Steve is a Museum Specialist at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center's Biological Survey Unit located at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Museum Support Center in Suitland, MD.
His primary duties are the care, management, and curation of the National Museum of Natural History North American Amphibian and Reptile Collections and associated data. He also does collections based research on taxonomy, historical clarifications and museum specimen conservation. He has participated in herpetological field work in the eastern and southwestern US, Guam, Honduras, Peru and Djibouti.
MS-Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 1988
BS-Biology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, 1982
Science and Products
Scientists and staff of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center stationed at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) do research on the systematics and conservation of vertebrate species and curate and manage the North American collections of Amphibian, Reptile, Bird, and Mammal specimens and associated records.
The Challenge: How can we preserve and maintain evidence from our scientific past and continue to smartly expand that resource to help scientists find the answers to the questions and challenges they will face in the future?
Distribution of Placobdella hollensis (Whitman, 1892) (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae)
Confusion regarding the identification of Placobdella hollensis (Whitman, 1892) (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae) has led to an unclear understanding of the distribution of the species. Two specimens of P. hollensis were collected from Merchants Millpond State Park, Gates County, North Carolina, U.S.A., representing a new...Moser, William E.; Richardson, Dennis J.; Hammond, Charlotte I.; Gotte, Steve W.; Lazo-Wasem, Eric
Preserving reptiles for research
What are voucher specimens and why do we collect them? Voucher specimens are animals and/or their parts that are deposited in a research museum to document the occurrence of a taxon at a specific location in space and time (Pleijel et al., 2008; Reynolds and McDiarmid, 2012). For field biologists, vouchers are the repeatable element of a field...Dodd, C. Kenneth; Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.; Zug, George R.
Diadophis Puntatus Puntatus (Southern Ring-neck Snake) Predation
DIADOPHIS PUNCTATUS PUNCTATUS (Southern Ring-necked Snake). PREDATION. Here I present the first record of Buteo lineatus (Red-shouldered Hawk) predator on a Diadophis p. punctatus. At ca. 1100h on l2 February2 013,I observed a B. lineatus eating a katydid in Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary (26.2730'N, 81.6079"W;WGS 84), Collier Co., Florida, USA. The...Gotte, Steve W.
Geographic distribution: Boiga irregularis (Brown treesnake)
Rota: Rota Seaport (14.136502°N, 145.135351°E; WGS84). 3 September 2014. Shelwyn Taisacan, Robert Ulloa. Verified by G. Zug. USNM 581745. Snake (42 g, 810 mm SVL, 1020 mm total length) captured in a mouse-baited trap hung on the fence perimeter of the Rota Seaport. Because the Northern Marianas Islands are historically snake-free, these...Knox, Adam; Holldorf, Elden; Reed, Robert N.; Igisomar, Sylvan; Gotte, Steve W.
An investigation into the Swan Island Honduras collecting event of Tiaporus fuliginosus Cope (Reptilia: Teiidae) and its systematic status
Confusion exists in the literature concerning the collecting event of the teiid lizard Tiaporus fuliginosus. We investigated the literature and documents stored at the Smithsonian Institution Archives involving the collector of those specimens in an effort to resolve that confusion. We conclude that the type series was collected on the Swan...McCranie, James R.; Gotte, Steve W.
Type specimens of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) re-examined, with new evidence after more than a century of confusion
The original description of Crotalus scutulatus (Chordata: Reptilia: Squamata: Viperidae) was published in 1861 by Robert Kennicott, who did not identify a type specimen or a type locality. We review the history of specimens purported to be the type(s) and various designations of type locality. We provide evidence that ANSP 7069 (formerly one of...Cardwell, Michael D.; Gotte, Steve W.; McDiarmid, Roy W.; Gilmore, Ned; Poindexter, James A.
Leptophis santamartensis (Serpentes, Colubridae), a junior synonym of Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis
Leptophis santamartensis, known only from Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, Colombia, is one of the more poorly known species of the genus Leptophis. The characters used for its diagnosis largely overlap with those of other Leptophis, mainly with Leptophis ahaetulla occidentalis, the only other Leptophis known to occur in the Sierra Nevada de Santa...Albuquerque, Nelson R.; de Passos, Paulo; Gotte, Steve W.
Pythons in Burma: Short-tailed python (Reptilia: Squamata)
Short-tailed pythons, Python curtus species group, occur predominantly in the Malayan Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. The discovery of an adult female in Mon State, Myanmar, led to a review of the distribution of all group members (spot-mapping of all localities of confirmed occurrence) and an examination of morphological variation in P....Zug, George R.; Gotte, Steve W.; Jacobs, Jeremy F.
Catalog of type specimens of recent Crocodilia and Testudines in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
The known type specimens of Crocodilia and Testudines in the collection of the Division of Amphibians and Reptiles, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, published through 2006 represent 93 names of taxa. The catalog presents a list of 249 type-specimen records consisting of 39 holotypes, 52 syntypes, 3 lectotypes, 2...Reynolds, R.P.; Gotte, S.W.; Ernst, C.H.
Commentary on the type material of Tantilla gracilis Baird and Girard, 1853 and Tantilla nigriceps Kennicott, 1860 (Reptilia: Squamata), with a neotype designation for T. nigriceps
We demonstrate that USNM 2040 and not UMMZ 3781 (originally part of lot USNM 4500) was most likely the holotype of Tantilla gracilis. The type specimens of Tantilla nigriceps have been lost or destroyed. It is not possible to determine from the original description of Tantilla nigriceps if this name represents what is currently known as T....Gotte, S.W.; Wilson, L.D.