Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizona

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

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Saunders
Posts: 433
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:42 am
Location: Boerne, Tx

Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizona

Post by Saunders » August 26th, 2015, 12:17 pm

It's been a while since I posted on here, and I've done quite a bit of herping since that time, so I guess I'll just jump in where I last left off, starting in the late spring in Tennessee.

As things started to warm up in the mountains of southeastern Tennessee, I got out cruising and herping more and more,
ImageTennessee by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

I turned up a few animals, but nothing out of the ordinary other than this strangely colored Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)
ImageRed Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And the first of many Eastern Box Turtles (Terrapenne carolina) that I'd see over the next few months.
ImageEastern Box Turtle (Terrapenne carolina) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The summer started with a weeklong trip into south Georgia and Northern Florida, hanging out with people and doing lots of herping.

First animal of the trip was this Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuates)
ImageSlender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed by an Ornate Chorus Frog (Pseudacris ornata)
ImageOrnate Chorus Frog by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After cruising for a while, my friend Josh Young and I hit up a secret spot to find some cooler snakes,
one of which was this Black Swamp Snake (Seminatrix pygea)
ImageBlack Swamp Snake (Seminatrix pygaea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed quickly by another
ImageBlack Swamp Snake (Seminatrix pygaea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We soon turned up one of my favorite lifers from the summer, an Eastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura)
ImageEastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We ended up finding three that night, which we kept till the morning to take photos of.
ImageEastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Next day cruising was slow, but did provide us with this Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
ImageRough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And this nice sized Cornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus)
ImageCornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We then met up with a good friend, Nick Scobel, and photographed one of the Mudsnakes from the previous night.
ImageEastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Then we went back to cruising for the evening, not having much luck other than some Barking Treefrogs (Hyla gratiosa)
ImageBarking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageBarking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

and this Eastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous piscivorous)
ImageEastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next day we made our way towards Appalachicola National Forest, but not before releasing the Mudsnakes
ImageEastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Im never truly happy with my photos of these things.
ImageEastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

First snake in ANF was a welcome Dusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri)
ImagePigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus milliarus barbouri) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed by a good sized Corn (P. gutattus)
ImageCornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night was slow, only turning up a Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi)
ImageBrown Snake (Storeria dekayi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next day we did some hiking and had some luck,
many a Cottonmouth was found and photographed
ImageEastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageEastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageEastern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

One of the cooler things we found while traipsing around was a small wormlike amphibian known as a One Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter)
ImageOne Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma pholeter) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Also seen were Three Lined Salamanders (Eurycea guttolineata)
ImageThree Lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And a Brown Watersnake (Nerodia taxispilota)
ImageBrown Watersnake (Nerodia taxispilota) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

More cruising turned up another Dusky Pigmy (S. m. barbouri)
ImageDusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus milliarus barbouri) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And a Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
ImageGopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Cruising that night got us my lifer Scarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea)
ImageScarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next night, Josh and I headed off on our own towards Osceola National Forest
First snake of the night was a massive Corn (P. guttatus)
ImageCornsnake (Pantherophis guttatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed by two Glossy Crayfish Snakes (Regina regida) a lifer for me.
Number 1
ImageGlossy Crayfish Snake (Regina regida) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Number 2
ImageGlossy Crayfish Snake (Regina regida) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

A young Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spilodes) was also seen.
ImageGray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spilodes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Next snake of the night was another welcome Eastern Mudsnake (Farancia abacura)
ImageEastern Mudnsake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageEastern Mudnsake (Farancia abacura) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The last snake we saw before turning in was another Scarlet Snake (C. coccinea)
ImageScarlet Snake (Cemophora coccinea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next day I left Josh and headed to the sandhills for a day of herping by myself.
The first snake I saw was a wonderful lifer, a Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus)
ImageSouthern Hognose (Heterodon simus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Hognose (Heterodon simus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Hognose (Heterodon simus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night was slow, giving me only this tiny Scarlet Snake (C. coccinea)
ImageScarlet snake (Cemophora coccinea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next morning held some luck for me, first came a Cornsnake (P. guttatus)
ImageCorn Snake (Pantherophis guttatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed buy a welcome lifer, a Mole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata)
ImageMole Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster rhombomaculata) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After this, instead of heading home to Texas like I usually do in the summer, I returned up to Sewanee to do some research on salamanders.
The study had me spending a lot of time in streams, finding lots of the usual subjects
Spotted Dusky Salamanders (Desmognathus conanti)
ImageSpotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSpotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSpotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSpotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

