Hot Stove Herping, 2014

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Mike Pingleton
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Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » December 26th, 2014, 10:37 pm


Time to drop a little stovage down the chimney. Herp love, with a ribbon and a bow. Where better to start than at the beginning (for those of you not familiar with hot stove herping, search this site for those three words).

Winter would not let go of central Illinois this year. I kept an eye out for them, but the first garter snakes in my yard did not appear until the middle of March (the earliest emergence I have recorded is the middle of February). Plains Garter Snake (Thamnophis radix).
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The same warm weekend prompted me to head south in pursuit of crawfish frogs. That evening I met up with Jeremy Schumacher, Dave O’Melia and Keegan Smith, and we visited a drainage slough in a farm field, where the Love Symphony Orchestra (aka Snoring Thunder) was in full swing. Until we got close, that is, and the shy frogs shut up and sank under the surface. They are a tough species to sneak up on!

Northern Crawfish Frog (Rana areolata)
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Spring peepers and southern leopard frogs were also cranking it out, so there were plenty of photo opportunities.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
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Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala) getting down to business
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A week later, Marty Whalin and I were back out at a local forest preserve, to check out the chorus at several vernal pools. Smallmouth salamanders slipped in the dark around the pond edges, and the chorus frogs and peepers were gathered in number, and sufficiently sex-crazed as to be oblivious to flashlights and camera flash.
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Smallmouth Salamander (Ambystoma texanum) ambling along the bank
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Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata triseriata)
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Enough calling frogs to make it a hootenanny.
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Hey, why stay home and watch Dancing With The Stars? Go find a spring pond and watch frogs dance under the stars.
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By the first week of April, my Yard Radix are out and about nearly every day, and it is a pleasure to see them nearly every day.
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Fast-forward to the first week of May, when I flew out to San Francisco to meet some friends and kick off ThamnoPalooza, a concerted effort to put check marks next to a lot of Cali garter snakes. I had been talking up this idea to anyone who would listen, and someone finally took me seriously.

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The first objects of our desire (and not the last) lived on the coast, and it took just a few minutes to find the first snake. Coast Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans terrestris)
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A gnarly veteran, but cool nonetheless. Here is a nicer specimen:
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Less than a hundred yards from the ocean, our second species – California Red-Sided Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis)
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While shooting this one, a second infernalis was found crawling across the dune behind us.
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Who doesn’t think these Red-Sideds are gorgeous serpents?
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Also on the dunes was a pretty Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulia coerulia)
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Juvenile Aquatic Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus). This one is an intergrade: T. a. hydrophilus x T. a. atratus.
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A lovely adult version of the intergrade T. atratus:
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The next day we met up with members of the NAFHA NorCal chapter, and helped out with their herp survey, which turned up a number of cool species.

Pacific Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus amabilis)
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Northern Rubber Boa (Charina bottae bottae)
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Forest Sharp-tailed Snake (Contia longicauda)
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Stream habitat at the bottom of a canyon provided some interesting discoveries.
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Rough-Skinned Newts (Taricha granulosa)
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Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii)
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California Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus). Larval form.
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Yellow-Eyed Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica)
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The newly described Pseudacris sierrae:
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A California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii) found hiding under a log.
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My sincere thanks to the friendly folks in the NorCal chapter for having us along.

ThamnoPalooza rolled on. A nice Coast Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans terrestris) found in one of the coastal marshes.
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We walked the edges of some cattail marshes, looking for serpentine movement.
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Western Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) moving among the cattails.
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Pseudacris sierrae, snack food for prowling racers.
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I got a few lifer leps along the way - Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona)
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San Francisco Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia). I got to spend the better part of an hour watching this snake forage along the edges of a brush line. Image

