Search found 517 matches

by mtratcliffe
July 4th, 2015, 2:15 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap
Replies: 9
Views: 2578

Re: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap

Thanks for the update. That is really neat. Do you know how far upstream they've been found in the Withlacoochee? There looks to be a spot where that river gets very close to the Hillsborough, also by its headwaters. I don't know what the terrain is like between them - maybe an elevation map could ...
by mtratcliffe
July 3rd, 2015, 4:11 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap
Replies: 9
Views: 2578

Re: The Mystery of the Suwannee Cooter Range Gap

To anyone still interested in this topic... Ireceived some great news today! I ran into George Heinrich at a nearby nature preserve, and he shared something interesting with me. He's been actively paddling the rivers in the region, especially the Alafia, looking for Suwannee Cooters. Like me, he pad...
by mtratcliffe
July 2nd, 2015, 4:02 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Andrea and Mike's 2015 Species Seen (xposted from NE Chapter
Replies: 15
Views: 7366

Re: Andrea and Mike's 2015 Species Seen (xposted from NE Cha

Great selection of herps! Looks like your trip down to FL did you well. Your Florida Red-bellied Cooter *might* be a Peninsula Cooter, but I can't see it's jawline to verify. Though I did find that Redbellies seemed to be more common than Peninsulas down in the Everglades.
by mtratcliffe
July 2nd, 2015, 11:20 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Crossed off a lifer
Replies: 2
Views: 1008

Re: Crossed off a lifer

So you actually grabbed a Coral Snake?

Glad you made it through the encounter without a bite. Congrats on the lifer, even if you couldn't get a photo!
by mtratcliffe
June 30th, 2015, 4:02 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: European herper looking for FL help
Replies: 10
Views: 2727

Re: European herper looking for FL help

Being that you will be in an RV, roadcruising at night does not appear to be much of an option for you. It's one of the more productive means of herping during the summer, when every single day is hot and humid. Face it - you won't be able to beat the heat. If you want to hike, mornings can still be...
by mtratcliffe
June 29th, 2015, 2:39 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: SE Summer BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs (results)
Replies: 26
Views: 6405

Re: SE Summer July 11th BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs

So, I don't think anyone will be camping (I'll be getting a cheap hotel for the night), but I plan on being at Manatee Springs by 10 AM to do some snorkeling and perhaps some kayaking. From there, I think Noah and I will meet up somewhere and check out aquatic spots until it gets too hot, where we m...
by mtratcliffe
June 27th, 2015, 5:24 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Burrowing Rat Snake (Elaphe Conspicillatus)
Replies: 3
Views: 1495

Re: Burrowing Rat Snake (Elaphe Conspicillatus)

Really interesting pattern on that species - thanks for sharing the video!
by mtratcliffe
June 23rd, 2015, 1:49 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

Agreed with the others about the hooked softshell- it should be just fine. They are a lot tougher than most people give them credit for. A couple of other thoughts: -The box turtle was an eastern box ( T. c. carolina ) not a Florida. Definitely someone's escaped/released pet. -The gopher tortoise s...
by mtratcliffe
June 22nd, 2015, 5:52 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: SE Summer BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs (results)
Replies: 26
Views: 6405

Re: SE Summer July 11th BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs

All right, I'm good-to-go! We need more people to chime in and say that they are coming!

For those who are attending, is anyone camping? Hotel? Or just driving back home that night?
by mtratcliffe
June 22nd, 2015, 2:08 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

Very nice trip. That water looked a little dark for me to dip into haha - I'm more of a swamp/upland guy :lol:. Glad to know you got the soft shell loose. I think the mouth will be fine, the damage didn't look too fresh in the picture. Hate to say it, but the tortoise shell to me looks like a human...
by mtratcliffe
June 21st, 2015, 5:05 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread
Replies: 29
Views: 4005

Re: Herping via Kayaking - New Thread

After a nearly three-month hiatus, I was finally able to hit the water again last weekend when the wife and kid left town for the week. I chose to explore two smaller rivers in the area that are not by any stretch popular kayaking spots, especially when compared to the Hillsborough and Withlacoochee...
by mtratcliffe
June 21st, 2015, 11:49 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Caymans and Everglades, Spring 2015
Replies: 14
Views: 9461

Re: Caymans and Everglades, Spring 2015

Great photos, and thanks for showing us some herps from an under-shared area. The Blue-Throated Anole is very interesting.

