SREL Reprint #1983







Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Drawer E, Aiken, South Carolina 29802, USA.

The record total length (SVL + tail length) for Seminatrix pygaea given in Conant and Collins (1991. Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 450 pp.) is 47.0 cm based on a specimen described by Palmer and Paul (1963. Herpetologica 19:219-221). Their specimen was a female with an incomplete tail, having only 18 subcaudals. The record size given for S. pygaea in Ernst and Barbour (I 989. Snakes of Eastern North America. George Mason University Press, Fairfax, Virginia) was erroneously printed as 65.4 cm total length, but should have read 46.5 cm (Carl Ernst, pers. comm.).
Here we report a gravid female S. pygaea (SREL specimen #3422) with a total length of 55.5 cm (48.5 cm SVL + 9.0 cm tail; mass = 68.4 g), exceeding the previous record by 8.5 cm. The female's length through subcaudal 18 was 51.2 cm.
This female and another gravid female S. pygaea (SREL specimen #3423) with a total length of 44.4 cm (37.0 cm SVL + 7.4 cm tail; mass = 43.0 g) were regurgitated simultaneously by a Lampropeltis getula (common kingsnake; 91.6 cm SVL, 12.7 cm tail) captured on 2 May 1994 at Ellenton Bay on the Savannah River Site near Aiken, South Carolina. The kingsnake was released at the capture site.
We thank Roger Conant for providing the source of the original record and Mark Mills for preserving the Seminatrix specimens. J. Whitfield Gibbons and Vincent J. Burke made helpful comments on the manuscript. Research support and manuscript preparation were provided by contract DE-AC09-765ROO-819 between the University of Georgia and United States Department of Energy.


SREL Reprint #1983

Kean, C. and T.D. Tuberville. 1995. Seminatrix pygaea (Black swamp snake) size. Herpetological Review 26:103.

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