Herpetological Review 48(1), 2017
NATURAL HISTORY NOTES 213
HEMORRHOIS NUMMIFER (Asian Racer). ENDOPARASITES.
Hemorrhois nummifer is widely distributed and occurs in Cy-
prus, Turkey, Syria, Labanon, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Iran
to central Asia (Disi et al. 2001. Amphibians and Reptiles of the
Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, an Atlas and Field Guide. Edition
Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main. 408 pp.). It is a diurnal, terrestrial
snake and reaches a total length of ca 1 m (Disi, op. cit.). We know
of no helminths reported from H. mummifer. In this note we es-
tablish the initial helminth list for H. nummifer.
Two H. nummifer from Israel, deposited in the Steinhardt
Museum of Natural History (TAUM), Tel-Aviv, Israel as TAUM
4837, (SVL = 818 mm) collected in 1960, at Tayibe, HaSharon
Region, Israel (32.2606°N, 35.01°E; WGS 84) and TAUM 17161
(SVL = 832 mm) collected October 2011 at Tei Dan Nature Trail,
Upper Galil Region, (33.247°N, 35.651°E; WGS 84) were examined.
The body was opened through a mid-ventral incision and
the coelomic cavities examined for helminths. Nine nematodes
were found in TAUM 4837 and ten in TAUM 17161. Helminths
were cleared in lactophenol, placed on a microscope slide, cover
slipped, studied under a compound microscope and identified
as Hexametra quadricornis based upon the presence of six
uterine branches, a key character (Anderson et al. 2009. Keys to
the Nematode Parasites of Vertebrates, Archival Volume, CAB
International, Oxfordshire, UK. 463 pp.). Voucher specimens of H.
quadricornis were deposited in the Harold W. Manter Laboratory
(HWML), University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA as HWML (99996,
Hexametra quadricornis is a widely distributed, common
nematode, found mainly in snakes and a few lizards from Africa,
southern Europe, eastern Mediterranean, India, Malaya, Taiwan,
Indonesia, China, Russia, and Okinawa (Baker 1987. Mem.
Univ. Newfoundland, Occas. Pap. Biol. 11:1–325). Hexametra
quadricornis in H. nummifer represents a new host record.
We thank Shai Meiri (TAUM) for permission to examine H.
mummifer and the National Collections of Natural History at Tel
Aviv University for providing the H. mummifer to examine.
STEPHEN R. GOLDBERG, Whittier College, Department of Biol-
ogy, Whittier, California 90608, USA (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org);
CHARLES R. BURSEY, Pennsylvania State University, Shenango Campus,
Department of Biology, Sharon, Pennsylvania 16146, USA (e-mail:cxb13@
psu.edu); OLIVER TALLOWIN, Tel-Aviv University, Department of Zoology,
Tel Aviv, 6997801, Israel (e-mail: (email@example.com); YUVAL ITESCU, Tel-
Aviv University, Department of Zoology, Tel Aviv, 6997801, Israel (e-mail:
firstname.lastname@example.org); EREZ MAZA, Tel-Aviv University, Steinhardt Mu-
seum of Natural History, Tel Aviv 6997801, Israel (e-mail: mazaerez@post.
LAMPROPELTIS SPLENDIDA (Desert Kingsnake). COLOR-
ATION. Lampropeltis splendida is a medium-sized snake found
from western Texas to southeastern Arizona, south to northern
Mexico (Stebbins 2003. A Field Guide to Western Amphibians and
Reptiles. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 533 pp.).
Typically, this species is black with yellow speckling and dark
dorsal saddles outlined with yellow crossbars (Degenhardt et al.
1996. Amphibians and Reptiles of New Mexico. University of New
Mexico Press, Albuquerque. 431 pp.). The venter is normally gray
or black. Although a “striped” morph is well known in L. califor-
niae in southern California (Stebbins, op. cit.), this morph, to our
knowledge, has not been documented in L. splendida.
On 28 July 2016, at 2130 h, we observed an adult male L.
splendida that exhibited unusual coloration on US Hwy 80,
Cochise Co., Arizona, USA, ~32 km SW Rodeo, New Mexico, USA
(31.60319°N, 109.23029°W; WGS 84). Instead of the typical dark
dorsal saddles and yellow crossbars, this specimen exhibited a
single, yellow stripe extending along the dorsum from ~70 mm
behind the head to the base of the tail near the vent (Fig. 1). The
dorsum immediately posterior to the head exhibited typical
coloration with yellow crossbars, as did the tail posterior to the
vent. The venter was dark gray.
Moshe and Werner (1994. Biol. Rev. 69:599–610) noted
numerous instances of “striped polymorphism” in typically
unstriped snake species. They postulated that this serves as a
visual anti-predator mechanism in active escape, confusing
a would-be predator, and is most common in fast-moving,
diurnal colubrids. Lampropeltis splendida, while occasionally
active during the day, is more commonly nocturnal (Degenhardt
et al., op. cit.), and thus a visual anti-predator mechanism may
be less effective for predator avoidance than the more cryptic
We are grateful to Kraig Adler for commenting on a draft of
this note and to David S. Lee for providing the figure and for
assistance in the field.
ELI HAINES-EITZEN, P.O. Box 133, Brooktondale, New York 14817,
USA (e-mail: email@example.com); JUSTIN L. LEE, Centreville
Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA (e-mail:
MICRUROIDES EURYXANTHUS (Sonoran Coralsnake).
PREDATION. New World coralsnakes of the genera
Leptomicrurus, Micruroides, and Micrurus are commonly
preyed upon by other coralsnakes, and many species are known
to be cannibalistic (Roze 1996. Coral Snakes of the Americas:
Biology, Identification, and Venoms. Krieger Publishing Co.,
Malabar, Florida. 328 pp.). However, records of predation on
New World coralsnakes by non-coralsnake snake species are
few. Documented snake predators of coralsnakes that are not
other coralsnake species include Drymarchon couperi (Eastern
Indigo Snake), which consumed a Micrurus fulvius (Harlequin
Coralsnake) (Belson 2000. Herpetol. Rev. 31:105), Lampropeltis
holbrooki (Speckled Kingsnake), which consumed a Micrurus
tener (Texas Coralsnake) (Clark 1949. J. Tennessee Acad. Sci.
24:244–261), Erythrolamprus aesculapii (False Coral), which
consumed a small Micrurus sp. (Beebe 1946. Zoologica 31:11–
52), and Bothrops leucurus (Whitetail Lancehead), which
consumed a juvenile Micrurus corallinus (Painted Coralsnake)
Fig. 1. Dorsal view of a striped Lampropeltis splendida from Arizona,
USA. Typical coloration (yellow crossbars) is present immediately
posterior to the head and posterior to the vent.
PHOTO BY DAVID S. LEE