What's the biggest snake that looks like the coral snake? - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:02 PM   #1
Reptile88
What's the biggest snake that looks like the coral snake?

I'm thinking it's one of the milksnakes. What specific one is it though?
 
Old 06-19-2021, 04:29 PM   #2
Socratic Monologue
The non-melanistic locales of L. micropholis, or the 'Honduran' line of L. abnorma, are the largest of the tricolor Lampropeltis.
 
Old 06-19-2021, 04:37 PM   #3
Reptile88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
The non-melanistic locales of L. micropholis, or the 'Honduran' line of L. abnorma, are the largest of the tricolor Lampropeltis.
Is there any way to narrow it down to a specific one, or is it too close to call?
 
Old 06-19-2021, 05:31 PM   #4
Socratic Monologue
Well, a person could try to find if there are any record lengths documented. Since any individual snake is going to grow to +/- 20% of average, does a couple inches matter?
 
Old 06-19-2021, 07:58 PM   #5
WebSlave
I believe that the Andean milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum andesiana) can get in excess of 6 ft. long. The black milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum gaigeae) is probably the largest of the milk snakes, maybe as much as 7 ft. long, but it won't usually retain the brighter coloration of the youngsters, and likely not what you are looking for.
 
Old 06-19-2021, 08:19 PM   #6
Socratic Monologue
Just FYI, both L.t. andesiana and L. t. gaigeae are lumped into L. micropholis now.

https://reptile-database.reptarium.c...eltis%27%29%29
 
Old 06-19-2021, 09:05 PM   #7
WebSlave
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
Just FYI, both L.t. andesiana and L. t. gaigeae are lumped into L. micropholis now.

https://reptile-database.reptarium.c...eltis%27%29%29
That will likely change sooner or later. Seems to me that a while back all the neotropical milk snakes were grouped under Lampropeltis polyzona.

Used to be that the incentive to use the Latin names was because using common names was too confusing.

When I lived in Maryland a LONG time ago, I knew a guy who was hell bent to try to determine a new subspecies of the timber rattlesnake and was literally splitting scales in that pursuit. Not sure if he was ever successful, but he sure was trying hard. Ah, Herb Harris was his name. Took a while to bring that memory up to the surface. I met him at the Maryland Herpetological Society. He took me on probably my first official snake hunt that wasn't my mom driving me there. Yeah it was a LONG time ago. Anyway, we went to western Maryland looking for timber rattlesnakes, of all things. I remember there was a bunch of us in that outing, and we all spread out in a clearing in a small valley after parking the cars. In the center of this clearing in full sunlight was a moderately sized piece of tin. Everyone knew that there couldn't possibly be anything underneath it, so they all just walked right past it. Except me. What did I know? I flipped it over and yelled out "TIMBER!!" when I saw that gorgeous animal underneath. Man, did everyone come running then!

Anyway sorry about going off on a tangent. Odd things will trigger memories for me.

But anyway, I will still stick with the subspecies naming because it does seem useful to help identify what a person is talking about. People are changing the Latin names way too often for me, and to be perfectly honest, I just think people are trying too hard to shove an analog world into a digital filing system.
 
Old 06-19-2021, 09:42 PM   #8
Socratic Monologue
I did specify "the non-melanistic locales of L. micropholis", which means L.t.micropholis (Ecuadorian) and L.t.andesiana (Andean), but that's admittedly a funny way to have to put things.

I agree that subspecies are really useful for hobby purposes. I kind of miss the old taxonomy of rosy boas, too, for the same reason. All the more motivation to keep locales pure -- so we know what animal we're talking about.

I like the 'analogue world' comment. Back in my academic days, I thought a fair amount about the idea of 'carving nature at its joints' and whether that is at all possible (I'm pretty sure it is not). The idea first comes up in Plato's Phaedrus (I had to look this up just now, but I shouldn't be surprised he had Socrates say it first), and it turns out the issue is still with us.
 

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