Subspecies can therefore be defined as geographically distinct populations of a species that are still recognizable at the species level but differ in certain characteristics from other races within the same species. Unlike species hybrids, however, they freely interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The area where two subspecies meet and intermingle reproductively, known as a zone of intergradation, can be as narrow as a few miles or as broad as a couple of hundred miles. Because there are inadequate specimen samples from many such areas, the zones are not always well defined.
Besides color and pattern, other characteristics that may help to make a positive identi- SNAKE CLASSIFICATION AND IDENTIFICATION fication include the size and shape of the snake's head, as well as its markings, if any,unusual features of the snout, such as an upturned or enlarged rostral scale,- the presence or absence of a facial pit on either side of the head, in addition to a nostril opening; and whether the eyes have round or elliptical pupils. Another clue is the shape of the snake's body, whether slender, of moderate girth, or heavy-bodied.