Every so often, the snake would disappear into the thick wall of vegetation, and I’d think “well, that’s over.” A few minutes later, the snake would reappear, sometimes a dozen feet away. Each time, the snake would raise its head like a periscope, moving it from side to side with tongue at full flicker.
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It was an experience I won’t soon forget.
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San Francisco Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis tetrataenia). A forty year dream come true.
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Moving up into the hills… a Western Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon).
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My first Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus oreganus) under plywood.
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We found a handful in one area, and this one was my favorite of the lot – I just loved its pattern and colors.
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A juvenile NorPac, showing a bit of chocolate brown.
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A subadult Pacific Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer catenifer)
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Back up into the hills the next day, for more serpentine pursuits. At the bottom of one hill, this pond gave me another lifer - Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata).
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California Red-Legged Frog (Rana draytonii)
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Around the edges of the pond we added another garter subspecies - Diablo Range Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus zaxanthus)
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Big hills, Big sky. Like an NC Wyeth painting.
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A little NorPac, tucked under a rock
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A handsome Southern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbi)
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Variegated Skink (Plestiodon gilberti cancellosus). I like these burly skinks.
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Beautiful Manzanita.
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Mt. Diablo Fairy Lantern (Calochortus pulchellus)
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Alameda Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis euryxanthus). The camera does not do justice to the brilliant stripes on this snake.
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The oak-grassland habitat for the Alameda Striped Racer and other herps.
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A curious group of California Ground Squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi)
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Another day, we scoped out some drainage ditches, looking for more garter snakeage.
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A big female Valley Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis fitchii) snuck up behind us.
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What a beauty. A stinky, bitey beauty.
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I occasionally note the existence of birds, such as these black ibises.
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Dawn of a new day. Always be prepared for wonderful.
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Some good habitat to check out.
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Mountain Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans elegans)
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Western Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon).
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Cal=Kings. What’s not to like?
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Sharp-Tailed Snake (Contia tenuis)
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We looked for this species in several places, and were finally successful along a stretch of river up in the Sierras. Sierra Garter Snake (Thamnophis couchii).
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They’re not flashy, like tetrataenia or infernalis, but I think couchii are beautiful nonetheless.
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The clear water was a perfect place to haul out my little Canon D10 and shoot below the surface. Foothill Yellow-Legged Frog (Rana boylii) shot in the shallows.
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Shooting up at an angle produced some interesting effects.
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Habitat for Rana boylii and Thamnophis couchii.
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Giant Garter Snake (Thamnophis gigas)
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Opaque, battered and bloodied, this large female gigas was found on the banks of an irrigation ditch.
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Awesome Pacific Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer catenifer)
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Crotalus oreganus oreganus from Calaveras Co.
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California Striped Racer (Coluber lateralis lateralis)
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Striped Racer habitat
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Lovely little Calaveras King.
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Andy shows his chin-lifting technique.
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The results on this Valley Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis fitchii). It’s California. Everyone gets at least one chin lift.
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Northern Brown Skink (Plestiodon gilberti placerensis)
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Tim plots the next day’s move.
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A girl and her horsie.
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Juvenile Western Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber constrictor mormon)
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Pacific Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus amabilis) showing classic defensive posture.
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Santa Cruz Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus atratus)
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Coast Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans terrestriss)
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Ventral pattern of same snake.
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Santa Cruz Garter Snake (Thamnophis atratus atratus)
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Habitat for Thamnophis atratus atratus.
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In the last hour of the last day, we visited a coastal forest and found a few more cool caudates. Yellow-Eyed Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii xanthoptica)
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Rough-Skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa)
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California Giant Salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus)
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ThamnoPalooza was a successful trip, to say the least. 29 lifers for me and all of the targeted garter snakes were found. We met up with some old friends, and made some new ones, and in both cases, got by with a little help from our friends.

In late May I drove out to west Texas, one of my favorite herping spots.
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Red-Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) in west Texas are gorgeous, and I rescued several off the roads on the long drive west. Here is one from the Pecos River.
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A Sonoran Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer affinis) found road cruising near Alpine.
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Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis), an all-female species.
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Plains Blackhead Snake (Tantilla nigriceps)
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The landscape itself is enough to pull me back, time after time.
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Texas Night Snake (Hypsiglena jani texana)
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Kansas Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans elegans)
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Hawk with a serpent snack.
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Some of the crew.
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Road-cruising time.
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Trans-Pecos Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix pictigaster)
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Juvenile pictigasters lack the stunning colors of the adults.
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Another specimen.
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Sonoran Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida). Unfortunately I see far more DORs than AORs of this species.
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Trans Pecos Rat Snake (Bogertophis subocularis)
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Mottled Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus lepidus)
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Texas Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon vilkinsonii)
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Crevice Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus poinsetti poinsetti)
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Rowing across the Rio Grande, for lunch and adult beverages in Boquillas, Mexico.
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Kris looks mean. I think he needs a macho grande margarita.
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The Sierra del Carmen, across the Rio Grande from Big Bend NP. Who wouldn’t wish to go see what lies beyond?
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No Graybands….I’m oh-for-six. I’ll have to go back.

