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The Significance of the Green Rat Snake, Senticolis triaspis and the tribe Lampropeltini

The North American-Central America Green Rat Snake, Senticolis triaspis, represents an ancient lineage of Asian snakes that gave rise to the Western Hemisphere clade of snakes we now know as the Lampropeltini, the kingsnakes, gopher snakes and ratsnakes. 
North America rat snakes, kingsnakes, gopher snakes have attracted the attention of the general public for many years. The clade contained the generaArizona, Cemophora,Elaphe, Lampropeltis, Pituophis,Rhinocheilus, and Stilosoma. Most of these genera were exclusive to the Western Hemisphere. However, one genus Elaphe had relatives not only in the Western Hemisphere but in Eurasia as well. They tend to be large, kill prey with constriction, and feed on mammals, birds, and reptiles, as well as other animals. In captivity, they were relatively docile and their large size and docile nature pre-adapted them for the pet trade. However, there is a long history behind these snakes and how we got to the current classification and names used t…

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