Lampropeltis getula meansi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Apalachicola Kingsnake
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Colubridae
Genus: Lampropeltis
Species: L. getula
Subspecies: L. g. meansi
Trinomial name
Lampropeltis getula meansi
Krysko & Judd, 2006

The Apalachicola Kingsnake (also known as the Apalachicola Lowlands Kingsnake) is a non-venomous species of kingsnake found in a small area of the Florida panhandle known as the Apalachicola Lowlands. Long argued as to whether or not it is a sub-species, the Apalachicola Kingsnake was formerly named Lampropeltis getula goini. After years of research and many more specimens examined, in 2006 it was renamed to Lampropeltis getula meansi after D. Bruce Means, in recognition of his work on this species.

Description[edit]

Adults can range from 30 to 56.1 inches. They are characterized by variable coloration patterns with an overall light dorsal coloration and wide or thin banding patterns. However, some striped and patternless specimens have also been identified. The ventral pattern is also variable; some with bicolored, loose checkerboard, or predominantly dark scales. They possess smooth scales and have 21 dorsal scale rows at mid-body.

Geographic range[edit]

The Eastern Apalachicola Lowlands kingsnake is endemic to Florida, and is only found in the panhandle between the Apalachicola and Ochlokonee rivers and South of Telogia creek. Morphological intermediates are found on both northern and southern ends of the range. These intermediates represent interbreeding between the Apalachicola kingsnake (L.g.meansi) and the Eastern kingsnake (L.g.getula).[1]

Habitat[edit]

Suitable habitat varies, however their range is quite small. The Apalachicola kingsnake's habitat includes pinelands, hardwood hammocks, cypress strands, prairies, marshes, and estuaries.

Diet[edit]

Their diet includes snakes, even venomous ones such as the rattlesnake, lizards, amphibians, rodents, birds, and turtle and bird eggs.

Reproduction[edit]

As like other kingsnakes, they are oviparous, or egg laying. Breeding takes place in March, April and May, and after a month approximately 3 to 30 eggs are laid. The eggs hatch in late summer, 65 to 70 days after they have been laid. The hatchlings have an enormous appetite and grow quickly.

References[edit]