In June I went back to Peru, serving as a guide for an MT Amazon Expeditions trip. I will always have unfinished business in Amazonia.
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It was good to be back in the forest.
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I always look forward to the first night hike. Common Snail-Eating Snake (Dipsas indicus indicus)
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Large opossum.
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Sleeping Manikin.
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Many-Striped Treefrog (Dendropsophus haraldschultzi)
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Carabaya Rain Frog (Pristimantis ockendeni)
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White-Lined Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa vaillanti)
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Amazon Sheep Frog (Hamptophryne bolivianus). Juvenile.
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Variable Poison Frog (Ranitomeya variabilis).
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Elegant Eyed Lizard (Cercosaurus argulus)
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Sharp-Nosed Toad (Rhinella dapsilis)
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Greater Sac-Winged Bat (Saccopteryx bilineata)
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Moon Pierella (Pierella luna). Satyrinae, Haeterinii
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The rivers were high, and parts of the forest were flooded.
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Spotted Water Snake (Helicops leopardinus). Note the eye positions.
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Ventral view of same snake.
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Banded Water Snake (Helicops angulatus)
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Ventral view of Helicops angulatus.
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Collared Earth Snake (Atractus collaris)
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Sooty Coral Snake (Micrurus putumayensis). The “Red Touch Yellow” mnemonic does not hold true outside of North America. Here in Peru, it’s best not to touch anything you’re not sure of.
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Harlequin Toad (Atelopus spumarius). Populations in this area seem to be holding steady.
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Peruvian Rain Frog (Pristimantis altamazonicus)
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A juvenile Tawny Forest Racer (Dendrophidion dendrophis).
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A troop of Pigmy Marmosets visited our field station one day.
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Marmoset there’d be days like this….
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One of my favorite frogs – the Painted Ant Nest Frog (Lithodytes lineatus)
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Flooded forest and one of my favorite trees.
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A big ball of Blunt-Headed Treesnake (Imantodes cenchoa).
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Smooth Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus diedrus)
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Uakari Poison Frog (Ranitomeya uakari).
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Slender Treefrog (Scarthyla goinorum). About an inch long.
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Wood Lizard (Sternocercus fimbriatus)
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You can ‘hypnotize’ many small lizards by stroking their undersides (illegal in some states).
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Plain Narrow-Headed Treefrog (Scinax cruentommus)
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Habitat for Atelopus spumarius, way back in the forest.
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Atelopus in habitat. It doesn’t get much better.
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Nearby, Ranitomeya uakari.
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Rocket Treefrog (Hypsiboas lanciformis). I often see them in this position, which I assume is a hunting posture. These frogs can really jump!
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Juvenile White-Naped Earth Snake (Atractus snethlageae). Adults lose the white collar.
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White-Naped Earth Snake (Atractus snethlageae).. Adult.
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Red Vine Snake (Siphlophis compressus)
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Hey, a turtle! Amazon Mud Turtle (Kinosternon scorpioides), found crawling in one of the shallow creeks that flow through the forest.
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Spot-Bellied Rain Frog (Pristimantis ventrimarmoratus)
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Amazon Milk Frog (Trachycephalus venulosa). The many glands on the dorsum exude a milky toxin.
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Crested Toad complex (Rhinella margaritiferus)
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Boat rides at night are a great way to turn up critters. Terry with a small Spectacled Caiman.
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Greater Lime Frog (Sphaenorhynchus lacteus)
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Pigmy Lime Frog (Sphaenorhynchus carneus) calling from floating vegetation.
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Common Potoo with crazy nighttime eyes.
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Orange-Shanked Treefrog (Dendropsophus parviceps)
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Crested Toad (Bufo margaritiferus complex). Found as pictured, about a foot off the ground.
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Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus)
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Giant Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)
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I always enjoy finding bicolor, but this year we were fortunate to find a pair in amplexus:
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Phyllomedusines are leaf-folders, depositing their eggs in the cone-like form. Eventually heavy rains wash the developing eggs into the water below.
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Owl Butterfly (Caligo oileus). Nymphalidae, Morphinae.
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Variable Clown Treefrog(Dendropsophus triangulum)
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Variable Clown Treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum)
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Polka-Dot Treefrog (Hypsiboas punctatus)
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Rocket Treefrog (Hypsiboas lanciformis)
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Clown Treefrog (Dendropsophus leucophyllata) “Giraffe phase”
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Clown Treefrog (Dendropsophus leucophyllata)
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The uncommonly seen Liana Snake (Siphlophis cervinus).
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Least Treefrog (Dendropsophus minuta)
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Spotted Water Snake (Helicops leopardinus), top side.
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Spotted Water Snake (Helicops leopardinus), party side.
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Crested Toad complex (Rhinella margaritiferus) I call this the "Goblin Phase"
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This Crested Toad illustrates the purpose of small, irregular dark spots.
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Giant Bromeliad Treefrog (Osteocephalus taurinus)
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Flat-Headed Bromeliad Treefrog (Osteocephalus planiceps)
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Cocha Chirping Frog (Andenomera andreae). A very common frog around the field stations.
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Banded Anole (Anolis transversalis)
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Juvenile Forest Whiptail (Kentropyx pelviceps)
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The tiny Orange-Bellied Leaf Toad (Amazophrynella minuta)
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Juvenile Red Vine Snake (Siphlophis compressus)
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Terry and Aaron getting ready to start another night hike.
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Juvenile Common Bird Snake (Pseustes poecilonotus polylepis) as found. Even the little bird snakes will try to bite your face off.
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Cane Toad (Rhinella marinus). This male had been calling just before we came upon him.
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An in situ Common Snail-Eater (Dipsas catesbyi).
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Another gorgeous Painted Ant Nest Frog (Lithodytes lineatus). A poison frog mimic, methinks.
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One of my all-time favorite anurans, the Big-Headed Rain Frog (Oreobates quixensis). These hefty little strabomantids are common on the forest trails, night and day.
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Variable Clown Treefrog (Dendropsophus triangulum)
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Aquatic Coral Snake (Micrurus surinamensis surinamensis)
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Aquatic Corals are the most commonly seen venomous snakes around the field stations.