At night I'd often head to nearby pond to photograph calling amphibians
Folwers Toad (Anaxyrus fowlerii)
ImageFowlers Toad (Anaxyrus fowlerii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Copes Gray Treefrogs (Hyla chrysoscelis)
ImageCopes Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCopes Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Northern Cricket Frogs (Acris crepitans)
ImageNorthern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

One of the better finds from that pond was this larval Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum)
ImageEastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Also seen one of those nights was a healthy adult Northern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon)
ImageNorthern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

I'd often go flip for snakes on my off days, one welcome flip was this old Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen), I'd see many more of these throughout the summer.
ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

One day while surveying streams turned out to be quite snakey, giving me a young Northern Watersnake (N. sipedon)
ImageNorthern Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

and this lovely Black Kingnskae (Lampropeltis getula nigra)
ImageBlack Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigra) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

One weekend in June I met up with Noah Fields and Daniel Thompson and headed to Alabama for a weekend of herping.
Northern Copper (A. c. mokasen)
ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The highlight of the trip was our incredible success with Red Milksnakes (Lampropeltis triangulum sypsilla), of which we found 4.
The whole bunch,
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

#1 sadly in shed
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

#2
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

#3
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

#4
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

#2 & 3
ImageRed Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum syspila) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Also found were two Rough Greensnakes (O. aestivus)
ImageRough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageRough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We also found a few Cottons (A. p. piscivorous) hanging out in a mountain stream.
ImageWestern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous leucostema) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageWestern Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorous leucostema) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Next was a welcome Green Salamander (Aneides aeneus)
ImageGreen Salamander (Aneides aeneus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After that we left AL, and headed towards Sewanee Tennessee, where cruising turned up a heft Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)
ImageMap Turtle (Graptemys geographica) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We also found a Black Kingsnake (L. g. nigra) who had been clipped by a car and saved her overnight to keep tabs on her condition and photograph the next day.
She made a good recovery and was released in the morning.
ImageBlack Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigra) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageBlack Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigra) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After that Noah and Daniel left, and as soon as they did I turned up a nice Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)
ImageTimber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTimber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTimber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Salamander continued to take me around Eastern Tennessee for the next few weeks, letting me see stuff like this Gray Ratsnake (Pantherophis spilodes) taking a drink
ImageMidland Ratsnake (Pantherophis spiloides) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

More Northern Coppeheads (A. c. mokasen)
ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

It was after a few weeks of doing research that my partner and I finally found on of our main study targets, the Cumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus)
ImageCumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

During down time I continued to check the frog pond, finding this Barking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) a welcome sight in the Tennessee mountains.
ImageBarking Treefrog (Hyla gratiosa) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

I also continued cruising, finding more Black Kings (L. g. nigra)
ImageBlack Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula nigra) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The research I did took me to some beautiful places up in the mountains.
ImageStream by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCreek by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Other random animals were seen both while doing research and while herping on my own.
Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis)
ImageEastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)
ImageEastern Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Spring Salamander larvae (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus)
ImageSpring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
ImageRough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Northern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen)
ImageNorthern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix mokasen) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)
ImageRed Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

One weekend I met up with Todd Pierson to check out a stream for salamanders, and got some welcome finds.
A young Black Mountain Salamander (Desmognathis welteri)
ImageBlack Mountain Salamander (Desmognathus welter) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Multiple Green Salamanders (Aneides aeneus)
ImageGreen Salamander (Aneides aeneus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageGreen Salamanders (Aneides aeneus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageGreen Salamander (Aneides aeneus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageGreen Salamander (Aneides aeneus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Cumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus)
ImageCumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Southern Ringneck (Diadophis punctatus) eating a Cumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathis audits)
ImageSouthern Ringneck (Diadophis punctatus) eating a Cumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathis abditus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

A heftier Black Mountain Salamander (Desmognathus welter)
ImageBlack Mountain Salamander (Desmognathus welter) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Cruising got me another Timber Rattler (Crotalus horridus)
ImageTimber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTimber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

