xt7rn872xd09 https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7rn872xd09/data/mets.xml Alabama Alabama Museum of Natural History 1952 Other titles include: Alabama Museum of Natural History museum paper, Geological Survey of Alabama, Museum of the Geological Survey of Alabama. Other creators include: United States. Work Projects Administration, Geological Survey of Alabama, Tennessee Valley Authority. Issues for 1, 3 carry no series numbering. No. 2 also as Education papers no. 1. UK holds archival copy for ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program libraries. Call number  AS36 .A2. journals  English University, Ala. : Alabama Museum of Natural History, 1910-1960 This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Alabama Works Progress Administration Publications Museum Paper, no. 33, 1952 - including "A Key to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Alabama" by Ralph L. Chermock text Museum Paper, no. 33, 1952 - including "A Key to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Alabama" by Ralph L. Chermock 1952 1952 2015 true xt7rn872xd09 section xt7rn872xd09 A - T GEOLOGY l.lBRAR‘1   4
A UN\V'ERS%T\’ OF KENTUCKY
K I GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
WALTER B. JONES, STATE GEOLOGIST
 
MUSEUM PAPER 33  
A KEY TO THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES
OF ALABAMA
by
RALPH L. CHERMOCK
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Hwerary Curator of Herpetology, Alabama Museum of Natural Hlstory A
flazmclato Professor, Department of Biology, Unlvcrslty of Alabama l
UNIVERSITY, ALABAMA L
A 1952

  
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 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
l WALTER B. JONES, STATE GEOLOGIST `
MUSEUM PAPER 33 A
A KEY TO THE AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES _
OF ALABAMA
by ,
RALPH L. CHERMOCK E
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Nsociate Professor, Department of Biology, University of Alabama  
uN1vBRslTv, ALABAMA  
1952 3
 
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;  LETTER or TRANSMITTAL ;
  University, Alabama  
f  November 13, 1952  
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¤  Honorable Gordon Persons   i
A  Governor of Alabama  
A Montgomery, Alabama  
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I have the honor to transmit herewith the transcript of
A a report on "A Key to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Ala-
L » bama", by Ralph L. Chermock. It is requested that this be {
V p1·i1ited as Museum Paper 33 of the Geological Survey of  
· Alabama.  
1 Respectfully,  
Y  WALTER E. JoNEs,  
  State Geologist i
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I TABLE OF CONTENTS  
s  Introduction Ov.._.,*._AOE   .,OOEOEOEOE_   4..OO,O*__ 1 , OOOOOE r OOOOOOOOAOOO______,,OOO4 7  
I I
K  I
  The Collection of Specimens   _,__ - ...lcccc or ,_,...___el_eece_ll__e4__ C _ee__ 8  
I The Preservation of Specimens ,_____ci C cccc_   _cS______e_e__,e__e___ee,eeee 10  
»  I
  Poisonous Snakes and the Treatment of Snake Bite, c___e_______ 14 I
  How to Use a Key ....... - .....s_ic,...   .... - sccc.........si.....,....._,....vcc. 17  
I
R I
p A Key to the Amphibia of Alabama c_c_.,_ - 1ccccccc,cee,ce,e,c,__________ 21 I
 ‘  Key to the Orders i,r.,,r,rr,r.. . ._,_.r,,r_r,__r__,rri,,rrrr,,rrS,   rrrr 21  
l  Key to the Salamanders rrrrrrr...............i__ii,.il._rrr_il._._..i....., 21  
l Key to the Frogs and Toads rcc.,, , ._,r,rrr,_,,r,rr,rrrrlr.r,,____,___rr 30 I
_ Key to the Eggs of Frogs and Toads .....,..,e....rr,r....r..._... 37 I
Key to the Tadpoles __,,_...,,_,.,_,,rr,_____rrr.rr__rrrrrrr,_____,,,_rrrr_, 41  
_ A Key to the Reptiles of Alabamarrr- ..,rrrrrrrrrrrr.r..rrrrrr__r.i,..r... 45  
»  Key to the Suborders r__i..__irrr,___...____,_________,__,_r__,______,____rr, 46 I
A  Key to the Alligators and Crocodiles r,rr,   r,c,rrrrr__........... 46  
V I
__ Key to the Turtles _____rrr__,______r A ,_ri__...___,.,_,,,,rrrr_rr,ir   _.irri 46  
I Key to the Lizards, _____,,r_ _1   __________r r ,_________,,,i__ N __,__,_,i_,_ ,.55  
Key to the Snakes rr,r C ir_rr,_i_r__r_r,__ _ .r_,r,rr,r_._,,,,rr.rr,rrr . _r,rrr,rr.r 58 i
i Glossary ________   _____,,,   1_______ _ _111_____,C1__1,1____r, 1 1___ _ _e______r1r1__________r IC71  
Suéfgésted References   _iirr_,______er__,,r r ..i..r - r...,r....,rrrrrrr.rr..r.r..., 84 E
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 A  INTRODUCTION S
.  ¢
A  The purpose of this work is to provide a means for  
A  identifying the Amphibians and Reptiles found in the state  
I  of Alabama, and also to furnish suggestions for the preser-  
 -_ vation and care of specimens. In doing so, it is hoped that it  
will stimulate those who are interested in natural history, i
A to study these groups of animals in this state.  
l
_ In the past, only two significant studies have been made  
on these animals in Alabama. One of these was by Dr. H. P. {
I  Loding, who made numerous collections in the Mobile area, §
Q and published a report of his findings in 1922. W. L. Haltom, l
·  in 1931, published a volume on Alabama Reptiles which was  
I based on his personal collection and that of Dr. Loding. Both  
of these works, although representing significant milestones  
i in their time, are incomplete, and the nomenclature used is E
A somewhat out of date. Fortunately, the collections on which    
  their studies are based remain relatively intact, and are E
v  available for study in the Alabama Museum of Natural His- E
p tory on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa. ’
During the last four years, the author has been conduct- l
i ing  survey of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the state. a
This has resulted in the addition of many new species and  
subspecies to the state list, and the discovery of a salaman- i
der new to science. These have been incorporated in the fol-  
‘ lowing keys, along with recent nomenclatorial changes which 2
have appeared in the literature, and new information on the Q
-` distribution of the various species. Consequently, it is be- {
A  lieved that the keys are as complete as present knowledge i
] permits. However, errors and omissions are unavoidable, Q
· and the author apologizes for any mistakes which may oc- l
  cur in the succeeding pages.  
F  . The completeness and accuracy of this work has been
j  dependent upon the availability of specimens for study. ‘
,  Foitunately, the two most extensive collections of Alabama
  Reptiles and Amphibians are available on the University of A
Z Alabama campus. The first of these is that of the Alabama
. Natural History Museum, which includes the Loding col-
lection, and the author is indebted to Dr. Walter Jones, for _

