Sunday, October 2, 2011

Weekend in Arizona

The two of us decided to drop down into Arizona for a weekend to meet up with our friend Keegan and see what kind of herps we could round up. Phoenix was the first stop, so we decided to take a look around South Mountain.

Several chuckwallas were seen moving in and out of crevices, but we didn't glimpse any of the talked about carrot-tail variety.

A desert phase black-tailed rattlesnake was tucked away in a crevice, but we pulled it out for some quick photos.

A huge bulge shows that this guy had just eaten something meaty!

Not having much time to herp, we packed up and headed down to the southeastern part of the state. We pulled off the busy highway when we saw this large western diamondback sitting on the shoulder. Very quick to strike, it was one of the more aggressive rattlesnakes we had witnessed.

Although the southeastern mountains are good places to find new species, we didn't have much time, and it would prove that we didn't have a ton of luck, either, unfortunately.
Yarrow's spiny lizards were seen scurrying around.

A Sonoran whipsnake getting ready to shed was flipped under a stone at the Huachuca Mountains.
A yellow-phase black-tailed rattlesnake was found basking on a rock slide.

We had never seen more gopher snakes than we did on this short trip....maybe almost 10 of them. We stopped taking pictures after a while.

Some desert centipedes, giant desert hairy scorpions, and tarantulas were found moving across the roads.

A lyre snake was stretched out on the road not too far from the Mexican border.

It would not sit still for a photo, despite our best efforts.

Several western diamonbacks were seen on the trip, but only one DOR Mojave rattlesnake and one DOR tiger rattlesnake. The diamondback coiled up for some photos.

As far as amphibians went, we found this little Colorado River toad, as well as a couple canyon treefrogs, some red-spotted toads, and a DOR Couch's spadefoot.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Great Basin Rattlesnakes

Devin and I found two Great Basin rattlesnakes near Paragonah, Utah, at our family union.
The snake below is the smaller of the two, measuring about 2 1/2 feet in length.

The snake below is the larger one. It's a little over 3 feet long.

The two were found only feet about, while Devin and I were walking around at night. We heard them rattle before we saw them.

Devin holding the snake for the photoshoot.

Jeff keeping the rattler at a safe distance. (This should not be attempted by amateurs...only freaking studs.)

Basking in its habitat.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Little SoCal Herping

One night of herping at Anza-Borrego State Park near San Diego brought some nice finds for Devin and I.
We ended up finding six spotted leaf-nosed snakes, but 4 of those were freshly killed (one even still moving).

Spotted leaf-nosed snakes aren't typically this common on roadways, but it was nice to see them out in good numbers. The one above was pretty little.

We were glad to see a large specimen alive on the road, too. It was the last snake found of the night.

We also found a couple shovel-nosed snakes, and thankfully, no dead ones. We got some nice defensive posture shots. I had never seen a shovel-nosed snake posture like this and strike, so it was a lot of fun to see.

This little one gave us some good pics. I like how he's almost totally black and white. There's a very slight pinkish hue.

This little shovel-nosed was our first snake of the night. It was out on the road just after dusk.

This was the larger shovel-nosed snake we found.

This guy had more of the usual coloration with the alternating red, yellow, and black.

Shovel-nosed snakes are an attractive species. Seeing the habitat during the day the next morning was a little bit of a surprise, though, because it was more rocky than I was expecting.

We went to the Laguna Mountains the next morning to look for mountain kings, but we would have no such luck this day. We did, however, find good habitat and uncovered four western skinks. Mountain kingsnakes will have to wait until next time, I guess.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Herping Las Vegas

Vegas behaved for us this time around and produced some decent herps. Banded geckos were in no short supply perched on the roadways at night.
We probably saw between 20-30 banded geckos.

After seeing a DOR patch-nosed snake and a DOR black-headed snake, our first live specimen was a fair-sized gopher snake.

Being happy with a gopher snake.

Saw him again on the road on the way back, even though we had taken him off the road for his safety.

Our second snake was a small glossy snake. Unfortunately, we also saw a very large, live glossy snake, but after pulling over to the side of the road, a car behind us sped past and killed it before we could get to it.

Giant desert hairy scorpion sitting on the road.

Armed and dangerous.

Our third live snake was a little sidewinder making his way across the road.

Chuckwallas were out in full force around Vegas.

Closeup of the chuck we pulled from a crevice.

Desert horned lizard.

Trying to stay unseen.

Lyre snake.

A second lyre snake was found on the road, and a third DOR lyre was also found.

Sidewinder found about during daylight amongst the soft sand.

Having a look around.

Taking a closer look at the sidewinder.We also managed to find a nice-looking speckled rattlesnake.
Photo shoot with the spec.
Speckled rattlesnake in all its glory!