Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Oct
28th
2014

Timber Rattlesnakes on a Cliff Face

These guys were only visible if you hang yourself a little bit over one of the massive stone cliffs in this part of Northern Pennsylvania. Is it stupid that I’m scared of heights and not of all the rattlesnakes all over the place? If you’re reading this, odds are that you’d agree.

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Oct
24th
2014

Red Diamond Rattlesnakes of San Diego County, In Situ

These snakes seem surprisingly easy to photograph in some ways, and very challenging in others.

Crotalus ruber

 

They’re very calm. They don’t seem to spook as easily as other species of rattlesnake, which fits their relaxed attitude in other aspects. They rarely rattle, and just hiss, puff, and try to look larger or just leave. In most cases, we can photograph them as they are found without trouble.

Crotalus ruber

 

The challenge comes from the grassland they’re found in – the snake, even when fully exposed, is rarely without at least some level of grass in the way. If we find 10 snakes, maybe 3 can produce a decent photo. Regardless, it’s not worth disturbing the animals to get more. Some light grass moving happens though, which has become the primary purpose of my snake hook in recent years.

Crotalus ruber

 

We get out there once or twice a year and it’s become kind of a tradition. I really enjoy finding these snakes, though the trip itself and the company is enjoyable enough that I can’t help but think I’ve built a bias around the whole thing. It’s a very happy, peaceful experience to walk down that dirt road to the vehicle at the end of the day after a long, successful hunt with my friends in such a place.

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Oct
21st
2014

Desert Spiny Lizard from Extreme Northern Arizona

Desert lizards get pretty big, and make quite a bit of sound in the bushes while I’m up North looking for Grand Canyon rattlesnakes. This is one of those that came out to check me out while searching a couple of years ago.

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Oct
17th
2014

Timber Rattlesnake in for the Evening at a Basking Site

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Oct
14th
2014

Grey-Eyed Diamondback In Ambush

This Crotalus atrox¬†clearly needs a meal; just one of many unfortunately skinny snakes I’ve seen in this area (along with several dead ones) during our long drought.

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Oct
10th
2014

Timber Rattlesnake Pair at a Basking Site

Crotalus-horridus

Oct
7th
2014

Coachwhip on the hunt

Nice, reddish Coluber flagellum piceus out nosing through the brush looking for lizards.

Coachwhip

Oct
3rd
2014

Arizona Black Rattlesnake, And A Couple Weeks of Itching

This is maybe my favorite photograph of an Arizona Black Rattlesnake, taken in situ. Yes, that plant in the foreground is poison oak, and yes I’m laying in it. Oh well, live and burn. I mean learn.

Worth it.

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Sep
30th
2014

Desert Patchnosed Snake

Here’s a patchnosed snake, seen about how they are always seen. These cool little snakes (“Coachwhip Lite” as I refer to them when trying to describe their agility) are common byproducts of mid-morning travel to the day’s hike.

Salvadora hexalepis

Sep
26th
2014

Greater Earless Lizards

Greater Earless Lizard

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Sep
23rd
2014

Pennsylvania Timber Hunting – Low Sun and Trees

I seriously need to get back out there soon.

Pennsylvania

 

Of course, these are pretty cool, too:

Crotalus horridus

Sep
19th
2014

Eastern Massasauga

Wow, I never thought I’d see one of these, let alone in Pennsylvania. I was very lucky to be able to tag along one day, and we found some cool things.

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S-c-catenatus-2-051311

 

Pretty cool … and then a smooth green snake happened.

Liochlorophis-vernalis-051311

 

Does anyone have any idea what kind of eggs these are?

eggs