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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

Distribution extends from southern Wisconsin and Ohio, in the central United States, southward on the Atlantic versant to Belize and then discontinuously to northern Costa Rica, and on the Pacific versant from Guerrero to Chiapas, Mexico, and from El Salvador southward to central Costa Rica. Elevational range of this species extends from sea level to 2,500 meters (Wilson and Johnson 2010).
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occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

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National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

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Global Range: (200,000 to >2,500,000 square km (about 80,000 to >1,000,000 square miles)) The range extends from southeastern Colorado (at least historically; Hammerson 1999), eastern Nebraska, Iowa, southern Wisconsin, and Indiana southward to eastern New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and through eastern Mexico to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, then discontinuously through southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua to Costa Rica, at elevations from sea level to 2,438 meters (8,000 feet) (Rossman et al. 1996).

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Continent: Middle-America North-America
Distribution: C USA (incl. Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi),  E Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica  rutiloris: Costa Rica  
Type locality: stone quarry on west side of Missouri three miles above the mouth of Boyer's River.
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Physical Description

Size

Length: 123 cm

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Type Information

Syntype for Thamnophis proximus
Catalog Number: USNM 752
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Prairie Mer Rouge, Morehouse, Louisiana, United States, North America
  • Syntype: Baird, S. F. & Girard, C. 1853. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. 2 (5): 25.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This semiaquatic snake occurs in a wide range of habitats, usually in the vicinity of streams, lakes, ponds, sloughs, ditches, swamps, and marshes (Rossman et al. 1996, Werler and Dixon 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Trauth et al. 2004). Sometimes it occurs in terrestrial habitats, but generally close to water. It feeds on earthworms, crayfish, lizards, fishes, frogs, and tadpoles (Rossman et al. 1996). It is a live-bearing species.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Comments: This semiaquatic snake occurs a wide range of often shrubby habitats in the vicinity of streams, lakes, ponds, sloughs, ditches, swamps, and marshes (Rossman et al. 1996, Werler and Dixon 2000, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Trauth et al. 2004). Often it is in water-edge vegetation. Sometimes it can be found in terrestrial habitats but generally close to water. Hibernation sites may be in upland areas near or some distance from water.

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Migration

Non-Migrant: No. All populations of this species make significant seasonal migrations.

Locally Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).

Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.

May migrate between separate winter and summer habitats (Vogt 1981).

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Trophic Strategy

Comments: Eats frogs, toads, tadpoles, salamanders, fishes, insects, earthworms, occasionally carrion (Stebbins 1985, Collins 1982).

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300

Comments: This species is represented by a very large number of occurrences (Rossman 1970). Werler and Dixon (2000) mapped hundreds of collection sites in Texas, and Trauth et al. (2004) mapped well over 100 collection sites in Arkansas.

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Global Abundance

100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Comments: Total adult population size is unknown but certainly exceeds 100,000. This snake is common in the southern United States.

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Comments: Active day or night; nocturnal in hot weather (Collins 1982). Active from March to October in north (Collins 1982).

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Reproduction

Gives birth to litter of 4-27 young, mainly July-September. Sexually mature in 2nd or 3rd year (Fitch 1970).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thamnophis proximus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2013

Assessor/s
Chaves, G., Lamar, W., Porras, L.W., Solórzano, A., Sunyer, J. & Hammerson, G.A.

Reviewer/s
Bowles, P.

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution, large population, and is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

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Population

Population
This is a locally common species.

Population Trend
Stable
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Global Short Term Trend: Relatively stable (=10% change)

Comments: Currently, the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size probably are relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10 percent over 10 years or three generations.

Global Long Term Trend: Increase of 10-25% to decline of 30%

Comments: Area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size have declined modestly, especially at the margins of the range. For example, this species declined at the northern fringe of the range in northwestern Indiana between the 1930s and 1990s (Brodman et al. 2002).

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Threats

Major Threats
No major threats are known. Locally, wetland loss and degradation have extirpated or reduced some populations.
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Degree of Threat: Medium

Comments: No major threats are known. Locally, wetland loss and degradation have extirpated or reduced some populations.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Currently, this species is of relatively low conservation concern and does not require significant additional protection or major management, monitoring, or research action. It is present in several protected areas.
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Global Protection: Very many (>40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed

Comments: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

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Wikipedia

Western ribbon snake

The western ribbon snake (Thamnophis proximus) is a species of garter snake, with several subspecies.

Taxonomy[edit]

  • Western ribbon snake, T. proximus
    • Chiapas Highland ribbon snake, T. p. alpinus (Rossman, 1963)
    • Arid land ribbon snake, T. p. diabolicus (Rossman, 1963)
    • Gulf Coast ribbon snake, T. p. orarius (Rossman, 1963)
    • Western ribbon snake, T. p. proximus (Say, 1823)
    • Redstripe ribbon snake, T. p. rubrilineatus (Rossman, 1963)
    • Mexican ribbon snake, T. p. rutiloris (Cope, 1885)
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