 s GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA
his kind cooperation in permitting access to the collection, hea
The other collection is that of the University of Alabama, _ · wh
which has been built up during the last four years by the
author and his students. The author is indebted to Dr, J_ -
\ J H. Walker, Head of the Dept. of Biology, for his cooper. bm
ation in providing facilities for the maintainance of the eel. ‘ and
y lection, and his continued encouragement in the study of po,
the natural history of the state. He is also indebted to the moi
following students who have donated material to the col- ch,)
T lections: Mr. Herbert Boschung, University Center, Mobile; SOO
I Mr. James Boyles; Prof. Jack Brown, J.acksonville State J wu
Teachers College; Mr. Luther Cooper, University Center, in,
i _ Gadsden; Mr. James H. Eads; Mr. Walter Herndon; Mr. Wit;
i · Moody Jacobs; Prof. Charles Owens, Athens College; Miss Bas;
‘ Vivien Parsons; Miss Miriam Parsons; Prof. Hugh C. Bavsls, » OH
I gl Mississippi Delta College; Prof. Charles Segars, Mississippi _ ing
y Southern College; Mr. Thomas Taylor; and Mr. Barry Valen- § You
. tme.   var.
g THE COLLECTION OF SPECIMENS E
, . . moz
_ There are many techniques which may be used for col- I deg
lecting specimens of Amphibians and Reptiles. However, _ eve;
  ‘ there is no substitute for experience. A good collector will use
. always note the particular habitat in which he finds a species, wil}
the time of year, and the weather conditions. This will usual- sho
ly enable him to be able to find the species again when simi-
lar conditions occur. A few general suggestions are offered
g here to provide a starting point for the beginning collector. ues
’ fish
i   One of the best methods is to wander through the wo0dS and
Q , or fields during the daytime, turning over logs, stones, trash V ic S
;   piles, or scraping leaves at the bases of trees. Many sal,amaH- ter
§ l ders, snakes, and occasional frogs or lizards may be collected » hw
  i in this manner. The scattered lumber, sheets of roofing, and ’ lect
E ¢ debris around abandoned houses, barns, or sawdust pii€S tim
  . often yield interesting specimens; as do stones and l0eS in the
  shallow streams or seepage areas around springs. Another
,   productive method is to drive slowly along a road on a ranii
  night, and carefully watching the road in the beam of the or
a
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 l
S
____ AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF ALABAMA 9 l
wtion. headlights. Numerous Amphibians and snakes will be found  
bama, ` when the weather conditions are suitable.  
ny the  
Dr. J. · Frogs and toads are most easily collected during the  
’0P€1`· breeding season when these animals normally come to water Q
B COL and call. They are often found in swamps, around lakes or  
dl' of ponds, or in temporary puddles or ponds; these areas being  
EO the most easily located by driving along the road at night until  
9 COL ehoruses of these Amphibia are heard. A little experience  
Obllei - soon makes is possible to learn to recognize the species, be- Q
Slim T cause each have distinctive calls. They can usually be found { l
€*li€l`» in or near water, or on trees or bushes at the water’s edge,  
F _MY· with the use of a flashlight or lantern, and are usually fairly l
Miss easy to catch. Since different species breed at various times  
?=~3=*lS; ° ofthe year, some only during the winter months, others dur- [
lwppl ing the warmer season, they should be collected the year F
m1€“` A round in order to obtain a representative collection of the {
  various species. l
  Lizards are active in the daytime, during the warmer l
months, and are often found in piles of logs, brush, around l
*1` COI' it dead trees, etc. Some forms can be collected by hand. How-  
*»’i>V€T» ever, since many of them are extremely wary and quick, the  
if will use of dust shot in a 22 caliber rifle, is somewhat easier and  
>€€l€$» will not damage the specimens to any great extent if not  
US¤Hl· shot at too close a range. l
l Sll"fll·  
Hmid Some turtles, such as the musk turtles and snapping tur— i
l€Cm" UGS, can be collected by hook and line baited with rotten  
fish or meat. These lines can be left in the water overnight,  
Weeds and checked the following morning. Some of the large aquat- i
Wish . if salamanders such as the hellbender, and occasionally wa- l
ammt fer snakes may also be collected by this method. Some turtles,
lgcted ’ h0Wever, feed on plants and these can be most easily col-
;, and ’ lected by using floating traps. Box turtles, musk and mud
Pllfis turtles are often found in the woods or along roads during P
ygs in the daytime.
iother
Yami Snakes are found in a variety of habitats, some living in ,
Di the OT Hear water, others found under bark of dead logs and  