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Can you see it?
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It was coiled up just a few feet off the trail. All I could think to say was, “Holy shit – another bushmaster.” It was my second in as many trips.
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Bushmaster, or Shushupe' (Lachesis muta muta)
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I came across this Two-Toed Sloth in the middle of the trail, in the middle of the pouring rain. It appeared to be eating mud, which may be a way of absorbing some of the toxins found in its diet of leaves.
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Pimp My Ride! Amazon style.
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Peru’s flora and fauna are fantastic, and its people warm and friendly. I can’t wait to go back.
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Later that summer: Arizona to Mexico to Arizona to home. Arizona first.
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After several attempts, I was able to add this awesome serpent to my list - Arizona Black Rattlesnake (Crotalus cerberus).
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Road cruising turned up some nice finds. Sonoran Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus lambda).
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Spotted Leafnose Snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus)
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Arizona Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans noctivaga)
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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
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Couch's Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii)
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Sonoran Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombus)
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Jim and Pat had plenty of opportunities to interact with sidewinders.
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Mohave Rattlenake (Crotalus scutulatus)
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We did some hiking up in the Santa Ritas.
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This little guy scuttled nearly underfoot on the trail. Juvenile Short-Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)
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A full-grown Shortie.
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Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi)
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Can anyone really say they’ve spent enough time in Arizona?
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South into Mexico. One night in Hermosillo for some road-cruising, and then on to the southern end of Sonora.
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Mazatlan Toad (Incilius mazatlanensis). east of Hermosillo.
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In situ Boa constrictor imperator, east of Hermosillo
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Boa constrictor imperator, posed on the side of the road.
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Stump-tailed Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
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Our hotel in Alamos had its share of herps - Yellow-Bellied Leaf-Toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus homolepidurus)
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A Mexican Monkey Frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor) on the wall outside the room.
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A view of Alamos Peak, with tropical deciduous forest (TDF) in the foreground.
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Elf (Microtia elva)
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Matt slapped hands on a Tropical Whipsnake (Coluber mentovarius)
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Tropical Whipsnake (Coluber mentovarius)
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Basking Sonoran Spiny-Tailed Iguana (Ctenosaura macrolopha)
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Nelson's Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus nelsonii)
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Ruddy Daggerwing (Marpesia petreus)
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Tropical Tree Lizard (Urosaurus bicarinatus tuberculatus)
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Green Rat Snake (Senticollis triaspis)
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Sceloporus clarkii with bifurcated tail
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Sinaloan Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae)
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Clear-Banded Coral Snake (Micrurus distans)
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Mexican Black Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigrita)
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Young Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii)
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Young Mexican Lowland Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens)
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Sabinal Frog (Leptodactylus melanotus)
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I took a crazy number of photos of this Pacific Coast Parrot Snake (Leptophis diplotropis diplotropis)
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A wicked cool snake with a wicked bite.
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Mexican Burrowing Treefrog (Smilisca fodiens)
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Something is sticking out like a sore thumb….
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Mexican Treefrog (Smilisca baudinii)
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Joe and Shaun at the gas pump, Alamos
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Alamos Mud Turtle (Kinosternon alamosae)
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Brown-Shaded Gray (Iridopsis defectaria)
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The beautiful Sonoran Longnose Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei antonii)
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Tropical Black-Neck Garter Snake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis collaris)
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There were many coral snakes found on this trip. Another Micrurus distans.
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Mexican Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon tau)
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Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake (Crotalus basiliscus).
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The gang with their shootin’ irons out.
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Rio Fuerte Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum exasperatum)
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Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake (Crotalus basiliscus) on the road
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Couchs' Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
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Sinaloan Zebra-Tailed Lizard (Callisaurus draconoides bogerti)
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Another gorgeous day in the Sierra Madre.
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Sonoran Whipsnake (Coluber bilineatus)
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Another gorgeous Green Rat Snake (Senticollis triaspis).
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Alamos Mud Turtle (Kinosternon alamosae)
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Alamos Night Snake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea ssp. novum), currently undescribed.
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Another parrot snake turned up.
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Mexican Vine Snake (Oxybelis aeneus)
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A hefty Boa constrictor imperator crossing the road on our last night in Alamos.
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Reaching for the stars.
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I like these hefty serpents. I’ve handled a dozen or more wild imperator and none became defensive or offered to bite.
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Saddled Leafnose Snake (Phyllorhynchus browni)
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Mexican Monkey Frog (Pachymedusa dacnicolor)
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On the way back north, we stopped off at Bahia Kino, on the Sea of Cortés:
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Sonoran Desert Iguana (Dipsosaurus dorsalis sonoriensis)
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Sonoran Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus sonoriensis)
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Regal Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma solare)
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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
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Sonoran Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombus). Bahia Kino
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In situ sidewinder.
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Sea shells and cascabels down by the sea shore.
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Mexican crew.
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Returning from Mexico, I spent a few days attending the NAFHA meeting in the SE corner of Arizona.