Was the Northern Green Anole you saw found within the Everglades? I've always been curious if any of them made it down that far.
by mtratcliffe
June 21st, 2015, 11:41 am
Forum: N.A.F.H.A. - Announcements/Inquiries
Topic: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results
Replies: 10
Views: 12333

Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count Results

Woah, IL and FL beat out CA and TX? That's awesome! I didn't realize it ended on the 12th - I had a whole slew of records from the 13th and 14th that I hoped would be in the window.
by mtratcliffe
June 21st, 2015, 11:39 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Two Turtles
Replies: 6
Views: 1873

Re: Two Turtles

Lots of color on both turtles - I've never seen a Florida Softshell that looked like that!
by mtratcliffe
June 19th, 2015, 11:39 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Salamania 2015 - more details
Replies: 53
Views: 20028

Re: Salamania 2015 - more details

Josh, As much as I want to go, it's looking fairly certain that I will have to back out as I recently found out that I will be deploying in mid-October. As such, I'll be wanting to spend as much time with my wife and son in the weeks preceding the deployment. I really wish I could make it work, but ...
by mtratcliffe
June 19th, 2015, 11:38 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: SE Summer BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs (results)
Replies: 26
Views: 6405

Re: SE Chapter Summer July BBQ Herp-a-palooza

Let's go with Manatee Springs, July 11th. It has camping, showers, hiking trails, the spring, and I think canoe rentals. Fanning springs isn't that far to the north, for more exploration, and there are plenty of places to road cruise in the area, plus Fowler's Bluff Conservation area is next door. ...
by mtratcliffe
June 17th, 2015, 1:25 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: SE Summer BBQ Herp-a-palooza - Manatee Springs (results)
Replies: 26
Views: 6405

Re: SE Chapter Summer July BBQ Herp-a-palooza

As long as we find a place with plenty of shade! I think we should definitely make a herping trip out of it since some of us will be driving several hours. I'm willing to camp overnight if need be. Are we planning on making the cookout portion in the evening to beat the mid-day heat?
by mtratcliffe
June 16th, 2015, 4:32 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: First Half of 2015- part 2
Replies: 14
Views: 5805

Re: First Half of 2015- part 2

Great photos, Bill - thanks for sharing! It's good to see some pics from the Wichita Mountains. I hiked there a little over three years ago before I was into herping, but it was a beautiful place. I recall hearing what I now know are Strecker's Chorus Frogs calling mid-day on a warm January day.
by mtratcliffe
June 15th, 2015, 4:32 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida's Green Swamp - Updated June 15th
Replies: 11
Views: 3849

Re: Florida's Green Swamp

Hey all, I went out to the Green Swamp again on Friday night, this time meeting up with David (double d) beforehand. We set out around 7 PM and had a good night of herping, finding a good variety of all types of reptiles and amphibians. Highlights of the night include my lifer Eastern Slender Lizard...
by mtratcliffe
June 14th, 2015, 12:33 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: May 7th-June 10th. Highlights and heartbreaks. (pic heavy)
Replies: 8
Views: 2938

Re: May 7th-June 10th. Highlights and heartbreaks. (pic heav

Sorry about your loss - I'm glad you were able to visit before he passed. I hope your new job is going well - you were in the animal removal business before, weren't you?

Good smattering of herps you've got there. I like the Green Snake on the dirt road - your camera picked that one up nicely.
by mtratcliffe
June 12th, 2015, 1:01 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Python rules
Replies: 4
Views: 1796

Re: Python rules

Like Noah said, don't touch/harass any animals or carry anything with you that would suggest you might be there to collect. If you are going to shine, be out of your car or stopped. In all honestly, you likely will not be pulled over by any Park Rangers at night, but if you have nothing to hide and ...
by mtratcliffe
June 10th, 2015, 2:04 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...
Replies: 58
Views: 15953

Re: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...

I don't think anyone here actually believes that about snakes. Mimicry is absolutely evolutionary, and performed without any cognitive understanding on part of the animal. All they know is that it helps them survive . No offense intended... but there it is... the insidious habit of granting snakes ...
by mtratcliffe
June 8th, 2015, 5:05 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: The Most Common Herp in Your Area
Replies: 16
Views: 5134

Re: The Most Common Herp in Your Area

My location is Tampa, FL Toads - the Southern Toad is by far the most common. Spadefoot Toads are uncommon, and there are plenty of Eastern Narrowmouths, but they aren't really toads. https://c1.staticflickr.com/1/543/18274693288_9aa5fcd2bf_z.jpg DSCN7618 by Matthew Ratcliffe , on Flickr Frogs - Sev...
by mtratcliffe
June 8th, 2015, 4:27 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...
Replies: 58
Views: 15953

Re: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...