 10 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA l
stumps, some will be hiding under logs, boards or stones, . the
while others will be found crawling on the ground or resting lm
in open places. Any snake collector should become sufficient- _ mm
V ly familiar with the various species so that he can identify llbti
them on sight in the field. As a general rule, most small _ ml
snakes are perfectly harmless (with the exception of the A wl
coral snake) and can be collected with ease. However, most ‘ Cha
large snakes, although harmless, can often inflict a painful ’ Sm
. bite and consequently should be handled with care. Their ; ale
· heads should be firmly pinned down with a strong stick or pm
1 snake hook, and grasped behind the head with the other   8S*
’ _ hand, and dropped into a large muslin sack. Poisonous   Gaul
l snakes can be collected in the same way, but great care }
l should be taken to avoid the fangs, and to hold the head   _
p firmly enough so that the snake cannot twist loose, or turn   bw
A its head around to bite. Forked sticks are often suggested Q; WY
for this purpose, but their value is doubtful because they ob-  ; ml
A struct a firm grip on the neck, and also the snake may slip   mi
away if the prongs are too long. A noosed stick may be used,   mu
» but is somewhat awkward to handle. A snake hook consist-   Sm
A ing of a flat hook about 4 inches long and made of quarter   · the
inch bar steel, which is attached to a long stick, is the inost   ly l
efficient tool for this purpose. It permits free .access to the i' HES
l neck, and can be used for tearing logs apart, rolling logs or   gm
stones, etc.   aid
· ol e
Amphibians are usually placed in jars, with holes ast
l punched in the top, and some damp moss or leaves inside pw
‘ 5 1 to prevent them from drying until they can be preserved.
l Lizards may also be kept in the same containers, or in deep _
Q   sacks made of a heavy grade muslin, which are do¤bl€· me
5 stitched. Snakes are normally collected in these latter contain- bm
l ` ers. Care should always be taken not to leave living specimens g
  in the sun or in the hot trunk of a car, because they will often 'FRQ
i die, and harden so that they make poor specimens.
E e
  THE PRESERVATION OF SPECIMENS
i ,
Q i
§ The following techniques for preserving specimen$, QL
i Q though relatively simple, are used by most Herpetologists H1
l ,
Q

 AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF ALABAMA ll  
mm, _ the country. Basically, two preservatives are used. One of i
Esmg these is 10% formalin, prepared by mixing one part of com-
zimb mercial formal1n with nine parts of water. Formalin can be .
mah ` Obtained from any pharmacy or biological supply house, and }
Email is relatively inexpensive. If specimens are to be stored perma- {
E the pently in this preservative, however, the solution should be [
most changed every two or three years to prevent its loss of [
mm] strength due to evaporation. The other preservative is 70% F
Thm alcohol, prepared by mixing 7 parts of ethyl alcohol and 3 i
gk Or » parts of water. Although this mixture is frequently preferred 1
other as a permanent preserving fluid, its use may be limited be-
MOUS cause of its greater cost.  
care l
head lt is frequently desirable to kill or anesthetize animals E
mm ` before preserving them. Ether is frequently used for this §
Ested - purpose. This is accomplished by placing the animal in an l
1, Ob_ -1 airtight container such as a jar or can, and dropping in a  
Y. Sup e wad of cotton or a paper towel which has been soaked with ‘
uhied, Y ether. Chloretone is used for anesthetizing Amphibians. A
msg   saturated solution of this chemical in water is prepared, and B
lmm   lhe animal is placed in this mixture until it becomes complete- _
Tuost ly inactive. The solution may be used repeatedly. Both of
O the · these chemicals can usually be obtained from a local drug- i
  O1- gist or a biological or chemical supply house. Occasionally E
a third killing agent is used, consisting of a weak solution l
of ethyl alcohol of a concentration of less than 50%. As soon
1.,0165 as the animal is dead, it should be removed to a permanent W
mi dg preservative.
zrved.
deep Since various kinds of animals require special treatment,
>uble- the following discussion is divided into various parts. For
utain- best results, these directions should be followed carefully.
[mens
often i FRGGS AND TOADS: These may be killed by placing I
them directly in 10% formalin. This solution may also
be used as a permanent preservative, although it is de-
sirable to transfer them to 70% alcohol after 24 hours
for better color preservation. A small slit should be made i
S_ H1. On the abdomen of larger frogs and toads after they [
  in have been killed, to permit the preservative to reach  

 12 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA ~ 1.
the internal organs more rapidly. A somewhat more com-   _ LL
plicated but preferred technique, is to kill the animals  
in 50% alcohol, and then to place them in a flat tray . 
filled with 10% formalin, extending the limbs so that  
they can be studied more easily. After 8 to 24 hours,  
they may be transferred to the permanent preservative. i
TADPOLES: Tadpoles, when collected, should be placed ,
immediately in 10% formalin. After 24 hours, they are  
transferred to 70% alcohol for permanent storage. é
_ AMPHIBIAN EGGS: The best method is to place the eggs ,
` in 10% formalin, and then transfer them to 4% forma-  
lin for permanent storage. These should never be stored  
y in alcohol, because it results in a deterioration of the A SNI
membranes, making them impossible to identify. 1 
, SALAMANDERS: The best method we have found   to  
, kill these animals in a saturated solution of chloretone, I
A and then transfer them to trays containing 10% forma- _
Q lin. At this time, they should be arranged in a noimal A °
Q position, with the body straight and the limbs extended. .
Q After 24 hours they can be placed in bottles for perma- .
  I nent preservation in either 10% formalin or 70% alcohol. — mm
A  A 50% solution of alcohol may be substituted for the . W;}
chloretone solution. These .animals also may be killed in 10;.
A 10% formalin, but care should be taken to prevent the O;
twisting of the body into abnormal shapes. HM
g _ TURTLES: These may be killed with ether, or by the lll-  
{ jection of a 10% solution of formalin into the abdoini- I  
, nal cavity with a hypodermic syringe. When the animal  
l i is dead, it should be thoroughly injected with 10% {O1`- _ cfs
' ‘ malin. If this is not possible, the skin between the gmns _Q L
l ` and the neck, and between the legs and the britlgé fl
E - Should be slit deeply with a knife to permit the e11’f1'Y  
E , of the preservative. The mouth should be propped GQGU Ofhj
g with a cork or short stick, because the teeth are oitéll OH _
i used in identification. These animals may be stored lat
® permanently in 10% formalin or 70% alcohol. G
 

