Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Jul
22nd
2008

New Mexico Trip, July 2008, Part 1

We left at about 2 in the afternoon to take the long route to the border, and then use some backroads to get to El Paso for the night.

The area along the Arizona/New Mexico border was just finished being pounded by monsoonal rain. The air was in the upper 70’s, which is a little on the cool side for late July. Everything was washed in glowing orange as the sun set, so we stopped to get some dramatic pictures of the rocks and road before the rain started in again.

Sun-lit rocks in Arizona
Sun-lit rocks in Arizona

Sun-lit rocks in Arizona

Just Northeast of Douglas, Arizona
Just Northeast of Douglas, Arizona

Just Northeast of Douglas, Arizona

It didn’t take long to find a Western Diamondback (Crotalus atrox) with the decently clean pattern we usually find in that area.

Crotalus atrox from Eastern Arizona
Crotalus atrox from Eastern Arizona

Crotalus atrox from Eastern Arizona

Then we found a nice yellow Desert Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida). I didn’t really get a good picture of him though because I didn’t see the pile of fire ants that I was standing on. One made it up my pant leg and stung me a good dozen or so times on the knee before I was able to kill it. Fire ants suck. When I’m done posting this I’m going to see if Amazon has any specials on magnifying glasses. Anyway, I got a decent picture of the snake before being driven back to the truck.

Desert Kingsnake
Desert Kingsnake

Desert Kingsnake

We were expecting the giant storm to our East to end our herping early, but it fell apart after it got dark, leaving smooth skies and lightning here and there in the distance.

With my entire leg throbbing from fire ant venom, we found a neonate Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) out trying not to be eaten in his first few days of life.

Crotalus scutulatus
Crotalus scutulatus

Crotalus scutulatus

Here’s a second picture zoomed out a little so you can see how tiny this little guy was. Coiled, he was about the diameter of a beer can.

Crotalus scutulatus
Crotalus scutulatus

Crotalus scutulatus

That’s it for now; Chinese food should be here soon. I’ll post the rest from the trip in coming days, as I am able to work through the thousand or so photos I took in the last week.


 

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One Response to “New Mexico Trip, July 2008, Part 1”

  1. Alec Rios says:

    Hey, I’m from El Paso. Never been in the field around there, though.

    Nice finds, Bryan. Keep up the good work.

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