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Title:Distribution, habitat, and zoogeography of the semifossorial red-bellied snake Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer) in Illinois
Author(s):Brown, Lauren E.; Phillips, Christopher A.
Contributor(s):Warwick, Charles
Subject(s):Snakes--geographic distribution
Snakes--habitat
red-bellied snake
Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer)
Colubridae
Geographic Coverage:Illinois
Abstract:The examination of 387 preserved red-bellied snakes, Storeria occipitomaculata, from 18 museums and collections, literature records, and unpublished records revealed distributional records throughout much of Illinois, in contrast to earlier studies which found a more limited distribution. Seventy-one records of habitat types from museum records, field notes, and literature indicated that the species occupies woodlands but is not primarily forest adapted. It also inhabits prairie and prairielike habitats in Illinois. The common occurrence of this species in this type of habitat has not heretofore been reported elsewhere in the range of the snake. Our findings do not support an older zoogeographic theory that assumed the snake was nonadapted for prairie and thus excluded from the Prairie Peninsula. We propose that the species was able to occupy the area near the ice rim of the Wisconsin Episode glaciation, and followed the glaciation as it retreated because of the snake’s cold tolerance, ability to inhabit northern prairies and coniferous forests, vivipary which allows thermoregulation by gravid females, and the relatively temperate climate along the glacial rim. Within recent times, it seems likely that the snake was extirpated throughout much of the former prairie by destructive changes associated with agriculture.
Issue Date:2012-04
Publisher:Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Citation Info:Brown, L.E., and C.A. Phillips. 2012. Distribution, habitat, and zoogeography of the semifossorial red-bellied snake Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer) in Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin 39(5):297–322.
Series/Report:Illinois Natural History Survey Bulletin; v. 039, no. 05
Genre:Article
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/79046
ISBN:9781882932283
ISSN:0073-4918
Peer Reviewed:is peer reviewed
Rights Information:Copyright 2012. University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-08-17
2017-04-01
OCLC Identifier:793205894


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