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Colorful underside of Ring-Necked Snake

Colorful underside of Ring-Necked Snake
Sycamore Canyon, Santa Cruz County, Arizona, USA
July 27, 2013
See first image in series for info here.

Images of this individual: tag all
Alice Abela with Ring-Necked Snake Alice Abela holding ring-necked snake Bryce's find: Ring-necked snake on rock Colorful underside of Ring-Necked Snake Colorful underside of Ring-Necked Snake

Regal Ringneck
Diadophis punctatus regalis. This specimen is exceptionally colorful, the neck ring is quite distinct as well as the red coloration of the ventral tail. The red coloration is displayed as a warning to potential predators. This is one of the better images of this subspecies that I've come across. Thanks for sharing.

Full size...and nomenclature
Kerry, click here (and then click the image in your browser window a 2nd time) to see the full-size image..I think you may enjoy it. Master photographers Joyce and Alice also got shots of this guy (or gal?)...and I bet their images are even nicer :-)

Also, regarding nomenclature, I was thinking this was probably subspecies regalis from the visual match with the images (and their locations) appearing on this CaliforniaHerps web page, which I linked to in the 1st image of this series. But from the discussion near the bottom of that web page (under "Taxonomic Notes") it appeared that use of subspecies for this snake was coming into question, so I just referred to it as D. punctatus.

However, I'd agree that in general...even when the use of subspecies names is called into question...there's perhaps less harm in using them then not. Because it's easy to ignore the subspecies name if one wishes. However, if the move to eliminate the subspecies later turns out to have been unwise, you'll still have the more refined and informative ID (provided one's initial subspecies ID is accurate! :-)

The taxonomy
of Diadophis has been in contention for a long-long time, three species, two species, one species and all sorts of recombinations back and forth. Eventually, some researcher(s) will have a complete picture, (don't hold your breath). I tend to go with recent authors in regards to systematics, even if I don't always agree.

Thanks for the full-size image, the base of the tail suggests that it is a male, probing would be required to be positive.

I still rank the image as one of the best I've seen for information content combined with aesthetics.

Thanks, Kerry
I arrived after the group had been photographing the snake...Alice may have checked to determine whether it was a male or not (I'm guessing she'd know how to do that).

Also, I owe much of the aesthetics to her, as she coaxed the snake and placed it on the rock with the underside nicely visible. See Alice's (beautiful!) photos on her Flickr page.


Thanks, Tamra
Glad you enjoyed it :-)

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