Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Dec
19th
2014

Pair of Western Diamondbacks from Ahwatukee (South Phoenix)

These were relocated from the neighborhood below. This is a big part of why I love Phoenix, and where most of the gas money for my herping trips comes from.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes

Dec
16th
2014

Beautiful Great Basin Gophersnake from the Southern Range of the Subspecies

Seriously … look at this thing. I wonder how it would look as an adult. This is probably the prettiest gophersnake I’ve ever seen, found in Arizona near the Southern border of their range.

Pituophis-catenifer-deserticola-1-082911

Dec
12th
2014

Arizona Ridge-Nosed Rattlesnake in Ambush

Camo doesn’t work as well when against a burnt-out tree. This snake may not succeed in the day’s hunt, but I don’t mind today.

Crotalus willardi

Dec
9th
2014

Lone Timber Rattlesnake at Spring Basking Site

Timber Rattlesnake

Dec
5th
2014

Sonoran Mud Turtle Underwater

Moving through the water, undisturbed, hunting for invasive crawfish and poking through the mud, this little mud turtle made my day.

Kinosternon-sonoriense-2-042212

Dec
2nd
2014

Timber Rattlesnake Accidents

Well, not quite, but barely! See the pile of black timber rattlesnakes? That’s what I saw too.

timber rattlesnake den

What I didn’t see was the big yellow-phase timber right where I just about put my hand! Yikes. I saw him just before it was too late.

Crotalus-horridus-2-051411

 

Yes, that would have hurt.

And, here’s a closer shot of the black timbers, minus 2 that disappeared before I could get a shot.

Crotalus-horridus

 

Nov
28th
2014

White Speckled Rattlesnake Found on a Night Hike

It’s no wonder everyone wants to take these home, and that they’re pretty hard to spot. This is one of the famous white speckled rattlesnakes from Southern Arizona, found in a desert wash at night and left as is.

Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus

Nov
25th
2014

A Young Patch-Nosed Snake from Yavapai County

This was about the most well behaved Desert Patch-Nosed Snake, Salvadora hexalepis hexalepis, I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. Unlike his buddies, he sat still long enough for me mto take some photos other than the typical “hold the tail off camera” sort I’m typically forced to take. Anyway, a nice animal for sure.

Desert Patch-Nosed Snake
Desert Patch-Nosed Snake
Nov
21st
2014

Hidalgo County Grasslands

On-route to another spot, looking for priaries and hognose snakes. I had to stop and take a shot, despite lightning all around. This is one of my favorite places, and yes I realize I say that a lot.

grassland

Nov
18th
2014

Rain Comes to the Bradshaw Mountains

I was out herping with a friend in late June and had the pleasure to see the first summer rain sweep over the East end of the Bradshaw mountains. We only found one snake, but the view was well worth the trip.

Near Bumblebee, Arizona
Near Bumblebee, Arizona

This is a black-necked gartersnake, Thamnophis cyrtopsis, doing it’s best “I’m dead, don’t eat me because that’s gross” act.

Black-Necked Gartersnake
Black-Necked Gartersnake
Nov
14th
2014

Peek-a-Boo

In the last light of a day, temps in the high 50′s, we checked one last spot. The snakes were not visible, but a blind shot into a crevice with my flash (I did check to make sure my hands weren’t at risk first) revealed the truth.

Timber Rattlesnakes

Nov
11th
2014

Lizards from Northern Arizona

Here are a few lizards Kelly and I saw while searching for Hopi Rattlesnakes just above the rim in Cental Arizona.

This first is an extremely colorful male Eastern Collared Lizard, Crotaphytus collaris. This was easily the most colorful collared lizard I have seen in my limited experience with them.

Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard

Another we saw crawling around here and there are these colorful Pai Striped Whiptails, Aspidoscelis pai. Although very common and easy to see, I really haven’t done much exploring this far North in the state. We saw a few and they did the typical whiptail thing of teasing and dodging between the shrubs before I finally got a halfway decent shot. I’ll be back up there sometime soon to get something proper.

Pai Striped Whiptail
Pai Striped Whiptail

Here’s a common lizard I see all the time in the Bradshaw mountains further to the South, a Plateau Fence Lizard, Sceloporus tristichus.

Plateau Fence Lizard
Plateau Fence Lizard

The last lizard we found of note was an even more colorful adult male Eastern Collared Lizard. He stood still for us and we were able to get within 7 or 8 feet before it darted between the rocks and we retreated to the truck to avoid an incoming storm.

Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard


 

Eastern Collared Lizard
Eastern Collared Lizard