Lampropeltis pyromelana 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Reptilia Squamata Colubridae

Scientific Name: Lampropeltis pyromelana (Cope, 1866)
Common Name(s):
English Sonoran Mountain Kingsnake
Lampropeltis pyromelana ssp. infralabialis Tanner, 1953
Lampropeltis pyromelana ssp. knoblochi Taylor, 1940
Ophibolus pyromelanus Cope, 1866
Taxonomic Notes: The subspecies infralabialis was proposed as a distinct species by Collins (1991), but no supporting data were presented. This proposal has not been adopted by other herpetologists. Lemos-Espinal, Chiszar and Smith, 2003 elevated the subspecies knoblochi to species status based on a morphological comparison of very few specimens. Here it is retained as a subspecies until further research confirms this taxonomic arrangement.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A. & Mendoza-Quijano, F.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of the probably relatively stable extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size. This species is not threatened in most of its range.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The species' range extends discontinuously from east-central Nevada, central and western Utah, Arizona, and southwestern New Mexico in the United States, to eastern Sonora and western Chihuahua, Mexico, at elevations of 850 to 2,800 m asl (2,800 to 9,100 feet) (Tanner 1983, Degenhardt et al. 1996, Stebbins 2003). Occupied areas are often surrounded by large areas of unsuitable arid habitat (Tanner 1983).
Countries occurrence:
Mexico; United States
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Tanner (1983) mapped about 56 collection sites rangewide; these are well scattered and represent probably about 50 distinct occurrences or subpopulations. This snake is secretive and occurs in rough terrain that often lacks good access for humans; the number of occurrences is very probably much larger than is currently known. Based on habitat considerations, probably many occurrences have good viability. The total adult population size is unknown but probably exceeds 10,000 and probably exceeds 100,000 (conservatively assuming a density of at least one to 10 adults per sq. km in an area of occupancy of at least 20,000 sq. km). Compared to the historical situation, the extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and population size have probably not declined by more than 25%.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species' habitats are primarily rocky, montane, and often near streams or springs, but also include lower elevations in mesic canyons (Degenhardt et al. 1996, Tanner 1983, Ernst and Ernst 2003, Stebbins 2003). Vegetation may include pinyon-juniper woodland, oak-juniper woodland, pine-oak woodland, pine-Douglas-fir woodland, or chaparral (Stebbins 2003). During daylight hours, this snake may be found among rocks, logs, or dense clumps of vegetation, under objects, or exposed.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Ernst and Ernst (2003) stated that "some populations have been adversely affected by habitat destruction and collecting for the pet trade" but did not elaborate or cite a source of this information. Certainly localized declines have occurred as a result of urbanization and in some roadside populations readily accessible to collectors, but in most areas this snake is not threatened. It is opportunistically collected occasionally as pets, although this is not considered to be a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in several protected areas in the US; it is not present in any protected areas in Mexico. No conservation measures are currently needed for this species. Further taxonomic research is needed to determine the status of the subspecies L. p. knoblochi.

Citation: Hammerson, G.A. & Mendoza-Quijano, F. 2007. Lampropeltis pyromelana. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2007: e.T63831A12720307. . Downloaded on 22 July 2018.
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