Cottonhead hybrid found here in Texas. This animal is a mixture of broad band copperhead and western cottonmouth. Owned by Quinton Southard.
Stick your hand down there and find out. 🤔
The claim coming from FL. is that Rock and Burmese Pythons are crossing. (?)
Extreme NE TN/W NC ya'll. 😁
Just looked at quinton southard Facebook page . This guy is seriously wacked !
Looks like a melanistic copperhead. Seen both dark and light versions of many reptiles over the years.I've seen both light and dark color version of the copperheads. I've seen them a shale color instead of copper color. The shale color matched the background color of where they were living.
He Dog said:
Likely a possible cross. I would consider it more likely in a captive situation than a wild situation. They are congeners, and I have seen Pituophis - Pantherophis crosses, which are not. The ranges of the two are sympatric in some areas, and that does not look to me like a dark broad band. Chief could be right, DNA would tell the tail, and I believe there has been work done with copperheads at least. You have to have a good range of DNA from each species, to determine hybridization comparatively. The body structure is certainly cottonmouth, the color pattern could be also. I suspect it is more likely a bright colored cottonmouth than a hybrid, but an educated guess is still a guess.
He Dog said:
So Cheif, you know about Ligers and Tiglons, right? What you and I learned about species a youngins is way out the window.Nunn I have been thinking about this one all day. Despite my poking fun and my buddy Cheifr, I think he is correct. It is an unusual coloration of copperhead. The owner (presumptively) calls it a hybrid because it does have the juvenile coloration of a cotton mouth. First, while they are congeneric, the two species are not sympatric in micro habitat selection, though they are sympatric in range. Second, I think they could be easily or relatively easily hybridized captivity (Agkistrodon are not hard to breed in captivity, I have breed both of these species and three additional species and subspecies), but it seems unlikely they would do so in a wild situation, given that both would have more ready access to conspecific mates. Finally, I think precopulatory isolating mechanisms would help prevent such a wild hybridization. For those unfamiliar with the term, precopulatory isolating mechanisms is a fancy way to say there are reasons they don't often mate in the wild. Even if the genetics work (and hybrids very often do work, without creating mules or other limiting problems) they don't often occur in the wild because they microhabitiats don't often put the animals of different species in contact with one another, or because their courtship behaviors don't mesh well, or because their mating seasons don't coincide, and similar factors. There is a small salamander found in the Eastern half of the US called the slimy salamander. I have seen them in about 5 different states, and they look for all the world the same. Gotta be a very successful species to have a range that huge, and that is what we all though until DNA showed they were actually a complex of 13 species. You and I cannot tell them apart, but apparently they do not have the same confusion. They are often found in the same areas, except there are elevational differences. Once species on the valley floor, one on the intermediate slopes and a third on the ridge line. We could find all three species in a good morning, and they never seem to make mistakes in their amorous activities. Presumably they don't smell the same to each other, or perhaps they don't all mate the same week of March, or maybe some get bloody noses about 900 feet elevation. We don't know. They do. And that is my point. I suspect the copperhead and the cottonmouth know better than the guy claiming they hybridized. It is a really nice looking animal, and if I were him I would breed it with another broadband and then breed back to achieve that coloration. There certainly would be a market.And Chiefr, I have seen the Pituophis x Pantherophis cross juveniles, talked with the breeder and they were real, if not common. And yeah, I have seen Lampropeltis crosses you would not approve.