Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

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Dr. Dark
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Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Dr. Dark » August 27th, 2012, 6:43 pm

We took our third family trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico last week. As it turned out, they had received three days of uncharacteristic torrential rain the week before and herping was pretty good! I will post these in the order I found them. I did not spend too much time or effort photographing lizards, as my focus was snakes. (Lizards were EVERYWHERE though; you couldn't throw a stick without hitting one! ) I apologize for the generally crappy lizard pics. These first lizards are hands down my favorite Baja endemic lizards...

San Lucan Banded Rock Lizard Petrosaurus thalassinus

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Baja California Coachwhip Masticophis fuliginosus LIFER

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I saw several of these brightly-colored juveniles.
Cape Spiny-Tailed Iguanas Ctenosaura hemilopha

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Orange-Throated Whiptail Lizard Cnemidophorus hyperthyrus

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I cruised this freshly hit heart-breaker my first night out...
Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber DOR

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Zebra-Tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides

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Leaf-Toed Gecko Phyllodactylus xanti

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I saw several of these big guys but they wouldn't let me get anywhere near them for a decent photo.
Western Whiptail Lizard Cnemidophorus tigris

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I saw several yellow/green scorpions but only this one brown one.

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Leaf-Toed Gecko Phyllodactylus xanti (In shed with some blood-gorged mites/ticks on board.)

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I saw many of these on the roads at dusk. Not sure if my ID is correct?
Baja California Spiny-Tailed Lizard Sceloporus zosteromus

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I cruised this gem on the shoulder of the toll road one morning.
Western Patch-Nosed Snake Salvadora hexalepis klauberi LIFER

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This large, boulder-strewn arroyo near Miraflores had quite a bit of running water and pools from the week prior.

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These were EVERYWHERE in one area...literally hundreds, paired up or calling. The din was deafening! The river bottom was thick with tadpoles and eggs of various stages of development.
Red-Spotted Toad Bufo punctatus

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This second Coachwhip I found hunting at the water's edge. It was absolutely gorgeous!
Baja California Coachwhip Masticophis fuliginosus

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Another Rock Lizard

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These were also EVERYWHERE, from little juvies to large adults.
Desert Iguana Dipsosaurus dorsalis

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These too were VERY common.
Hunsaker's Spiny Lizard Sceloporus hunsakeri

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I cruised this second heart-breaker one morning in Miraflores.
California Kingsnake Lampropeltis getula "nitida"

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Cape Spiny-Tailed Iguana Ctenosaura hemilopha

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I flipped this tiny beauty up on a talus slope.
Western Banded Gecko Coleonyx variegatus

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Black-Tailed Brush Lizard Urosaurus nigricaudus

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I flipped this third Coachwhip under some trash right in Cabo.
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On our last night in Cabo, after having a nice dinner in town, I talked my wife into joining me for a quick road-cruise. Man did it pay off! On the first pass...
Red Diamond Rattlesnake Crotalus ruber LIFER

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On the return pass...
Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii LIFER (The rattle on this one is friggin' HUGE!)

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On the second (and last) return pass...this 3+ foot feisty beast...
Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii

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Three beautiful Crotes on my last night...AWESOME! I woke early the morning of our departure, went deep into the desert and snapped some hasty pics before releasing them. Overall, things went quite well for a family vacation with only some part-time herping! Until next time...

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sitarshaman
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by sitarshaman » August 27th, 2012, 7:26 pm

AWESOME RATTLERS !!!

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Squam8
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Squam8 » August 27th, 2012, 9:12 pm

Thanks for sharing! So stoked, leaving for a 2 week road trip to Cabo and back on Thurs. :) How approachable were the Petrosaurus and Sceloporus at the cape??? And wow the Callisaurus (and Masticophis) sure look different down there. Can't wait!

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Norman D
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Norman D » August 28th, 2012, 1:46 am

Nice! I really like the C. mitchellii mitchellii shots!

WW**
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by WW** » August 28th, 2012, 2:04 am

The mitchellii shots are amazing - especially the way the first one matches the substrate. Stunning!

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chrish
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by chrish » August 28th, 2012, 3:37 am

That's a great collection of herps for a non-herping trip! That mitchelli rattle is amazing.

Are those dark banded "conjuncta" cal kings from the cape considered nigrita? I always thought they were intergrades or just dark cal kings. Haven't checked the official-source-of-all_things-kingsnake though (Hubbs' book).

scott s
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by scott s » August 28th, 2012, 9:03 am

Great stuff.

Back in the 80's we used to call a Miraflores king that looked like that a conjuncta x nitida cross.

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occidentalis
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by occidentalis » August 28th, 2012, 9:51 am

i think that the lizard on the road is likely a gravid female s. hunsakeri.

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Brendan
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Brendan » August 28th, 2012, 1:41 pm

Nice job. That place was dead in late spring this year. Glad to see things picked up.

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El Bufo Grande
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by El Bufo Grande » August 28th, 2012, 7:33 pm

That's a nice bunch of herps, but dude, those coachwhips look dead or frozen.

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Dr. Dark » August 29th, 2012, 3:11 am

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I can assure you, those Coachwhips are all quite alive! I still have the bite marks on my hands and blood stains on my pants! From what I have seen and read, this is pretty typical Masticophis behavior. Upon first capture, they thrash and bite, then just go limp, almost feigning death. Makes for easy, though not very dynamic, posing!

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LouB747
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by LouB747 » August 29th, 2012, 10:09 pm

Nice job! Nice to see some snakes from Cabo....

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kcmatt
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by kcmatt » August 30th, 2012, 4:21 am

Great stuff. Enjoyed the Petrosaurus and the rattle on the C. mitchelli the most. Don't you love it when you happen on perfect timing with a family trip?

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Ross Padilla
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Ross Padilla » August 30th, 2012, 4:47 am

Amazing post! That DOR king is a morph (recessive) of the CA kingsnake. There are two in that region, both hypermelanistic, one banded (conjuncta) and striped (nitida). Yours is an in betweener, which I hear is the most common form down there. I was very surprised to see this. Its the first ever posted on this forum that I know of. And the rattle on that mitch is unreal. You did great down there. :thumb: :thumb:

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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by monklet » August 31st, 2012, 6:49 pm

Those Coaches down there are just awesome!!! Best Baja post I've seen. All condsidered, you busted butt! :shock:

My boss has been asking me if I'd move to Cabo to man an office there ...like what think all?

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - August 2012

Post by Dr. Dark » September 1st, 2012, 5:20 am

Monklet, Cabo is awesome...we love it there! The people are super nice and friendly, by the resorts and also all around the area. (I was well off the beaten path one day and my rental got stuck in the sand. Four workers nearby by came over, dug out around my tires and helped push me out! Needless to say, I was extremely grateful...very nice people indeed!) It is a beautiful place, not super crowded and prices seem to be quite reasonable.
Oh...and of course, the herping can be pretty darned good too! ;)

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