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Micrurus fulvius

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA ELAPIDAE

Scientific Name: Micrurus fulvius
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1766)
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Coral Snake
Taxonomic Notes: Micrurus tener formerly was included as a subspecies of M. fulvius. Crother et al. (2000), Collins and Taggart (2002), and Campbell and Lamar (2004) recognized M. tener and M. fulvius as distinct species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2007
Date Assessed: 2007-03-01
Assessor(s): Hammerson, G.A.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N., Chanson, J.S. & Stuart, S.N. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the south of the United States, extending into northeastern Mexico. It ranges from southeastern North Carolina to southern Florida, west to southeastern Louisiana, disjunctly northward to central Alabama (Ashton and Ashton 1981, Mount 1975, Dundee and Rossman 1989, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Tennant 1997, Campbell and Lamar 2004).
Countries:
Native:
Mexico; United States
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is represented by a large number of occurrences (subpopulations). On a range-wide scale, Campbell and Lamar (2004) mapped more than 100 collection sites. The adult population size is unknown but presumably exceeds 100,000. Nearly 2,000 were turned in for bounties in a 39-month period in one county in Florida (see Ernst and Ernst 2003). This snake is often common; its secretive habits may give a false impression of rarity (Ernst 1992). Mount (1975) characterized it as relatively common in the lower Coastal Plain of Alabama. Tennant (1997) reported it as common in Florida. Population trends are not documented, but its extent of occurrence, area of occupancy, number of subpopulations, and populations size are probably relatively stable or declining at a rate of less than 10% over 10 years or three generations.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitats include hardwood forest, pine-oak woodland, pine flatwoods, and xerophytic scrub, often in areas with sandy soils, sometimes marsh edges and residential areas (Mount 1975, Ashton and Ashton 1981, Palmer and Braswell 1995, Tennant 1997, Ernst and Ernst 2003). This secretive snake is often underground, under leaf litter, logs or stumps, or similarly secluded. Eggs probably are laid in loose soil or decaying organic matter (Mount 1975), or underground or under leaf litter or surface objects (Ernst 1992).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Overall, this species does not appear to be significantly threatened. In Alabama, populations declined after introduction of the fire ant, which may prey on eggs and young (Mount 1981). Habitat destruction and motorized vehicles are the most serious threats (Ernst 1992, Ernst and Ernst 2003).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many occurrences are in protected areas.

Bibliography [top]

Bartlett, R D. and Bartlett, P.P. 1999. A Field Guide to Texas Reptiles and Amphibians. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xviii + 331 pp.

Campbell, J.A. and Lamar, W.W. 2004. The Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere. Comstock, Ithaca, New York and London, UK.

Collins, J.T. and Taggart, T.W. 2002. Standard common and current scientific names for North American amphibians, turtles, reptiles and crocodilians. Fifth edition. Publication of The Center for North American Herpetology, Lawrence, Kansas. Iv + 44pp.

Conant, R. and Collins, J.T. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America. Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, Massachusetts.

Crother, B.I., Boundy, J., Campbell, J.A., de Queiroz, K., Frost, D.R., Highton, R.H., Iverson, J.B., Meylan, P.A., Reeder, T.W., Seidel, M.E., Sites Jr., J.W., Taggart, T.W., Tilley, S.G. and Wake, D.B. 2000. Scientific and standard English names of amphibians and reptiles of North America north of Mexico, with comments regarding confidence in our understanding. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Herpetological Circular No. 29. 82 pp.

Dixon, J.R. 2000. Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas. With Keys, Taxonomic Synopses, Bibliography, and Distribution Maps. Second edition. Texas A & M University Press, College Station, College Station, Texas.

Dundee, H.A. and Rossman, D.A. 1989. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Louisiana. Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Ernst, C.H. 1992. Venomous Reptiles of North America. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

Ernst, C.H. and Barbour, R.W. 1989. Snakes of Eastern North America. George Mason University Press, Fairfax, Virginia. 282 pp.

Ernst, C.H. and Ernst, E.M. 2003. Snakes of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Books, Washington, D.C.

IUCN. 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: www.iucnredlist.org. (Accessed: 12th September 2007).

Mount, R.H. 1975. The Reptiles and Amphibians of Alabama. Auburn University Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn, Alabama. vii + 347 pp.

Tennant, A. 1984. The Snakes of Texas. Texas Monthly Press, Austin, Texas. 561 pp.

Tennant, A. 1997. A Field Guide to Snakes of Florida. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas. xiii + 257 pp.

Tennant, A. 1998. A Field Guide to Texas Snakes. Second edition. Gulf Publishing Company, Houston, Texas.

Trauth, S.E., Robison, H.W. and Plummer, M.V. 2004. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Arkansas. University of Arkansas Press, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Werler, J.E. and Dixon, J.R. 2000. Texas Snakes: Identification, Distribution, and Natural History. University of Texas Press, Austin, Texas.


Citation: Hammerson, G.A. 2007. Micrurus fulvius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 July 2014.
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