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 Post subject: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 19th, 2011, 12:51 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
is there a good guide for the amphibian fauna of texas? Or a regional guide for the Houston area?? I'm going down there April 20th through the 24th if my PTO gets approved. Mostly I'll be helping out with my folks packing for a move (booo, they have lots of herps in thier current yard, why move?) but I want to do at least a day of herping. And while I can ID the snakes, and the lizards, and probably most of the turtles, I'm at a loss for a lot of the local amphibians there.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 19th, 2011, 1:34 pm 

Joined: June 21st, 2010, 9:46 am
Posts: 193
Location: Houston
Hey Paul

Unfortunately Amphibian guides for this region are lacking. The best guide I have found as of late is actually an amphibians of the Eastern US ( http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Guide- ... d+bartlett )

What part of Houston will you be in? I work in Humble, and there is a guy from Colorado coming in around that time. You can stop by the park if you want, or we can all try to meet up. Park info: www.hcp4.net/jones

Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 19th, 2011, 5:26 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Actually, my folks live in Crosby which IIRC is pretty close. I'll definitely be stopping by the park as it's got a huge nostaliga factor for me :) Thanks for the website. Last time I went I found some damn tiny salamander in my mom's garden and had no idea what it was. I'd like to not make an idiot of myself this time :D


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 19th, 2011, 6:23 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Houston, TX
Your "damn tiny salamander" sounds like it could've been Eurycea quadridigitata. Did it look like this?

Image

April is not the best time to find salamanders in Houston... I'm actually not even sure if it can be done with any real chance.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 19th, 2011, 6:37 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
yea but it's when I can come :( We've got mandat4ory weekend functions for work from...next saturday through april 9th. And I've got a wedding to go to in June in CA.
It was very dull colored, but the build is right. I didn't get a great look at it. Maybe 3" or so long, black or brown, very incredibly thin with small looking legs. Had been living under a large (24" diameter) pot containing a ficus that my folks wanted moved :lol: my first thought was ground skink but it was scaleless (I'm pretty sure--I was distracted by the heavy as hell pot).

THey also have buttermilk racers (which I've found) and what sounds like a mud snake (black snake with red belly ~3 foot long...don't know what else it would be) but I haven't found that one.

Frankly, I'd love to find salamanders again--but even if I don't, I'm going get a tour of the zoo's reptile house (mom volunteers at the zoo so...). And I'm sure I can find some stuff in my folk's neighborhood; they live withing stone's throw of the lake, so I may get a cottonmouth or copperhead. Or a rat snake. Really, I'm easy; there's minimal overlap between that herpetofauna and what I have so it's all good. The last time I went down I go ta wicked stomach flu that wrecked thte whole trip so hopefully this time is better :-/


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 1:07 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Houston, TX
Paul,

I'll definitely be herping a lot in April, so if you got time you should come along. I will most likely be going out at some point when you're gonna be in town, so you should come along. We'll probably just be flipping boards and such, but let me know what you want to do. If it's warm enough we may even turn a snake or two up after dark.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 1:22 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
I'll let ya know more about scheduling. I'm doing Jesse Jones Wednesday, and Sheldon Lake and the Zoo (don't know which day or days for those). I'd thought about brazos bend but that's a bit of a drive.

My mom wants to take the wife to galveston. But i may beg out of that cause it's all tourist crap.
One caveat is I'm flying and I don't think I'll be able to get my tongs into a carry on bag.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 2:55 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Posts: 583
Location: Houston, TX
Paul,

Sheldon Lake has some neat stuff, but there's not a lot to flip out there. This happy bunch is from out there.

Image

Image

I want to do some flipping on the coast around that time of year too, so we'll see if we can meet up.

I'm not sure why you'd need tongs though, but I wouldn't worry about that...


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 3:53 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
I want to find and photo any pitviper :)
Sheldon lake is wonderful for the gulf coast ribbons. Gotta love them. And gators. And nerodia.
I may try for SHeldon Lake on Thursday (the 21st)


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 5:23 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
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Location: Houston, TX
I can easily get you at least one pit viper that week, but don't worry about the tongs. If you do feel the need to use them you can use my pair.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 5:43 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
well, I damn sure ain't free handling :D If I can get in situ shots (even just voucher shots) I'm totally fine without moving them. I can hook and tong OK, and I've used tubes, but I've never tailed or anything and don't care to start (my wife will kill me if they don't).
edit: the way my schedule is shaping up:
Jesse Jones Wednesday

Sheldon Lake Thursday or Friday

Houston Zoo Thursday or Friday
I may do both in one day, so the wife and my mom cna go to galveston on the other. I'll be there without a car...and even if I had one, I gotta admit driving in Houston is about as much fun as getting kissed by a tree boa. One time I tried took 10 years off my life.


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 6:00 pm 

Joined: June 21st, 2010, 9:46 am
Posts: 193
Location: Houston
Hey Paul, I promise nothing, but Copperheads are very plentiful at the park, and cottonmouths can be found, same with corals.

MHollanders...Nice set of snakes from Sheldon. I was leading a tour there last summer and found a juvi coachwhip on the palms just behind the water fountain at the front.

Also, at least while you are at jones I can loan you a hook there.

Matt


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 Post subject: Re: Houston salamanders?
PostPosted: January 20th, 2011, 6:42 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm
Posts: 2288
Location: Amarillo, Texas
I figured they would be; it looks like wonderful habitat. But like I said, I went once as an adult...in December, and it was like 40 :lol: Not great herping conditions. I was stunned to see anoles even.

Sheldon I've managed to hit 2x--once in December (I still found thamnophis) and once the spring my brother graduated san jack community college. It was insane; we counted something like 18-20 GCR's that day :shock: 3 nerodia, 1 (probably) rat snake that took off like greased lighting through poison ivy, a bull frog, gators and sliders, and a skink. It was nuts. And anoles of course.


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