I took one last quick trip down to south Georgia, but nor much luck was had, we turned up only this Eastern Kingsnake (L. getula)
ImageEastern Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And another Dusky Pig (S. m. barbouri)
ImageDusky Pigmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius barbouri) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Although, on my way back north I made a pitstop and got some Pigeon Mountian Salamanders (Plethodon patraeus)
ImagePigeon Mountain Salamander (Plethodon patraeus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImagePigeon Mountain Salamander (Plethodon patraeus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

To end off the part of the summer in Tennesee I found many more salamanders
Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)
ImageSeal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Spotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti)
ImageSpotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Cumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus)
ImageCumberland Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus abditus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After all that time in Tennessee I finally drove the 20 hours home to Central Texas, and then immediately left to go on a trip with my friend Ben Stupavsky,
Hanging out near his home in North Texas for a few days got me some welcome finds.
Couches Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii)
ImageCouches Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Plains Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivaceous)
ImagePlains Narrowmouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivaceous) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Texas Nightsnake (Hypsiglena jani texana)
ImageTexas Nightsnake (Hypsiglena jani texana) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi)
ImageBullsnake (Pituophis catenifer sayi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum)
ImageTexas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Collard Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)
ImageCollard Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCollard Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCollard Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Prairie Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus)
ImagePrairie Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImagePrairie Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Emory Ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi)
ImageEmory Ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos)
ImageEastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageEastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platyrhinos) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
ImageWestern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After spending a few days there Ben and I headed west for Arizona.
On the way we stopped off in New Mexico to find some Sacramento Mountains Salamanders (Aneides hardii)
ImageSacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSacramento Mountains Salamander (Aneides hardii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

We arrived in Arizona the next day and began herping with some people who know the area.
My first snake in Arizona was a species I'd been dreaming about seeing ever since I was little, when I first saw it on the crawl I could hardly get any words to come out.
Arizona Ridge Nose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi)
ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

While I was photographing this guy, someone else turned up a Banded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi)
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Only seconds after we let the first Willardi go, I heard a slight buzzing noise coming from a few feet to my left, giving away the position of Willardi number two.
ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After a bit more walking I spied this prettier Klaub (C. l. klauberi)
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Then, only minutes later Ben flipped up Willardi number 3
ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi willardi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Last snake of the area was this brilliant Klaub found crawling out in the middle of a grassy field.
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Some of the AZ scenery
ImageHuachuca Mountains by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageHuachuca Mountains by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageHuachuca Mountains by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night we cruised in the rain, finding a baby Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)
ImageMojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

And a big fat ole Sonoran Desert Toad (Incillius alvarius)
ImageSonoran Desert Toad (Incilius alvarius) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next morning cruising got us a nice sized Regal Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)
ImageRegal Ringneck Snake ( Diadophis punctatus regalis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

While cruising around noon turned up a beautiful Northern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus)
ImageNorthern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night we left the mountains for some lowland desert cruising.
First snake of the night was a Sonoran Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer affinis)
ImageSonoran Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer affinis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSonoran Gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer affinis) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Which was followed by an adorable baby Sonoran Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombes)
ImageSonoran Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSonoran Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageSonoran Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Next up was a Sonoran Nightsnake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea chlorophaea)
ImageSonoran Nightsnake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea chlorophaea) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Followed by one more Sidewinder
ImageSonoran Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

The next day we returned to the mountains and found a different Blacktail in almost the same place as we found the one the day before.
ImageNorthern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night as we cruised we saw something in the road that I'd been hoping to see all week.
Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
ImageGila Monster (Heloderma suspectum) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Also cruised were another Blacktail
ImageNorthern Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus mollosus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

and a Tiger Rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) who we photographed the next morning.
ImageTiger Rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTiger Rattlesnake (Crotalus tigris) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Last snake of AZ for us was a Sonoran Whipsnake (Masticophis/ Coluber bilineatus)
ImageSonoran Whipsnake (Masticophis bilineatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

That night we headed back to Texas for one night of cruising in the Davis mountains where we found an Ornate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus)
ImageOrnate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

and several Canyon Treefrogs (Hyla arenicolor)
ImageCanyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageCanyon Treefrog (Hyla arenicolor) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

and the last snake of the trip was a young Bairds Ratsnake (Pantherophis bairdii)
ImageBairds Ratsnake (Pantherophis bairdii) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

