Curious suboc record

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Tom Lott
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Curious suboc record

Post by Tom Lott » April 5th, 2013, 9:17 am

Although I had heard rumors about this for some time, I am curious about the first appearance of a Maverick County, Texas record for Bogertophis subocularis in the latest edition of Jim Dixon's Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas (2013). For those unfamiliar with the locality, Maverick County (Eagle Pass) lies below the Balcones Escarpment and generally resembles other south Texas "brush country" habitats rather than the well-known rocky Trans-Pecos and western Balconian environments one usually associates with B. subocularis.

The HerpNet database indicates that the specimen was collected in 1990 and its catalog number (TCWC 84545) implies that it was added to the Texas A&M collection near the same time. This record is also not reflected in the much more conservative locality dot maps of Werler and Dixon (2000). Perhaps, given the locality and unlikely habitat prevalent in the area, if it was a DOR, it was regarded as a prank that Grayband hunters are known to play on each other. If that was the case, however, one must wonder why it is now, 23 years later, deemed legitimate.

Not wanting to bother Toby Hibbitts or Dixon with my idle curiosity, I was wondering if anyone frequenting this board knows the story behind this record ( the collector's name isn't provided on the HerpNet entry).

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Jeff
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Re: Curious suboc record

Post by Jeff » April 5th, 2013, 12:25 pm

Not an answer to your question, but perhaps a parallel case --

The one California record of Bogertophis rosaliae was on an interstate that connects with the border crossing at Mexicali. Though in potential habitat, there is speculation that it dropped out of a vehicle in which it was being smuggled.

Jeff

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Curious suboc record

Post by chris_mcmartin » April 5th, 2013, 1:03 pm

Jeff wrote: that it dropped out of a vehicle in which it was being smuggled.
He didn't fall; he was PUSHED! :P

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Jeff
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Re: Curious suboc record

Post by Jeff » April 5th, 2013, 6:18 pm

Sorry, just one more....

An entomologist acquaintance was doing work in the Santa Ritas, and, returning to his car, startled a green rat snake that went under the vehicle and up into the undercarriage. He got what he needed and headed back up the canyon. Hours later, while driving the Interstate back to Tucson, the rat snake popped its head and neck up against the windshield from under the hood, didn't like having its head buffeted against the glass, and withdrew back under the hood. There was another potential record for a strange rat snake locality.

Jeff

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