I could be wrong Jim but it sounds like you are confusing terms here. The generic term mimicry is as you say a cognitive attempt to copy something else, however evolutionary mimicry (e.g. Batesian or Mullerian) is simply a selection pressure, it has nothing to do with cognitive process. Evolutionar...
by mtratcliffe
June 7th, 2015, 4:43 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...
Replies: 58
Views: 15953

Re: I've seen it, you seen it ... we've all seen...

just posted elsewhere on this, elsewhere... They are not actually mimicing any other snakes... plenty of snakes will rattle their tails, puff up, hiss etc... with no arms or legs... there are a limited number of defensive actions a snake can take. we never say 'that rattlesnake is mimicing a gopher...
by mtratcliffe
June 5th, 2015, 4:12 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida's Green Swamp - Updated June 15th
Replies: 11
Views: 3849

Re: Florida's Green Swamp

Coluber Constrictor wrote:The weird looking bullfrog is probably a metamorph.
I considered that, but it seemed a bit large for a recent metamorph. Then again, I haven't seen any Bullfrogs in that stage before.
by mtratcliffe
June 4th, 2015, 11:20 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida's Green Swamp - Updated June 15th
Replies: 11
Views: 3849

Florida's Green Swamp - Updated June 15th

So what do you do when you have to stay up all night in order to transition to working nightshift? Why, roadcruise, of course! I finally got the chance to hit up a target area of mine - Florida's Green Swamp. It's probably some of the best roadcruising habitat near Tampa, where one usually has to dr...
by mtratcliffe
June 2nd, 2015, 1:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Typical Pine Barron Hike
Replies: 3
Views: 1685

Re: Typical Pine Barron Hike

Is that a Northern Watersnake at the end? Never seen one like that before!
by mtratcliffe
June 1st, 2015, 9:55 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: IL town removing snakes
Replies: 14
Views: 5403

Re: IL town removing snakes

I sent a message to the Village of Maryville, and to my surprise, Mayor Gulledge himself called me back. We had a nice conversation and he cleared up the chaos surrounding this story. Not surprising, there is a lot of misinformation out there, and KSDK did not do their part to vet the info they repo...
by mtratcliffe
May 31st, 2015, 4:15 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: IL town removing snakes
Replies: 14
Views: 5403

Re: IL town removing snakes

I've emailed both the Village of Marysville and KSDK, which ran the story. Such a sad state of affairs - I can't believe no one stopped to assess the situation before diving headlong into the wholesale slaughter of what are almost certainly some variant of Nerodia sipedon . I used to live in the are...
by mtratcliffe
May 31st, 2015, 4:03 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Family Florida Trip May 2015(Pythons, Tegus & More Snakes)
Replies: 25
Views: 7506

Re: Family Florida Trip May 2015(Pythons, Tegus & More Snake

Hi everyone :) . I am going to south Florida soon and I would like to know some tips on field herping, rock flipping, road cruising, etc. I will be in fort Myers for a while, and then I am visiting Key Largo and areas around there. If anyone knows some tips on herping there, I would be glad to know...
by mtratcliffe
May 30th, 2015, 7:38 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Frog ID Opinion?
Replies: 9
Views: 2570

Re: Frog ID Opinion?

Despite having never seen a River Frog in person, I have seen my share of Pig Frogs, and I would lean towards the former for this one.
by mtratcliffe
May 29th, 2015, 6:21 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2015 so far in Indiana
Replies: 9
Views: 5167

Re: 2015 so far in Indiana

Great macro shots, and it's always good to see some neat non-herp species on here. I enjoyed the crayfish and the darter. Also, that Bullsnake is stunning - I like how bold the colors are. Thanks for sharing!
by mtratcliffe
May 29th, 2015, 6:18 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: A Tale of Two Gecko Species
Replies: 3
Views: 1483

Re: A Tale of Two Gecko Species

Interesting study, Noah. I may have to do something similar to where I am. The houses in my neighborhood are dominated by H. mabouia, and I have found an Indo-Pacific Gecko on a building in a remote part of the base. Just today, I found what I believe was a juvenile H. turcicus elsewhere on base, bu...
by mtratcliffe
May 27th, 2015, 4:47 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: 2nd Annual Summer Herp Count Starts May 30th
Replies: 1
Views: 911

Re: 2nd Annual Summer Herp Count Starts May 30th

I plan on doing some kayaking and several nights of roadcruising in June before the end of the month turns into a grind at work. I'd like to shoot for 75 records on my part.
by mtratcliffe
May 26th, 2015, 6:46 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Re: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*

Looks like you had a great time. There are a bunch of neat places down there, and it sure looks like you did really well for only having 3 days to get out and around. Yeah, I think I did pretty well given the time constraints and having a toddler with us. I'd definitely need a few more days dedicat...
by mtratcliffe
May 26th, 2015, 6:42 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Family Florida Trip May 2015(Pythons, Tegus & More Snakes)
Replies: 25
Views: 7506

