Table of Contents
ISRN Zoology
Volume 2011, Article ID 436049, 15 pages
Research Article

A Reevaluation of the Status of the Foxsnakes Pantherophis gloydi Conant and P. vulpinus Baird and Girard (Lepidosauria)

1Department of Biological Sciences, Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA 70402, USA
2Department of Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA 92182-4614, USA
3School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada 89154-4004, USA

Received 8 February 2011; Accepted 1 April 2011

Academic Editors: A. Ramirez-Bautista and B. A. Young

Copyright © 2011 Brian I. Crother et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As currently understood, there are two species of foxsnakes (Eastern Foxsnake, Pantherophis gloydi Conant and Western Foxsnake, P. vulpinus Baird and Girard) that are separated by a large geographic disjunction that encompasses almost all of Michigan, eastern Indiana, and eastern Ohio. Phylogenetic analysis of mtDNA data of individuals from throughout the ranges of the two species inferred reciprocally monophyletic clades that revealed a new species boundary, the Mississippi River. The single key morphological character also shows a major difference at the river. Because the localities of the holotypes of P. gloydi and P. vulpinus are both within the new range of the eastern form, gloydi is recognized as a junior synonym of vulpinus and a new name, P. ramspotti, is erected for the western form. The estimates of divergence time and historical biogeography suggest that Pleistocene glaciation and the Mississippi River played a key role in speciation.