What is this?

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ErikNM
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What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 28th, 2011, 12:25 pm

Image

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herpseeker1978
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Re: What is this?

Post by herpseeker1978 » August 28th, 2011, 12:48 pm

I would guess Wandering Garter Snake Thamnophis elegans vagrans but it looks kind of like a blackneck cyrtopsis as well, but the stripes aren't that distinct.

Josh

NickD
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Re: What is this?

Post by NickD » August 28th, 2011, 1:39 pm

Looks a little odd. Maybe a color mutation, like a T+ albino blackneck.
Cool find.

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jdustin
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Re: What is this?

Post by jdustin » August 28th, 2011, 2:01 pm

Nice. I'd love to see a close up of it's face.

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Natalie McNear
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Re: What is this?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 28th, 2011, 2:42 pm

It's a hypomelanistic Thamnophis cyrtopsis.

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MHollanders
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Re: What is this?

Post by MHollanders » August 28th, 2011, 2:44 pm

Looks like a hypomelanistic cyrtopsis or something?

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reptilist
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Re: What is this?

Post by reptilist » August 28th, 2011, 3:09 pm

Over exposed cyrtopsis!
They are a very pretty snake... Gray head, black neck blotches, white stripes and all that....

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Ross Padilla
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Re: What is this?

Post by Ross Padilla » August 28th, 2011, 3:24 pm

I think Erik chose this crummy photo for a reason. ;) Lets see a closer shot of the head and eyes. Looks like a red phase black necked garter.

ErikNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 28th, 2011, 4:27 pm

close up of the head:

Image

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jdustin
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Re: What is this?

Post by jdustin » August 28th, 2011, 4:31 pm

WOW.
ok, out with it. That thing is captive bred, right?

shaky
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Re: What is this?

Post by shaky » August 28th, 2011, 4:36 pm

Seriously? What is it?
Dude, that's a snake!

ErikNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 28th, 2011, 4:44 pm

It's an adult snake and found in the wild. I just wanted to get people's opinions on what it is without giving out info that might persuade their thinking.

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froghaven
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Re: What is this?

Post by froghaven » August 28th, 2011, 5:22 pm

Beautiful!

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monklet
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Re: What is this?

Post by monklet » August 28th, 2011, 5:24 pm

You kept it right? :shock:

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Ross Padilla
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Re: What is this?

Post by Ross Padilla » August 28th, 2011, 5:34 pm

I really don't know these snakes. I've never even seen one in person. I've never seen one with orange where the orange is on this snakes ground color, that's strange to me. I did a google search and didn't see any with orange there other than on the stripe. OK at the least its a T positive albino/hypo. Or even a crazier guess a hypererythristic T positive albino. :shock:

It looks like its missing some kind of color pigment, but I don't know what.

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ChrisNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ChrisNM » August 28th, 2011, 8:27 pm

Alex, I'll take T+ albino Cyrtopsis for $1000 please.

Josh...the nuchal collar (black neck blotches) is a distinguishing mark of cyrtopsis, as is what's left of the blue-gray/steel blue head. Cyrtposis usually has 7 upper labials, but this snake has 8. I also count 10 scale rows from 1st scale above ventral to dorsal center scale, which would infer 9 more scales to other side = 19 scale rows. Elegans has 21 scale rows and 8 upper labials, with no distinct black blotches behind head.

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rosy-man
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Re: What is this?

Post by rosy-man » August 29th, 2011, 5:08 am

thats a kool find

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Cole Grover
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Re: What is this?

Post by Cole Grover » August 29th, 2011, 6:28 am

Erik,

Dell called when he got home last night... and didn't tell me about THAT animal! WTF?! Very cool. I hear the trip was not only awesome, but friggin' fantastic! So jealous...

-cole

ErikNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 29th, 2011, 3:41 pm

Cole Grover wrote:Erik,

Dell called when he got home last night... and didn't tell me about THAT animal! WTF?! Very cool. I hear the trip was not only awesome, but friggin' fantastic! So jealous...

-cole
He was right there with me when we found it! Haha

Brian Eagar
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Re: What is this?

Post by Brian Eagar » August 29th, 2011, 4:21 pm

Cyrtopsis X Sirtalis hybrid?
Are there New Mexico garters in the area it was found?
Did you count scale rows?

The blotches look like elegans.
I'll have to examine it more closely when I get home.

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Jeremiah_Easter
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Re: What is this?

Post by Jeremiah_Easter » August 30th, 2011, 12:53 pm

T+ cyrtopsis. Neat find, although I think some of the normal cyrtopsis look better ;)

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-EJ
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Re: What is this?

Post by -EJ » August 30th, 2011, 1:02 pm

I have to ask if it was left in the wild?

oh... that's a fn amazing looking animal.
ErikNM wrote:It's an adult snake and found in the wild. I just wanted to get people's opinions on what it is without giving out info that might persuade their thinking.

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Cole Grover
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Re: What is this?

Post by Cole Grover » August 30th, 2011, 1:17 pm

Erik,

I figured he was. Was it in an Agave? I'll have to get out the Thamnophis reference, but there are a number of endemic, highland species in that area. Of course, cyrtopsis is a common one and ranges south throughout Meso-America. Regardless of which species it is, that thing's an amelanistic, looking like what it commonly assumed to be Tyrosinase Positive.

-Cole

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Daryl Eby
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Re: What is this?