 l
l
l
AMPH1BIANs AND REPTILES OF ALABAMA 13 Q
— l
com- 1 LIZARDS AND ALLIGATORS: These are killed by us-  
imals I · ing the same technique as that for turtles. When the  
Ltmy i animal is dead, it should be thoroughly injected with g
that _ 10% formalin and left on a tray with the body straight  
IOUTS > and the legs extended, for about four hours. After this i
  ’ E time, it may be placed in bottles for permanent preser- g
al;N€· 1 vation. If a hypodermic syringe is not available, a slit  
_  should be m.ade on the abdomen and at the tail with a  
laced 2 pair of scissors, and the animal should be extended on E
Y me   a tray and covered with 10% formalin where it is left l
  until it hardens. These animals should then be placed in E
I _   10% formalin for at least a week and then it is desir- j
éggs ; able, although not necessary, to store them permanently {
  Q in 70% Ol- 75% aieoiwi. ;
{ The ` SNAKES: These should be treated like lizards. However,
Q they may be coiled flat on a tray with the head in the
  , 2 center and resting on the nearest coil, or they may be `
aznf   coiled springlike in a jar of appropriate size. If no hypo- l
Lim; dermic syringe is available, short slits should be made i l
final . , along the length of the abdomen and tail and, in large ,
gded snakes, the viscera should be removed completely. Q
erma- F _ . . .. . i
wml. oi a collection to have any scientific value, all speci- l 1
ir the mens should be tagged. These tags should be made of some  
led in ivater resistant paper, preferably those furnished by abio- l
it the lfigilcal supply house, or available at most laundries. Writing é
on these tags should be with a permanent black ink such as l
Higgin’s eternal ink. For small collections, these tags should l
IQ m_ Qontain information as to where the animal was collected, l
dOmi_ including the county and state names, the date when col- ¥
mma} lécted, and the name of the collector. In larger collections,
b {O1., lltquently some numbering system is used which refers to a
mms · §0i‘i‘esponding number in a catalogue where this information
Hidge IS recorded. If the latter method is used, great care should L
gum? lit Taken to prevent the possible loss of the catalogue, so that K
men Yllli important data is not lost, thereby making the specimens .
Often Of little scientific value, Tags should always be tied tightly l
Stmed OH the animal, and if they become torn or otherwise muti— {
lated, should be replaced immediately.  
ll
g .

 14 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA { -
For permanent storage, the specimens are normally t 
housed in jars. Mason jars are perfectly suitable for this §  ·
purpose, the best type being those which have a glass top {
which is held in position by a spring, and sealed with rubber-, j 
Metal topped jars should be avoided because they rust very A 
rapidly when formalin is used. To prevent this, however, the *
inside of the lid may be coated with paraffin. In many re- Q 
spects, the most desirable type of jar is a wideanouihed, f 
plastic capped, museum jar, which can be obtained from I 
any biological supply house. However, their expense limits T 
their use.  
i POISONOUS SNAKES AND THE I b.
TREATMENT OF SNAKE BITE p  ig
It is locally believed in Alabama that animals such as _   
the "Redheaded scorpion" (Blue-tailed skink), and the congo-   m
eel are poisonous. This idea is completely false, since no Am-   iz
. phibians, lizards or turtles found in the state are venomous.   br
In fact, .although we have a great variety of snakes found V si
within Alabama, only the following are poisonous, and every- i  A  
one who collects herpetological specimens or who spends much °  tt
. iw
time in the woods, should learn to recognize them. o D
t Common coral snake (Micrurus fulvius fulvius) A   
I Eastern water moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorous pisci-  H
. , vorous) also called "Cotton-mouth" .   
F Western water moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorous leu- 
§ _ costoma) i It
3 · ‘
lg Southern copperhead (Agkistrodon mokeson austiinuil .  
E also called "Upl.and" or "Highland moccasin" `  
F A A
Q Northern copperhead (Agkistrodon mokeson mokeson)  
i .
E .
~   ‘ Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) M50 _ g
  called "Swamp rattler"
‘ — . An,. __ I _.

