End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

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Josh Young
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End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by Josh Young » January 2nd, 2016, 9:18 am

In the middle of December I made a trip up about 2 1/2 hours north in west central Georgia in a passing storm front in hopes of seeing some lifer salamanders, and because the storms were just skipping my part of Georgia in general.

I originally started off about an hour north of me hoping to find some tiger salamanders crossing the road, after a couple of hours of hanging out in the area hoping for rain I noticed a storm front coming through an area about an hour and a half further north and decided to give it a shot.

Soon after reaching the area I found my first salamander of the night. The first of what would be many marbled salamanders to come.

ImageMarbled salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Not too long after I came across another salamander, a mole salamander crossing in a little cypress swamp area.

ImageMole salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Only a few minutes after the mole, I came across a salamander shooting across the road rather quickly, much faster than any Ambystomid I had previously encountered before. It turned out to be my lifer spotted salamander. I ended up seeing 36 different individuals.

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

In amongst the many two-lined salamanders on the road was this single four-toed salamander, also a lifer for me.

ImageFour-toed salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageFour-toed salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

On my way home in the tail end of the front I came across the only snake of the night, a midland brown snake.

ImageMidland brown snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Only a few minutes later down the road I noticed a mostly yellow salamander sitting in the middle of the road, I knew instantly it was a tiger salamander, I didn't realize until I got out just how gorgeous it was and how gravid she was.

ImageEastern tiger salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

I held onto a few of the spotteds for proper photographs since I couldn't really photograph them in a torrential downpour without ruining my camera.

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

The day before Christmas Eve I drove through several counties north of me chasing rain yet again, I finally managed to connect with the rains but salamander activity wasn't very high.

I came across another four-toed salamander in a different county. They're really neat little things.

ImageFour-toed salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageFour-toed salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

I managed to cruise this guy, which displayed the characteristics of being a Chamberlain's dwarf salamander, which is a lifer.

ImageChamberlain's dwarf salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

I managed only a single spotted salamander that night, in a different county than the previous.

ImageSpotted salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

The most common salamander on the road were southern two-lineds, I saw around 7 in 4 different counties, all females.

ImageSouthern two-lined salamander. by Josh Young, on Flickr

The evening of Christmas Noah and Daniel picked me up to head south again as we had the previous year to spend a week in SoFla.

The morning after we arrived we walked a trail in hopes of Brooks kingsnakes. The group was occupied with a cottonmouth when I happened to look down the trail and see what I thought was a large snake crossing the trail, it turned out to be this young burmese python.

ImageBurmese python. by Josh Young, on Flickr

After hiking the trail for several miles and turning around, one of our group spotted this Brooks king on the side of the trail.

ImageBrooks kingsnake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Shortly after the same member of our group spotted a second Brooks in the same manner.

ImageBrooks kingsnake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Not even 20 yards from our vehicles back at the beginning of the trail, this young eastern diamondback rattlesnake was off on the edge of the trail.

ImageEastern diamondback rattlesnake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

We ended up only spending a day and night in "true" SoFla before heading to south central Florida.

This yellow rat snake was one of the first snakes we encountered in the area.

ImageYellow rat snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

The first night in the area we stopped to take a moment to stretch our legs from cruising and Noah spotted this YOY eastern coral snake at his feet.

ImageEastern coral snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

There were 2 vehicles that made up our party, and after that night they had the majority of the success for the rest of the trip. The same night as the coral Noah hiked, they also cruised a coral. There luck would continue as they cruised a juvenile Florida pine snake and two more corals.

Their first coral.

ImageEastern coral snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

The juvenile pine snake.

ImageJuvenile Florida pine snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageJuvenile Florida pine snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

One of the two corals from later on.

ImageEastern coral snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

ImageEastern coral snake. by Josh Young, on Flickr

Was a nice way to end what was for me personally already my best year of herping so far. Here's to hoping I can have just as great of year as last. Thanks for looking and hope y'all enjoyed.

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Berkeley Boone
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Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by Berkeley Boone » January 4th, 2016, 12:39 pm

Wow!
Those corals! And that freaking tiger!

The little pine was a cutie.

Nice job, Josh!
--Berkeley

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by Josh Holbrook » January 7th, 2016, 6:31 pm

Looks like you're cleaning up, Josh. Good stuff. :thumb: That King is beautiful.

Carl D. May
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Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by Carl D. May » January 8th, 2016, 4:32 am

Awesome photos...as usual, of course!
I've caught a lot of Brook's kings in my day, but those two are about the fattest and healthiest looking winter kings I've ever seen. Look like fatty captives!

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walk-about
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Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by walk-about » January 19th, 2016, 10:11 am

Josh,

That Brooks Kings is spectacular! Love the Four-toed Mander pics. That specimen is very nicely contrasted. Great work!!

Dave

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kevin h
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Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm

Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by kevin h » January 20th, 2016, 6:20 pm

What a gorgeous tiger Josh. I'm jealous!

HerpMan ATL
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Joined: August 30th, 2014, 11:36 am

Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by HerpMan ATL » January 30th, 2016, 7:54 pm

this just pisses me off..... just kidding.. sort of. LOL. Great find and photos Josh. Love that little big headed Pine Snake.

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dwakefield
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Re: End of 2015 (Salamanders and a trip to SoFla)

Post by dwakefield » March 12th, 2016, 6:48 am

I'm a little late to the game on this, but these are some great finds! I especially love the Coral pics. Nice work.

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