Lepidus in Hill Country?

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Teleplayer
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Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Teleplayer » October 23rd, 2013, 9:09 am

I recently moved to the NW San Antonio area. I've been out herping a few times so far and have found atrox, agkistrodons, and various colubrids. The mottled rock rattlesnake is at the top of my list of want to find animals. I'm hoping someone can give me some locations/spots to find these guys. Preferably a reasonable distance from where I'm located. Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks guys,
Cody

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chrish
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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chrish » October 23rd, 2013, 10:34 am

Teleplayer wrote:I recently moved to the NW San Antonio area. I've been out herping a few times so far and have found atrox, agkistrodons, and various colubrids. The mottled rock rattlesnake is at the top of my list of want to find animals. I'm hoping someone can give me some locations/spots to find these guys. Preferably a reasonable distance from where I'm located. Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks guys,
Cody
Cody,

You aren't likely to get specific locality information from anyone here, particularly for a snake like Crotalus lepidus that is frequently collected and sold by unscrupulous herpers, and particularly in response to your first post on the forum. I'm not implying that is your goal, but if we post specific localities, you aren't the only person that could read them.

I can tell you they are out there, but you need to be in rocky (obviously) canyon habitat. I don't know that there any in NW Bexar County any more, but they are still around in the hill country west of Bexar county. They are neither common nor widespread. Although I haven't specifically sought them out and I frankly don't herp in their habitat much, I have found a grand total of one in the 8+ years I have been living here. Furthermore, most of them are on inaccessible private lands.

Here's one from near Bandera County just to prove they are out there.

Image

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Teleplayer
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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Teleplayer » October 23rd, 2013, 12:10 pm

Hey Chris,
I wouldn't want anyone to post specific locale information as a reply. I figure if someone did have any info they'd like to tell me they would do it via private message or email. Also being new to the area, I would like to find other herpers that would be kind enough to let me tag along with them to some of their spots. I certainly wouldn't take anyone's information and run with it.

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 23rd, 2013, 1:45 pm

Where did you move FROM? Consider trips to West Texas if you haven't already been. October can be good for some species out there, especially for juveniles, but I can't speak for leps, as I personally haven't found one ANY time of year! :?

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Teleplayer » October 23rd, 2013, 2:35 pm

I moved from Indiana. I wanted to have been out to west texas by now but I haven't found the time. I hope to sometime soon. In the meantime I'm hoping to find spots around the bandera, real, edwards county area.

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 23rd, 2013, 6:30 pm

Teleplayer wrote:I moved from Indiana. I wanted to have been out to west texas by now but I haven't found the time. I hope to sometime soon. In the meantime I'm hoping to find spots around the bandera, real, edwards county area.
Read, read, read...learn the basics of the habitat, then put in a LOT of hours in those counties, and you might be happily surprised. I think many people gravitate towards the more western counties because they're relatively 'easier' to find the standard target species there.

I'm very interested in finding Trans-Pecos species at the periphery of their range, and hope to explore that possibility more when I eventually (hopefully) return to calling TX home.

Also, you should make plans to attend Snake Days 2014... :thumb:

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chrish
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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chrish » October 24th, 2013, 6:04 am

Teleplayer wrote:I moved from Indiana. I wanted to have been out to west texas by now but I haven't found the time. I hope to sometime soon. In the meantime I'm hoping to find spots around the bandera, real, edwards county area.
I don't think there are really "spots" in these counties where you can find leps in particular. For example, I could give you the exact spot where I found the lep in that photo and you could go there and spend a year herping there without seeing another. The trick with lepidus in the eastern edge of their range from experience is that they are not found in great abundance anywhere. Most of the lepidus that I have found east of the pecos river have all been found on roads near roadcut areas. In the eastern part of their range, they appear to prefer deep canyons. If you can find other hill country "canyon" species (Pantherophis bairdii, Craugaster augustii) you are in the right habitat.

Anyone can find a lepidus west of the Pecos. Heck, in AZ you can practically trip over the things as long as you have 1/10th of an idea where they might occur! In far west Texas, they are a bit tougher, but if you go to a decent area and know how to look, you will probably find one. In the Hill Country, all bets are off in my experience. Most people just happen to stumble across one now and then. I don't know of anyone who could "show you a lepidus" on a given day in the hill country.

I will say that herping in hill country canyon habitat is tough herping. Many years ago, I asked a person with a lot of hill country experience about finding Baird's Rats near here and he gave me some specific spots and said "If you go there and it hasn't rained, you will find absolutely nothing. If it has rained, you will probably find nothing as well, but you could find something cool." It is an interesting, but tough area to herp.

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Teleplayer » October 24th, 2013, 9:27 am

Obviously I know there's not a special "spot" where anyone can find lepidus or "show me a lepidus on any given day". I might be semi new to Texas but I'm certainly not new to herping or to the species for that matter. What I meant by "spots" was simply places where I could herp without a shotgun being in my face.

