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Document Type

Research

Keywords

Western Earth Snake; Virginia valeriae elegans; Snakes of Iowa; Western Earth Snake Variation

Abstract

Western earth snakes, Virginia valeriae elegans, were known in Iowa from only three specimens and considered very rare until the present study. Intense effort to find them in the last two years produced specimens from only the lower Des Moines and Chariton River drainages. The snakes were found to be closely associated with timbered, rocky terrain near streams and to be potentially endangered where timber is permanently removed. Sampling showed two geographic areas in the Des Moines River drainage inhabited by this snake; specimens from the two areas were very similar morphologically. Iowa specimens usually lack the light vertebral stripe characteristic of the species in most of its range and have small, dark spots on the head and neck. Meristic variation is slight.

Publication Date

December 1973

Journal Title

Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

80

Issue

4

First Page

167

Last Page

170

Copyright

© Copyright 1973 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf

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