Eastern side of the Chiricahua Mountains.
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Northern Blacktailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molussus molussus) tucked under a boulder.
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Lots of road-cruising at night. Desert roads rhymes with desert toads and there were lots of them! Sonoran Desert Toad (Anaxyrus alvarius)
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Western Green Toad (Anaxyrus debilis insidior)
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Great Plains Toad (Anaxyrus cognatus)
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Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata)
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Southwestern Woodhouse Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii australis)
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A large (13.5 inch) Plains Blackhead Snake (Tantilla nigriceps)
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Arizona Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans noctivaga)
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Big Bend Patchnosed Snake (Salvadora hexalepis deserticola)
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Dirk Stevenson speaking about the Orianne Society, at the NAFHA meeting
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Chihuahuan Hook-Nosed Snake (Gyalopion canum)
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Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
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Mexican Hognose Snake (Heterodon kennerlyi)
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Mohave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
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Neonate Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
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Roadside Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
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Tarantula Hawk and prey.
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Some of us made a tough hike up into the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico.
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Mountain Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus jarrovi)
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A very nice Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi)
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After three weeks, wandering around Mexico, Arizona and New Mexico, it was time to go home and cut the grass and pay some bills. I can’t wait to go back.
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I rounded out the fall by making a few trips to the southern portion of Illinois. Some visits were in the company of out-of-state friends visiting the area for the first time.
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Eastern Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus sauritus)
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Eastern Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina)
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One of my favorite moments from 2014.
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Cypress swamp.
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Omar and Erik reconnoiter a narrow ledge.
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Bullfrog (Rana catesbiana).
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Snake Road always gives me opportunities to run into old friends like Mike and Linda.
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A Moccasin Of Unusual Size.
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Jake and Donna on their first Snake Road visit.
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Bird-Voiced Treefrog (Hyla avivoca)
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Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoleta obsoleta)
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Midland Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi wrightorum). The Brownies were out in force this day.
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Tracey and Jeremy, a couple of old hands on the Snake Road.
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If you’ve managed to hang on this long, thanks for looking. Thanks to everyone I met in the field this year, if for no other reason than your pleasant company. There’s no telling what 2015 may bring, but I’m certain we’ll have a good time!
Image

