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Article
Published: 2021-12-17

Additional comments on the types and nomina of several North American ratsnakes (Pantherophis obsoletus complex, Colubridae, Serpentes)

Department of Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, 2023 G St. NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA; Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA
Department of Herpetology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th Street, New York, NY 10024-5192, USA
Coluber Pantherophis Scotophis Baird & Girard Cope Daudin Holbrook ratsnakes nomenclature

Abstract

Here, we provide updates to our recent paper reviewing the taxonomy and nomenclature of the Eastern ratsnakes (Pantherophis obsoletus complex, Colubridae, Serpentes). Specifically, we clarify that Coluber alleghaniensis Holbrook, 1836 is a subjective, rather than objective, senior synonym of Elaphis holbrookii Duméril, Bibron & Duméril, 1854. Contrary to our statement that USNM 1733–4 were syntypes of Scotophis lindheimerii Baird & Girard, 1853, the former is the holotype and the latter is the paratype. The holotype is lost and the paratype is in poor condition, but no neotype designation is warranted at present. We note that USNM 248870, which we designated as the lectotype of Coluber obsoletus lemniscatus Cope, 1888, was originally cataloged as USNM 4710. This catalog number was shared with the type of the salamander Amblystoma tenebrosum Baird & Girard, 1852, and the snake was re-cataloged as USNM 248870 in 1985. Finally, we originally treated C. reticulatus La Cépède, 1789 and C. reticularis Daudin, 1803 as senior subjective synonyms of C. corais Boie, 1827, but here corroborate recent authors in designating it a senior subjective synonym of C. obsoletus Say in James, 1823. As the Commission suppressed C. reticulatus La Cépède, 1789 (an exoplonym), this subsequently rendered C. reticularis Daudin, 1803 (an exoploneonym) unavailable as well.

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