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Glossary of Herpetological Terms

... compiled by Dave Royans & Sue Knight
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Term Definition
Inclusion Body Disease
An illustration or drawing of the type. An illustration serving as a type
Immunological distance

A comparison between two animals immune systems drawn from the comparison of antibodies from one with the antigens from the other.

Incomplete penetrance

The actual unexpected lower rate of a phenotype that mathematic probability would predict should be present in offspring (or a population).

To maintain eggs in conditions that are favourable for development and hatching

A characteristic that occurs within a species. See also intraspecific.

Latin: Meaning Gigantic
Latin: Meaning Not marked
Latin: Meaning of an island
The term Intergrade means To merge into each other in a series of stages forms or types. Intergrades are formed over hundreds of years in the Wild an example of this would of been The Gulf Hammock Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus williamsi ).
Gulf Hammock Ratsnakes occur in the wild where the range of the Grey Ratsnake & Yellow Ratsnakes overlap. Crosses of these sub-species in captivity by hobbyists do not make them Gulf Hammock Ratsnake they are intra-specific hybrids (meaning a cross between two subspecies).
* Note If you follow Burbrink et al reclassification the Grey and Yellow Ratsnakes as well as the Gulf Hammock Ratsnakes are now only regional variations and thus are all classed as Pantherophis alleghaniensis
Interorbital - term used for an area between and behind the eyes.

Shared between two or multiple species.


The skin between scales.


A characteristic that occurs within a species. See also infraspecific.

Another word for mating. The alignment of the cloacae and insertion of the males hemipenis into the cloaca of the female.
This site has information on the following genera of Ratsnakes ... Spilotes, Spalerosophis, Ptyas, Zamenis, Elaphe, Rhinechis, Senticolis, Pseudelaphe, Pantherophis, Bogertophis, Orthriophis, Gonyosoma, Oreocryptophis, Oocatochus, Euprepiophis, Coelognathus, Archelaphe