Mike


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LouB747
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by LouB747 » December 26th, 2014, 11:30 pm

Uh, wow! Not sure what to say. So many species. What a great year. May 2015 be as prosperous.

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JAMAUGHN
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by JAMAUGHN » December 27th, 2014, 8:18 am

Another year, another post-to-end-all-posts. That was spectacular. It was great to run into you in San Mateo Co., if only for a few minutes!

JimM

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T radix
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by T radix » December 27th, 2014, 9:27 am

No words to describe how envious I am. Beautiful photos and great stories. Thanks for sharing!

Joe Cavataio

Raymond McConnell
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Raymond McConnell » December 27th, 2014, 9:57 am

Whew!

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JakeScott
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by JakeScott » December 27th, 2014, 10:08 am

Mike, Mike, Mike...!
I don't know how to reply to this post. I rarely make the jaunt over to FHF anymore. I lucked in to this one. I can say that not many people have had a better year. Simply...amazing.

-Jake

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Kent VanSooy
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Kent VanSooy » December 27th, 2014, 10:17 am

Yowsers! Loved the Thamnopalooza, the Peruvian anurans, and of course the AZ critters. I'm a huge fan of longnose snakes, and those Sonoran longnose are absolutely incredible! Thanks for taking the time, Mike! I'd look at your post again, but I'm heading out the door to go herping (sorry, had to throw that in there...!).

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ThamnElegans24
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by ThamnElegans24 » December 27th, 2014, 10:22 am

Great post as always sir. Thanks for making my day a little bit better.

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umop apisdn
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by umop apisdn » December 27th, 2014, 2:09 pm

Whew! Looks like the year treated you well. How satisfying!

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by chad ks » December 27th, 2014, 3:09 pm

hot dawg that was some prime stovage Mike!

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by herpseeker1978 » December 27th, 2014, 4:44 pm

Great post Mike! Love the mountain garter and all of the garters! Awesome, just too much stuff to comment on, the corals were awesome, the boas, amazing!

Josh

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Josh Holbrook » December 27th, 2014, 5:03 pm

Great stuff all around. That aggregation of newts is something else. Where haven't you herped?

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kkchome
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by kkchome » December 27th, 2014, 5:19 pm

Epic

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Chad M. Lane » December 27th, 2014, 6:14 pm

Wow! Fantastic post! So many species! Thank you for taking the time to post this!

By the way you've got a Coast Gartersnake listed as a Mountain Gartersnake.





Cheers,
Chad

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kayfabe
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by kayfabe » December 27th, 2014, 7:12 pm

Glad to be a part of it Mike. It's always a pleasure to be in the field with the man who introduced me to "The Road." Now that I practically live there it feels like my home away from home. Cheers Bud! :beer: "Snoring Thunder part II" spring 2015!!

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » December 28th, 2014, 5:47 am

WOW! That was just purely amazing. There's no way to have a favorite, due to the extraordinary beauty of so many of the creatures...but that parrot snake is a strong contender.
Thank you for sharing your 2014. EPIC!