Post by Daryl Eby » August 30th, 2011, 1:19 pm

Jeremiah_Easter wrote:T+ cyrtopsis. Neat find, although I think some of the normal cyrtopsis look better ;)
Agreed. Hard to improve on a creature as naturally attractive as cyrtopsis. However, the uniqueness more than makes up for the diminished (IMO) attractiveness.

ErikNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 30th, 2011, 2:19 pm

It was found in Alamos, Mexico. Wild caught. Definitely a cyrtopsis...not sure on the subspecies because it doesn't look like either one from the states. A smaller normal colored individual was found and it had checkering all down it's body. The snake was let go.

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Natalie McNear
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Re: What is this?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 30th, 2011, 4:10 pm

Cole Grover wrote:Erik,

I figured he was. Was it in an Agave? I'll have to get out the Thamnophis reference, but there are a number of endemic, highland species in that area. Of course, cyrtopsis is a common one and ranges south throughout Meso-America. Regardless of which species it is, that thing's an amelanistic, looking like what it commonly assumed to be Tyrosinase Positive.

-Cole
Er, a snake with black pigment, by definition, cannot be amelanistic. :? The snake in the original post is hypomelanistic, since it has reduced (but not absent) melanin. It is indeed tyrosinase-positive since tyrosinase is required for melanin production, but because that is the default condition, it would be redundant to say "tyrosinase-positive hypomelanism". True amelanism will look identical no matter which enzyme got messed up in the process.

ErikNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ErikNM » August 30th, 2011, 5:52 pm

Natalie, T + albino is a term that designates that the snake is albino, but the mechanism for the albinism is NOT lack of tyrosinase. It could be any other enzyme along the pathway, just not tyrosinase. I think T+ albino is a pretty widely accepted term by herpetoculturists and perhaps you are just trying to argue semantics...if not, then disregard.

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Natalie McNear
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Re: What is this?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 30th, 2011, 6:02 pm

Haha, yes, that's what I was saying. My post was probably a bit hard to follow. I was basically just trying to say that in true amelanistic snakes, whether they are tyrosinase positive or negative (either can be present in amelanism), the end result is amelanism and they will look identical. There is a current trend among some snake breeders to label any hypomelanistic snake as "T+ albino/amelanistic", which doesn't really make any sense since a T- amelanistic would look exactly the same as a true T+ amelanistic and there's no way to tell which it is unless you run laboratory tests for the presence or absence of tyrosinase. Perhaps I just made it even more confusing...

EDIT: In summation, the snake you posted a photo of cannot be a T+ amelanistic because it has melanin. That's all I was trying to get across.

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ChrisNM
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Re: What is this?

Post by ChrisNM » August 30th, 2011, 6:21 pm

false natalie.

The metabolic process is defective. Medically it is a form of albinism.

Siamese cats are a type of albinism known as temperature dependent albinism. Minute amounts of melanin form over time due to cooler temps triggering the production of tyrosinase.

What is traditionally known as T+ albinism has actually been reclassified into different forms of occular albinisms.

A true Tyrosinase positive animal would look exactly as the animal photographed by Erik, where traditional melanin is replaced by purplish-tan hues. A true Tyrosinase negative albino would not, and as such would have white or pink "coloration" where blacks or browns would be within an normally pigmented animal.

Further reading and info can be found at albinism.org.

If you want to read about an actual scientifically documented case of it [tyrosinase positive albinism] within reptiles, I suggest looking up a study done by Tony Gamble, et al on the 3 forms of T+ albino leopard geckos. It can be found in PDF format at www.gekkota.com

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Natalie McNear
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Re: What is this?

Post by Natalie McNear » August 30th, 2011, 6:37 pm

Well it seems like everyone has a different definition of what "albinism" means. If it's just the defective metabolic process that makes something albino as you suggest, and it's not just synonymous with "amelanistic" as others contended on here a while ago in another thread, than any hypomelanistic animal could be called "albino". It's my understanding that the metabolic path to melanin consists of various enzymes, colorless intermediates, and the final colored product (melanin). If the snake is producing dark pigment (melanin), however much, it cannot be considered amelanistic - that's all I'm saying. Sorry Erik, I didn't mean to cause a thread derailment.

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Cole Grover
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Re: What is this?

Post by Cole Grover » August 31st, 2011, 7:48 am

Natalie,

I used the word "amelanistic" when I should have used "albino". That's what I get for being in a hurry. Sorry for the mis-statement and confusion.

Tyrosinase-positive albinism, like Chris said, leaves a purplish/tanish hue where black pigment would normally be. This is because although tyrosinase is present to convert tyrosine to L-DOPA (and presumably the other steps also work), the pigment transportation and/or deposition process is defective. Hypomelanism is a fairly nebulous term, and indeed, many hobby animals called "hypomelanistic" are tyrosinase-positive albinos. With so many steps and biochemicals involved in the process of pigmentation, there are PLENTY of places where things can go wrong. Sometimes more than one defect can produce a similar effect. Hypomelanistic simply implys that there is less melanin than would be "normal". That gekkota site Chris posted the link to is aweome.

On a separate note, have you taken much biochem or cell bio/genetics, yet? I seriously think you'll dig it.

-Cole

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azatrox
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Re: What is this?

Post by azatrox » August 31st, 2011, 9:19 am

That sure was a whacky lookin' animal, huh Erik? I'm not big into Thamnophis, but even I had to admit that that animal was a looker in person....

To me, perhaps the most impressive thing was that that animal lived to adulthood and was VERY healthy...One would expect most albino mutations to die at a relatively early age.

Can we go again? ;)

-Kris

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