Field notes and photography by Bryan D. Hughes

First Red-Diamond Rattlesnake from Southern California

So I’ve lived and herped in Arizona for many years now, and I’ve never gone right over to California to do the same. I think it’s because I’ve always just thought … hey, it’s right there, a few hours away, I can always get to it when I get to it. Well this year I finally got to it, accepting an invitation from a friend and bringing another along. We visited San Diego county and had one of those trips where everything goes perfectly. We ended up seeing quite a few snakes, more or less just moving from one to the next with only a few minutes gap in between, photographing as we went. Along the way, I found my lifer (very first found and photographed) Red Diamond Rattlesnake, Crotalus ruber, Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus helleri, and San Diego Gophersnake, Pituophis catenifer annectens. We also saw on the trip a variety of other snakes, including California kingsnake in a stripe phase, glossy snakes, longnosed snakes, a coastal rosy boa, and a Sonoran lyresnake.

I have yet to go through most of the photos yet, but here’s a shot of the second of our ruber finds, out on the crawl and worked with for this shot.

Crotalus ruber

I also must note that as this post is being published, I am back in Pennsylvania, probably looking at a timber rattlesnake right now. Woo!

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