Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wisconsin Fishery
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Sloss, B.L., G.W. Schuurman, R.A. Paloski, O.D. Boyle, J.M. Kapfer. 2012. Novel microsatellite loci for studies of Thamnophis gartersnake genetic identity and hybridization. Conservation Genetics Resources 4:383-386.


Butler’s Gartersnakes (BGS; Thamnophis butleri) are confined to open and semi-open canopy wetlands and adjacent uplands, habitats under threat of development in Wisconsin. To address issues of species identity and putative hybridization with congeneric snakes, a suite of 18 microsatellite loci capable of cross-species amplification of Plains Gartersnakes (T. radix) and Common Gartersnakes (T. sirtalis). All loci were polymorphic in BGS with mean number of alleles per locus of 16.11 (range = 3-41) and mean observed heterozygosity of 0.659 (range = 0.311-0.978). Loci amplified efficiently in the congeneric species with high levels of intra- and inter-specific variation. These loci will aid ongoing efforts to effectively identify and manage BGS in Wisconsin.