Southwestern Field Herpetology

Southwestern Field Herpetology
Apr
7th
2009

Lots of Hiking, Not Much Herping

I spent the weekend putting miles on my legs/car without seeing many animals. It didn’t surprise me being the third week of march in less than ideal conditions. It was still nice to get out and do some exploring, no matter what the results were.

The temperatures were in the high 70s, but the air and ground was bone dry.

Springtime in Cochise County
Cochise County in Spring

Springtime in Cochise County

The one animal found in 2 days searching Northern Cochise County and Southern Graham County turned up one neonate Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) out wandering the flats in relatively cold conditions. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this little guy was only about as long as a dollar bill.

Mojave Rattlesnake
Crotalus scutulatus

Mojave Rattlesnake

A tiny baby Mojave Rattlesnake
Mojave Rattlesnake

A tiny baby Mojave Rattlesnake

After hiking an area in Southern Graham county with a new friend from Sierra Vista, I went to the Santa Rita mountains to try and find a green rat snake with no luck. I started the 4 hour drive home and decided to make one last-ditch attempt to put something my CF card at a location between Tucson and Phoenix: I saw 4 snakes within 15 minutes. Go figure. These were a large Sonoran Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes) and his deceased friend just down the road, a young Sonoran Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer affinis) and an injured Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) that I did not photograph.

Crotalus cerastes cercobombus in Arizona
Crotalus cerastes cercobombus

Crotalus cerastes cercobombus in Arizona

One of 2 Sidewinder subspecies found within Arizona
Sonoran Sidewinder

One of 2 Sidewinder subspecies found within Arizona

A Sonoran Gophersnake found West of Tucson, Arizona
Sonoran Gophersnake

A Sonoran Gophersnake found West of Tucson, Arizona


 

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3 Responses to “Lots of Hiking, Not Much Herping”

  1. andy says:

    Hi Bryan,

    I plan on visiting my brother in June and he lives in Sierra Vista, AZ. I’m hoping you know the cochise county area well and can tell me some good locations to go herping.

    Thanks,

    Andy

  2. TS Elliott says:

    Nice photography. I guess it would be kind of dumb for me to ask you if being that close to snakes is scary. But, I am amazed that you can get that close to so many. Wow, thank you for the link!! NIce.

  3. Bryan says:

    I wouldn’t describe it as ‘scary’ but there’s definitely some adrenaline involved; heightened sense of awareness and the ‘procedure’ kicks in. I’ve seen hundreds of rattlesnakes in the wild at this point, so it’s hard to keep that little bit of necessary fear that keeps me safe. Interesting animals that demand respect, that’s for sure.

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