Timber Rattlesnake - Taxonomy

Taxonomy

The subspecies C. h. atricaudatus (Latreille in Sonnini and Latreille, 1802), often referred to as the canebrake rattlesnake, is currently considered invalid. Previously, it was recognized by Gloyd (1936) and Klauber (1936). Based on an analysis of geographic variation, Pisani et al. (1972) concluded no subspecies should be recognized. This was rejected by Conant (1975), but followed by Collins and Knight (1980). Brown and Ernst (1986) found evidence for retaining the two subspecies, but state it is not possible to tell them apart without having more information than usual, including adult size, color pattern, the number of dorsal scale rows and the number of ventral scales. Dundee and Rossman (1989) recognized C. h. atricaudatus, but others take a more neutral point of view.

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