.

He Dog, Is This Hybrid Possible?

nunnnunn Forums Admins, Member, Moderator Posts: 35,088 ******

Cottonhead hybrid found here in Texas. This animal is a mixture of broad band copperhead and western cottonmouth. Owned by Quinton Southard.


No photo description available


Comments

  • KenK/84BravoKenK/84Bravo Member Posts: 7,397 ✭✭✭✭

    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. 😁

  • chmechme Member Posts: 484 ✭✭✭
    Unlikely.  Instead of mating, one will eat the other.  
  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭
    Looks like a melanistic copperhead. Seen both dark and light versions of many reptiles over the years.
  • Collector52Collector52 Member Posts: 20
    I'll bet a DNA test would rule out a hybrid.
  • pulsarncpulsarnc Member Posts: 4,286 ✭✭✭

    Just looked at quinton southard Facebook page . This guy is seriously wacked !

    Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful
  • bullshotbullshot Member Posts: 12,158 ✭✭✭
    Cottonmouths and copperheads are both in the Moccasin family.
    "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you"
  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭
    On numerous occasions found both denning together for the winter, but never found anything resembling an intergrade. 
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 48,547 ✭✭✭
    edited October 19
    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.
  • OkieOkie Member Posts: 314 ✭✭
    chiefr said:
    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. 

  • iceracerxiceracerx Member Posts: 8,791 ✭✭✭
    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.
    I'd be curious if an actual hybrid would it be sterile?  Doesn't Mama Nature usually do that to animals that don't often last long in nature, like albinos? (at least I think I read that somewhere)
  • discusdaddiscusdad Member Posts: 12,713 ✭✭✭✭
    that color pattern moc was what i saw at Kentucky lake once on our Scouting week long campout when i fished some backwater sloughs.  its body was as thick as my wrists/lower forearms.  saw him on a beaver hut and decided i would fish the other way,  hurriedly
  • bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,431 ✭✭✭
    Not sure how, but I had forgotten that HeDog is herp fan. Have you ever met Bob Clark from here in OKC HeDog? He is a constrictor specialist and focuses on unusual patterns. I know he's been on Letterman (With Jack Hanna) and I've seen him on some magazine covers before. Until a few years ago when he sold it, he had the largest snake in captivity. It was named Fluffy. LOL Going from memory, it seems like it was ~18' and weighed over 300 pounds.
    Just curious...
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭
    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.
    Would be great difficulty believing a pituophis/pantherophis could cross, plently on anatomical differences. What about the epiglottis. Some Lampropeltis yes. Some milk snakes possible. Could not visualize a L caligaster intergrade with others.

    Over many years of college & science readings, there have been many stories later proven to be hoaxes of crossbreeds: Mice and rabbits, rats and possums, some of the primate interbreeds declared as fact make me LOL, and up to dogcats. All proven false.

    Thank goodness for DNA tech and A-T & G-Cs mapping.          
  • He DogHe Dog Member Posts: 48,547 ✭✭✭
    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.
  • chiefrchiefr Member Posts: 10,977 ✭✭✭✭
    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.
    Interesting to converse. Just rec'd your PM & will respond.  
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