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Shane_TX » October 24th, 2013, 6:17 pm

What I meant by "spots" was simply places where I could herp without a shotgun being in my face.
Pretty much anywhere as long as you aren't trespassing. Are you sure you've ever left the sidewalk?

Shane

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Teleplayer » October 24th, 2013, 7:32 pm

Shane_TX wrote:
What I meant by "spots" was simply places where I could herp without a shotgun being in my face.
Pretty much anywhere as long as you aren't trespassing. Are you sure you've ever left the sidewalk?

Shane
Good one, Shane

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 25th, 2013, 3:26 am

Shane_TX wrote:
What I meant by "spots" was simply places where I could herp without a shotgun being in my face.
Pretty much anywhere as long as you aren't trespassing. Are you sure you've ever left the sidewalk?

That being said, it's easy to trespass in TX. Depending on which source you believe, 92 to 98 percent of land in TX is privately owned. Most of the rest is in the form of state and national park land, so it's "look, but don't touch." If you want to be able to pose an animal for a photograph, you're limited in many cases to walking road cuts. If you find an animal on the road, you can't touch it, because it's still illegal... :?

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chrish » October 25th, 2013, 1:47 pm

Obviously I know there's not a special "spot" where anyone can find lepidus or "show me a lepidus on any given day". I might be semi new to Texas but I'm certainly not new to herping or to the species for that matter. What I meant by "spots" was simply places where I could herp without a shotgun being in my face.
Well, in the hill country you have three choices:
1. Road shoulders/right of ways
2. Private Land
3. State Parks

So if you don't have access to private land, you are going to have start looking on road shoulders/right of ways or going into the parks where you can only take photos and can't manipulate or handle the animals at all.
chris_mcmartin wrote:If you want to be able to pose an animal for a photograph, you're limited in many cases to walking road cuts. If you find an animal on the road, you can't touch it, because it's still illegal... :?
Lucky for me, when I found mine on the road it happened to crawl off onto the shoulder and pose nicely with some oak leaves, a nice stone and a piece of juniper branch. ;)

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Shane_TX » October 25th, 2013, 7:09 pm

Don't forget the reflective vestitures and the herp stamp!
That being said, it's easy to trespass in TX.
Funny. You should bring that up at the next snakedays kangaroo court :lol:

Shane

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 26th, 2013, 5:00 am

Shane_TX wrote:
That being said, it's easy to trespass in TX.
Funny. You should bring that up at the next snakedays kangaroo court :lol:
I don't follow your meaning, but perhaps it's because I wasn't clear in my wording. Not sure what a 'snakedays (sic) kangaroo court' is. Snake Days does feature access to private land for herping during the event, but it's pre-coordinated with the landowners. I've taken advantage of that opportunity, but frankly find more herps on cuts, and do it more safely, than fumbling around canyons in the dark, in the middle of nowhere.

My sentence "It's easy to trespass in TX" was not advocating trespassing; a more precise wording would be "It's easy to trespass in TX if you're not careful."

My intent was akin to saying, "With such a sensitive accelerator, it's easy to exceed the speed limit in this car." It doesn't mean you SHOULD speed, just that you have to watch out.

I'll leave my original reply above unedited so the thread still makes sense. ;)

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Shane_TX » October 26th, 2013, 5:12 pm

I just thought that it was a funny quote to have some fun with at a gathering.

Shane

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 26th, 2013, 6:12 pm

Shane_TX wrote:I just thought that it was a funny quote to have some fun with at a gathering.
Ehh...'reflective vestitures' was funnier. :P

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Shane_TX » October 26th, 2013, 7:47 pm

Ehh...'reflective vestitures' was funnier. :P
I disagree :)

Shane

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by Gluesenkamp » October 28th, 2013, 11:20 am

I would have used the term "vestments" but I like "vestiture" as well. And maybe the cautionary phrase "Non illuminati via publici"

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chris_mcmartin » October 28th, 2013, 2:16 pm

Gluesenkamp wrote:I would have used the term "vestments" but I like "vestiture" as well. And maybe the cautionary phrase "Non illuminati via publici"
Ron Burgundy wrote:Come again? You know I don't speak (Latin). In English, please.

Huh? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese? How'd you do that? That's actually - I'm not even mad. That's amazing.

The most I can make of what you wrote is "unlit roadway?"

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Re: Lepidus in Hill Country?

Post by chrish » October 29th, 2013, 8:41 pm

Gluesenkamp wrote:I would have used the term "vestments" but I like "vestiture" as well. And maybe the cautionary phrase "Non illuminati via publici"
Google translate has a somewhat profound translation for that - "Unenlightened public way". Not what you meant, but to the point either way. :lol:

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