Louis A. Somma
Breviora 575 (1), 1-10, (30 May 2022) https://doi.org/10.3099/MCZ74.1
KEYWORDS: biogeography, distribution, historical, Nebraska, Squamata, Storeria occipitomaculata
I reaffirmed the existence of a red-bellied snake, Storeria occipitomaculata (Storer, 1839), collected in an allopatric locality in eastern Nebraska, U.S.A., in the 19th century. I utilized data associated with this snake, MCZ Herpetology R-135 (Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts), to determine it was probably collected in the 1850s, approximately 170 years ago, either in the eastern portion of the Platte River Valley in western Douglas County or in the Missouri River Valley in eastern Washington County, bordering Iowa. I used this information to discuss the biogeographic and conservation implications for populations of S. occipitomaculata occurring in the Prairie Peninsula of the American Midwest and in the grassland-dominated plains. Moreover, I demonstrate the importance of reevaluating historic specimens in collections and the data associated with them to generate critical insights into species biogeography, ecology, and conservation.