After that I returned home to Central Texas, where random bouts of herping found me quite a few Texas Spring Salamanders (Eurycea troglodytes), including one albino.
ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

ImageTexas Spring Salamander (Eurycea troglodytes) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Last thing I found was an amphibian I had spent the entire summer hopelessly searching for,
Balcones Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti latrans)
ImageBalcones Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti latrans) by Saunders Drukker, on Flickr

Now, I've returned up to Tennessee, hopefully to find more animals.
Thanks for looking.

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jack4rogers
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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by jack4rogers » August 26th, 2015, 4:14 pm

Wow, what a great summer!! Stunning pictures and great herps!

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by mtratcliffe » August 26th, 2015, 4:38 pm

Great shots and awesome finds all around - lots of diversity, too!

I think your calling Fowler's Toad at Sewanee (where is that, by the way?) is an Eastern American Toad. The warts aren't in clusters like they are with Fowler's, and the toad pictured has spurs between the paratoid glands and cranial lobes.

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by NACairns » August 26th, 2015, 5:13 pm

Man, what a great post. Amazing diversity and the photography is outstanding. Look forward to you fall post.
Thanks for posting,
Nick

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by Soopaman » August 26th, 2015, 8:02 pm

Nice post, Saunders. You've gotten to see quite a lot of diversity this year!

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by Saunders » August 27th, 2015, 6:28 am

mtratcliffe wrote:Great shots and awesome finds all around - lots of diversity, too!

I think your calling Fowler's Toad at Sewanee (where is that, by the way?) is an Eastern American Toad. The warts aren't in clusters like they are with Fowler's, and the toad pictured has spurs between the paratoid glands and cranial lobes.

I agree that it looks more like an American, but the reason I call it a Fowlers is cause I sat and watched it call for a good long while, and it was definitely making a Fowler's call.

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » August 27th, 2015, 2:24 pm

Fantastic! Just too much good stuff to pick any favourites, although that last frog is really cool.

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by dthor68 » August 27th, 2015, 2:42 pm

WOW, what a great year you have had!

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mtratcliffe
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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by mtratcliffe » August 27th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Saunders wrote: I agree that it looks more like an American, but the reason I call it a Fowlers is cause I sat and watched it call for a good long while, and it was definitely making a Fowler's call.
Interesting. And it's not like their calls are easy to confuse with one another.

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by Saunders » August 27th, 2015, 5:42 pm

mtratcliffe wrote:
Saunders wrote: I agree that it looks more like an American, but the reason I call it a Fowlers is cause I sat and watched it call for a good long while, and it was definitely making a Fowler's call.
Interesting. And it's not like their calls are easy to confuse with one another.
I was very thrown off by it when I saw him call.

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by MattSullivan » August 27th, 2015, 6:09 pm

pretty epic year so far dude. awesome

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Re: Summer 2015, Tennesee, Georgia, Florida, Texas and Arizo

Post by simus343 » August 28th, 2015, 5:55 am

Great year you've had so far! Fall has not even started yet though so there is still a lot more to see before next year!
Where you found that brown Heterodon platirhinos, is there Heterodon nascius in that range as well? I could see that throwing off someone that doesn't know snakes :P. It had an outstanding brown pattern to it.

About the unusual color of the first Plethodon ruber:
I use to keep a group of Plethodon ruber in a rather damp, acidic environment. When I collected them near my house they were red, as normal. Over time though, they began to turn more brownish. It wasn't fast (over a few days), it was gradual (about a month). The artificial habitat they were being kept in was a little more wet and acidic than where I collected them. Minus the color change, they all appeared perfectly normal. A few months later I ended up releasing them at the collection site - I kept them for a short while just for student education.

So, based on what happened with the group I had, there may have been something different with the soil chemistry in the site of your brownish Plethodon ruber compared to normal site-selection by the species. I know some amphibian populations change habitat preference based on coping with environmental stressors.

- in case anyone is concerned about contaminating a population with my release: 1) I was younger and more ignorant/unaware of this issue at the time, and 2) there is still an exceptionally dense population of P. ruber at the site.

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