 l
   
_"`* V L
_   Ground rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius miliarius) also  
imallv . ,, . ·
{  - called Pigmy rattler" §
>r this   ~ i
LSB top i  . . . . . . E
,ubb€1_·   Florida ground rattlesnake (Sistrurus m1l1ar1us barbouri)  
s ‘ ·r ’  7
$1,5;; g  Eastern Diamond-back rattlesnake (Crotalus adaman-  
my re-   tens) E
uitliecl, i   
{ {mm ;  Timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus horridus)  
limits    
  Canebrake rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus atricaudatus)  
z The coral snake is brilliantly colored with rings of red,  
J black and yellow, and can be easily recognized. Although it  
.,  is a relatively small and slender snake, its venom, which is  
Wh H; c  neurotoxic and affects the nervous system, is extremely poi- {
" ` ‘  sonous and results in a high percentage of deaths. The re-
C“`“gO“ mainder of the poisonous snakes are all pit-vipers, character- g
10 Am T ized by the presence of a loreal pit on each side of the head ¢
omous. e  between the nostril and the eye, by heavy bodies, and a
found *  single row of subcaudal scales. The venom of these snakes
m,€1.y_  Q · primarily affects the blood, and is said to be haemotoxic. S i
S much} ln general, the bite of the copperheads, swamp and pigmy Q
; rattlesnakes is rarely fatal, except in small children and E
Q persons in poor health. The bite of the canebrake, timber E i
i and diamond—back rattlesnakes, along with that of the wa-  
  ter moccasins, however, is highly dangerous. In all cases, 5
_ im  the bites of any of these poisonous snakes should receive  
D P   quick and proper treatment in order to prevent any possible l
, fatal effects.  
ms l€U·  _ _ . . . .  
j The victim of a snake bite can avoid considerable pain *
i and serious complications, if he acts immediately, without l
mimi) _ the loss of a second, by making a cut with a sharp knife or
7H,, razor at the site of the bite and as deeply as the fangs pene-
` trated, being careful not to cut any large blood vessels, and
ikeson) sucking out all of the blood, lymph and venom. If this is T
done within a second or two after the bite, as much as 75%
is) also _ of the venom can be removed before it has a chance to dif-
fuse into the tissues or blood stream. This swift action will  

 16 GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA  
not only reduce the hazards and pain accompanying a bite, V
but may mean the difference between life and death if the ·
snake was a large rattler or water moccasin. _
The following first aid treatment for snake bite is rec-
ommended by most Physicians and Herpetologists, and is
based on extensive experimentation. In all cases, this treat- A 
ment should be started immediately, and the patient should
be taken to a doctor as quickly as possible. p
1. Do not run or do anything that will speed up cir- i
Q culation; do not use any form of alcoholic drink.
Q Above all, keep calm. -
2. Apply a tourniquet between the bite and the hesnt,
being careful not to tie it too tightly. Soft rubber '
tubing, such as that furnished with the various .
snake-bite kits, makes the best tourniquet, but a i
Q shoe-string, handkerchief, or necktie will do.
` 3. Sterilize the skin over the area of the bite and with .
i a sharp knife or razor blade which has also been i 
sterilized, make cross cuts over each fang mark at .
least one-quarter of an inch deep. Any stantlartl p
l antiseptic such as iodine or mercurochrome niay be , DM
A used for sterilization. If an antiseptic is not avail- A  llli
able, use the flame of a match. lm
A or
Q I 4. Apply suction to the incision. If the small rubber _ ces
A   . bulbs supplied with snake-bite kits are not avail- i  ain
l y able, the mouth may be used. There is no danger if ter
  , there are no cuts or sores in the mouth or lips; and A  the
  j if the venom is swallowed, it will cause no ill af- ·
    fects. _ ·
  g A of
  Q 5. Continue the suction, loosening the tourniquet ei‘€1`5' F Ch=
  T ten minutes for a few seconds. As swelling pr0g1‘€$5· j  Di?
  Q es, the tourniquet should be moved and kept lust   WG
  U above it, and just tight enough to retard, but not ob- , cht
  , struct the flow of blood in the veins. Great harm D0i
l
i .
§ .
l t