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by mfb » December 28th, 2014, 8:23 am

Wonderful post! I always look forward to the "Hot Stove Herping" series.

Of all the great shots of amazing herps, my most visceral reaction came from the photo of the kingsnake crossing the dirt path. That photo transported me back to warm California days with snakes on the prowl!

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » December 28th, 2014, 8:55 am

doh! thanks for catching that!
-Mike
Chad M. Lane wrote:Wow! Fantastic post! So many species! Thank you for taking the time to post this!

By the way you've got a Coast Gartersnake listed as a Mountain Gartersnake.


Cheers,
Chad

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » December 28th, 2014, 9:09 am

JAMAUGHN wrote:Another year, another post-to-end-all-posts. That was spectacular. It was great to run into you in San Mateo Co., if only for a few minutes!

JimM
thanks, Jim - that meeting was all too brief!
-Mike

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Berkeley Boone » December 29th, 2014, 11:52 am

Wow.
This is the fourth or fifth time I have tried to view this post. Each time, my computer locked up. It apparently couldn't handle all the awesomeness within. I finally had to view it at work- it still took nearly ten minutes to get it all loaded! Holy crap was it worth it though. The MX boas were quite a treat, very nice. And the garter selection was fantastic as well.

Great year, Mike! Thanks for taking me along.
--Berkeley

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by justinm » December 30th, 2014, 11:35 am

Mike,

I've been far too busy and neglected too much time in the field. You've obviously taken advantage of your free time. I can't say how impressed I am at the photography and finds. Great work man. I'm going to Peru next time. I just have to get there.


Justin

condyle
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by condyle » December 30th, 2014, 5:18 pm

Uh...speechless. Fantastic post! Ill just pic the Pachymedusa shot as my favorite. But wait,... the Longnose, the cereberus, the Aquatic Coral...... and the Landscapes!

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JBBoiler
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by JBBoiler » December 31st, 2014, 12:58 pm

With a current temperature of 19 degrees and windchill at 4, I needed the hot stove. Thank you!

Most of us have life lists of creatures we would like to find, but one of my life lists is the people that I would love to meet and have the opportunity to learn from in the field. You sir, are at the top of that list. I can only imagine the knowledge I could gain in finding more animals and capturing them in photos.

Have a great New Year!

John B.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » January 1st, 2015, 2:42 pm

thanks for all the comments folks - much appreciated!

2014 was pretty pretty good - I'm hoping to at least match my efforts in 2015.

cheers, Mike

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Calfirecap » January 1st, 2015, 6:47 pm

Mike, you are an extraordinary herp magnet and photographer, and that was one of the best posts I have ever seen! It was a pleasure meeting you and your gang out west. Come back any time, there may not be many more lifers to be had for you, but we'll try.

Lawrence

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » January 2nd, 2015, 8:40 pm

Thank you Lawrence - it was a pleasure meeting up with you and Luke and the rest of your local crew. Thanks so much for your hospitality and for letting us tag along on the survey. I won't soon forget those pools of newts in that small stream.

-Mike
Calfirecap wrote:Mike, you are an extraordinary herp magnet and photographer, and that was one of the best posts I have ever seen! It was a pleasure meeting you and your gang out west. Come back any time, there may not be many more lifers to be had for you, but we'll try.

Lawrence

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Barry R » January 3rd, 2015, 9:23 am

Awesome! I'd say the Bushmaster is my fav :thumb:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Ross Padilla » January 4th, 2015, 2:04 am

Absolutely amazing, Mike! :thumb:

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping, 2014

Post by Mike Pingleton » January 6th, 2015, 1:18 pm

thank you John! We're not terribly far apart - I'm sure we'll meet in the field someday.
JBBoiler wrote:With a current temperature of 19 degrees and windchill at 4, I needed the hot stove. Thank you!

Most of us have life lists of creatures we would like to find, but one of my life lists is the people that I would love to meet and have the opportunity to learn from in the field. You sir, are at the top of that list. I can only imagine the knowledge I could gain in finding more animals and capturing them in photos.

Have a great New Year!

John B.

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