occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
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).
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.
Length: 123 cm
Catalog Number: USNM 752
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Locality: Prairie Mer Rouge, Morehouse, Louisiana, United States, North America
- Syntype: Baird, S. F. & Girard, C. 1853. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections. 2 (5): 25.
Habitat and Ecology
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.
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).
Comments: Eats frogs, toads, tadpoles, salamanders, fishes, insects, earthworms, occasionally carrion (Stebbins 1985, Collins 1982).
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.
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.
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Active day or night; nocturnal in hot weather (Collins 1982). Active from March to October in north (Collins 1982).
Gives birth to litter of 4-27 young, mainly July-September. Sexually mature in 2nd or 3rd year (Fitch 1970).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Thamnophis proximus
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
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).
Degree of Threat: Medium
Comments: No major threats are known. Locally, wetland loss and degradation have extirpated or reduced some populations.
Global Protection: Very many (>40) occurrences appropriately protected and managed
Comments: Many occurrences are in protected areas.
Western ribbon snake
- 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)