 i
S
  AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF ALABAMZA 17 i
bpge)   may result if it is too tight. It should be loose  
f the Y - enough to allow a finger to be slipped under it  
‘ easily. %
. 1.€C_ , 6. Get to a doctor or hospital as quickly as possible. {
ud is — Meanwhile continue suction.  
  A 7. If antivenin is available, after about one hour of  
‘ suction, inject five ampouls (50 cc) directly into the i .
bite and the surrounding areas. An amount smaller g
) Chu `  than this is of no practical value. Because of the E
wink. r sensitivity of some people to this serum, antivenin E
` should be given only by a physician, except in cases l
` of extreme emergency.  
lggm 8, If antivenin has been given as above, wait one hour f
ibber . . . .
p. _ before resummg suction; otherwise, continue the
1jf”‘° . active suction treatment. By this time, however, you  
ul 3 A should have reached a physician. If not, continue i
suction for at least 15 hours.
with 4  
been A HOW TO USE A KEY  
·l; at ` {
rlarcl A  To one unfamiliar with a key, it seems to be an incom— i ,
ly be i Drcliensible mixture of names and terms. However, with a i
wail- little experience, reason soon replaces confusion, and the key °
l  becomes an extremely useful tool to aid in the identification i
{ of animals. A knowledge of .anatomy is required for the suc-  
lbber .  cessful use of a key. At the end of this work is a glossary E
wail- 5 and a set of illustrations which include all of the technical  
ger if ,  terms referred to in the keys, and should be referred to if E
and 3  the meaning of a word is not known. l
l af- E 
 " » Technically, a key consists of a series of couplets, each ;
p of which is numbered, and each offering two choices of
zi‘€1`)’   Chflfacters, Let us assume that We have a specimen of the
i1‘€5$· . DiH1nond—back rattlesnake, and wish to identify it by using ‘
just ‘ the key to the snakes. Under couplet number 1, we have two
»t ob- , Choices "A pit between the eye and the nostril; elongate
iarm D0ison fangs in the front of the mouth; head distinct; a sin-  
{ .

 is GEOLOGICAL SURVEY OF ALABAMA _
gle row of subcaudal scales" or "No pit between the eye L  poj
and nostril; a double row of subcaudal scales." On examin- _`  · ing
ing a specimen of the snake, we find that it agrees with the  Q ma
first choice because it does have the loreal pit and other V the
characters. This automatically places the snake in the Family i H0
Crotalidae, and we are referred to couplet number 2. In this . 
couplet, we again have two choices, and since the rattlesnake i
does have a rattle present on the end of the tail, we pro- .
ceed to couplet number 6. Reading this couplet, we again i 
have two choices "Top of head covered with distinct plates" Y 
or "Top of head covered with small scales." Since the head j 
of the Diamond-back is covered with small scales, we refer I
to couplet number 9. Here we again have two choices, and -
since the snake agrees with the latter half of the couplet,
we finally learn (assuming that we did not know the identi- ` 
fication of the snake in the first place) that it is the Bia- .
mondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus. _ 
Included in the following keys are the common nanies I
for the animals, their scientific names, and their distribution 3
in the state. The common names which are mentioned are
those most commonly used throughout the country, although I  I
these names may vary locally. On the other hand, the scien— 3
tific names are standardized and normally do not change. 5 
i Consequently, the latter is to be preferred. The scientific _
name consists of two or three words. The first of these, which _
always begin with .a capital letter, is the genus name. The ?
second word, beginning with a small letter, is the species 9
’ name. Occasionally a species may be subdivided into geo- 2 
` graphical races or subspecies. In this case, a third or sub- l 
Q species name is used. This name may, if the subspecies repre- _ 
f sents the original concept of the species, be identical to the V
i I species name, or it may be different. Z 
z .
l The distribution of the various species in the state is 2
i based on present available knowledge from the collections ,
% of the University of Alabama, the Alabama Museum of  
Q Natural History, and in some cases, on records in the litéffk I 
  ture. Since it is simpler to indicate the range of animals in  
3 terms of natural features of the environment, rather than
l
3

 I
•
  AMPHIBIANS AND REPTILES OF ALABAMA 19  
` >    é
Eye Q political boundaries, the reader is referred to the accompany-  
min, ` · mg map which includes Me1·riam’s Life Zones, the approxi-  
1 the   mote position of the Fall Line, and the Black Belt. All of §
fghgr , these features play a role in the limitation of the distribu-  
muy   tion of many of our native species.  
this .  
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