Re: Family Florida Trip May 2015(Pythons, Tegus & More Snake

Is there alot of side roads to take like long dirt roads? Or does everyone just go back and forth on main road, so excited .. I want get out in the field there , hoping for some awesome hiking trails!! There are a few side roads that are a few miles long, but the main road is your best bet. That's ...
by mtratcliffe
May 24th, 2015, 5:09 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Awsome trip to the Smoky Mountains *same as main forum*
Replies: 5
Views: 2382

Re: Awsome trip to the Smoky Mountains *same as main forum*

Good finds - the part of the country has amazing Salamander diversity, and you saw a good mix. What month did you take your trip?
by mtratcliffe
May 22nd, 2015, 1:42 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Re: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions

Bump - trip report is out, but it was an edit of a previous post so it didn't bump this thread to the top.
by mtratcliffe
May 21st, 2015, 4:21 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Lost in (carnivorous plant) Paradise
Replies: 9
Views: 3440

Re: Lost in (carnivorous plant) Paradise

And why haven't you turned up a photo of a live Wooly-booger yet, hmm? The meadows with the pitcher plants look fantastic. It must be a surreal experience to drive through that forest on a foggy morning. I also enjoy the hatchling Barbour's Map Turtles - were the little ones just out in the open bas...
by mtratcliffe
May 21st, 2015, 2:28 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Herping Georgia, March - May 20, 2015
Replies: 6
Views: 2716

Re: Herping Georgia, March - May 20, 2015

Great finds and photos! How exactly does a Kingsnake go about catching a Racer? That must have been fascinating to stumble upon.
by mtratcliffe
May 20th, 2015, 3:50 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Florida Keys Exotics & Friends
Replies: 4
Views: 2138

Re: Florida Keys Exotics & Friends

Great finds, Noah! Even though non-natives aren't my thing, you have to admit that some of the lizards are really neat. And your post actually made me realize that I saw a Bark Anole, not a Brown Anole, at Bahia Honda back in 2013. So thanks! :)
by mtratcliffe
May 20th, 2015, 1:59 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Spring 2015
Replies: 12
Views: 4266

Re: Spring 2015

That's a big Queen Snake you've got there! I also like the patterning on the Coachwhip's head. About how long was that snake?
by mtratcliffe
May 19th, 2015, 2:10 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Re: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions *TRIP UPDATE*

More than 200 photos and 82 H.E.R.P. entries later, I'm ready to report on my trip! I'd say it was a worthwhile excursion overall, even if only for being able to finally glimpse the unique habitat of the main part of Everglades National Park. If you know me, then you know that I get excited at any h...
by mtratcliffe
May 14th, 2015, 3:51 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Navy wont let me herp!!!
Replies: 15
Views: 5059

Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

In regards to hazardous activities, I'm in the AF myself and am familiar with having to fill them out. I would say that the only time herping would ever approach that category is if you plan on handling hots (hopefully with a snake hook and not your hands). Herping is a lot less dangerous than an ac...
by mtratcliffe
May 14th, 2015, 2:56 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Navy wont let me herp!!!
Replies: 15
Views: 5059

Re: Navy wont let me herp!!!

The Navy cannot forbid you from participating in a hobby so long as it does not violate any laws or iimpede your ability to serve. By all means, go herping, but to be on the safe side, don't handle any snakes or move any Snapping Turtles. They never have to know. And once you are on active duty, no ...
by mtratcliffe
May 9th, 2015, 2:30 am
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions - *TRIP UPDATE*
Replies: 15
Views: 5744

Re: Big Cypress/Everglades Questions

A suggestion and a question 1) I like eating at Rosita's in Homestead (just off Rt1 on the way to the park). Good food, inexpensive, and lots of it. 2) What are the rules for riding the main road in ENP? I go every summer and winter on my way to and from the Fl Keys to visit my brother. I always ju...
by mtratcliffe
May 8th, 2015, 6:09 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: My night with the toads: love, fights, death, and white eggs
Replies: 9
Views: 3036

Re: My night with the toads: love, fights, death, and white

Great post! Did you see any of the calling Gray Treefrogs? Watching American Toads call near my house is one of the major catalysts that got me into herping.
by mtratcliffe
May 7th, 2015, 5:59 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: First Third of 2015.... early Year in Review
Replies: 8
Views: 2179

Re: First Third of 2015.... early Year in Review

Great post, Berkeley! I enjoyed your videos as well.
by mtratcliffe
May 7th, 2015, 5:45 pm
Forum: The Forum
Topic: Mostly South Florida... Mostly (3 of 3)
Replies: 11
Views: 5965

Re: Mostly South Florida... Mostly (3 of 3)

Congrats on the grand slam! You have some great finds, but that hatchling Striped Mud Turtle slayed me.