Appearance"D. melanurus" is a large species that can grow to a total length of 1.80 m to over 2.40 m. This species has predominantly olive-brown glossy dorsal scales evolving to black at the tail. The underside is a lighter olive-yellow, olive-tan color.
"D. melanurus" has distinctive dark markings round the eyes, a vertical dark slash just behind the jaw. and a heavy diagonal dark slash on both sides of the neck.
The subspecies "D. m. erebennus" is predominantly solid black, though there can be lighter shaded variations.
NamingThere are five subspecies of "D. melanurus" which are recognized as being valid, including the nominate subspecies.
⤷ "Drymarchon melanurus erebennus"
⤷ "Drymarchon melanurus melanurus"
⤷ "Drymarchon melanurus orizabensis"
⤷ "Drymarchon melanurus rubidus" H.M. Smith, 1941
⤷ "Drymarchon melanurus unicolor" H.M. Smith, 1941
"Nota bene": A trinomial authority in parentheses indicates that the subspecies was originally described in a genus other than "Drymarchon".
HabitatThe geographic range of "D. melanurus" extends from southern Texas southwards through the Gulf Coast of Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula, Guatemala and Belize. On the Pacific coast its range extends from Sinaloa in Mexico, southward to Guatemala, as far as Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador. Its elevational distribution goes from near sea level up to around 1,900 m asl.
The subspecies "D. m. erebennus" is found in southern Texas and southwards into Mexico as far as Veracruz.
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