; «A« 8 1955 A RECONSIDERATION OF THE RACER, COLUBER CONSTRICTOR, IN EASTERN UNITED STATES WALTER AUFFENBERG.i Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida A quarter of a century has passed since the publication of Orten-burger's (1928) monograph on the whipsnakes and racers. During the intervening years such factors as effect generic, specific and racial validity, distributional problems and the evaluation of diagnostic char-acters in these snakes have been quite generally discussed in many short papers. Yet, the taxonomic status and relationships of the various subspecies are still incompletely known. This seems especially true of those forms which inhabit the coastal areas of southern United States. Descriptions have been based on characters present in a few specimens at hand, with little knowledge of the extent of variation, either individual or geographic. This study is primarily concerned with the morphological variations existing in the eastern forms. Notes and comments are presented on more western populations when they contribute to a better under-standing of the variations which are found in the East. In order to understand individual and geographic variation of south-eastern forms practically all of the available material from the area was studied. Thus a total of 1,560 specimens from both institutional and private collections was examined. Since Florida was to be a focal point in the study of variation, many more specimens were examined from this state than any other (1,008). Of the remaining 552, 491 were from east of the Great Plains, and over two-thirds of these from the southeastern states. Efforts were made to examine as many living specimens as pos-sible, and 377 became available for study. The results were especially worthwhile for without live animals knowledge of certain colors (which fade rapidly in preservatives) would not have been available. Throughout the course of this paper the following abbreviations are used when reference is made to specimens or to collections: AMNH = American Museum of Natural History, New York, New York; ANSP = Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Phila-delphia, Pennsylvania; CHM = Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina; CM = Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; CNHM = Chicago Natural History Museum, Chicago, Illinois; UF = Depart-ment of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida; JWC = John W. Crenshaw Collection, Gainesville, Florida; MCZ = Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachu-setts; RA-WTN = Ross Allen-Wilfred T. Neill Collection, Silver Springs, Florida; ST = Sam Telford Collection, Winter Haven, Flor-1 A thesis presented to the Graduate Council of the University of Florida in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.