NM, West Texas and Arizona

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achillesbeast
Posts: 42
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 8:52 am

NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 3rd, 2016, 6:10 pm

I will try to become active on this site posting my yearly highlights. I'm not known on this forum because I've never posted before.

I had several herping goals for the year, which included: Lampropletis gentilis (aka L. t. celaenops), L. alterna, Crotalus willardi, Senticolis triaspis, and Oxybelis aeneus. I didn't find all my goals but it was a spectacular year nonetheless. Anyways, below some highlights.

I like to start out my herping early in the spring in different NM localities (typically along the Bootheel and slightly north). This year, I did an early February hike in far west TX and found a very pretty atrox and a suboc (unusual given that it was active during the day).

Nice Pink Crotalus atrox
ImageCrotalus atrox by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Bogertophis subocularis
ImageBogertophis subocularis by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Early March, I did several hikes in NM looking for any herp activity. I was accompanied by my dog, Anubis on most of these NM trips. I wasn't very lucky in NM this spring. Mostly cruising and hiking gophers, wippers and atrox. The gophers were abundant and attractive from this region in NM.

A couple of gophers
ImagePituophis catenifer by Frank Portillo, on Flickr
ImageGopher snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

An in situ striped whipper
ImageStriped Whipsnake (In situ) by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A different individual hiked on a different day
ImageStriped whipsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A mountain patchnose hiked a few minutes after shooting the second whip snake
ImageMountain Patch-nosed Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A week or two later, I did a short trip to Arizona with a friend of mine. The weather was supposed to be pleasant but it turned ugly very quickly. We did find a couple of common species, a nice klauberi (that was flipped by my friend), and a very attractive greater short horned lizard, which was found on the road.

klauberi
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

same animal close up
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

P. hernandezi
ImageGreater short horned lizard by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

After the Arizona trip, I spent all of May, June, and July herping in different west TX localities. Late May, my first trip was to the Davis Mountains with two peers. The night began slow, but it picked up around 10pm. The activity died down after midnight as temps quickly plummeted. Several DOR atrox and ornatus were seen. Below, are two of the live snakes found.

Thamnophis marcianus
ImageCheckered garter by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Agkistrodon laticinctus
ImageTrans-pecos Copperhead by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The next weekend, I decided to stay around my home area. A storm was approaching and a friend and I decided to make a quick night outing to the Hueco Mts. Sure enough, snake activity was high. Many of the common species were seen (AOR and DOR). I took photos of a few of the snakes found.

Pituophis catenifer
ImageGopher Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Arizona elegans
ImageGlossy Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A very attractive Crotalus viridis
ImagePrairie Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The first week of June, I decided to head out towards Sanderson TX for the weekend with my dog, Anubis. My spirits were high and I was hoping to see a lot of snake movement. I quickly made a friend with another fellow herper at a local motel. Around 7:30pm, Anubis and I set out to begin the night of herping. The evening started quickly with a couple of emoryi rat snakes, atrox, and juvenile ornatus moving around. Around midnight, I was walking cuts and found a large C. ornatus with a broken rattle, and a longnose. I didn't see another snake after 1am. I worked until 3:30 and decided to head back to my motel room. I took a few of the snakes with me to get quality photos in the morning. After a few hours of sleep, I drove out to find a nice area to photograph and release the snakes from the previous night. While I was photographing the C. ornatus, I noticed an object that wasn't quite a rock. It was a large C. lepidus lepidus. The largest individual I had ever encountered in the field. I photographed the lepidus in situ and finished photographing the other snakes. After releasing the snakes, I went back to my room to get more sleep. Below, are some photos of the snakes from that trip.

Rhinocheilus lecontei
ImageLong-nosed Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Crotalus ornatus
ImageEastern Black-tailed Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Pantherophis emoryi
ImageEmory's Rat Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

In situ Crotalus lepidus lepidus
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake (In situ) by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The following week was snake days. I was caught up with a lot of work, so I had to skip out on the herper get-together. The next weekend, I went back to Sanderson with my brother, Anubis, and another dog, Daisy. This outing yielded very little snake activity despite the excellent weather conditions. I hope the drop in snake numbers had nothing to do with massive amount of collecting that happened the previous week during snake days. A few DOR atrox, a live emory, and an ornate box turtle were all that was found.

Pantherophis emoryi
ImageEmory's rat snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Terrapene ornata
ImageOrnate box turtle by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The weekend of July 4th, was scheduled to be a full moon. In the past, I had decent luck in certain regions of west TX during full moons. I set out that weekend with my brother and dogs to the Davis Mts. The first night, my brother and I were shocked at the sheer amount of active C. ornatus given the full moon status. Several juvenile atrox were also spotted. My brother and I took turns between cruising and walking arroyos. One of the passes through an arroyo, yielded an attractive and fairly large copperhead. The second night was less productive, only yielding a few juvenile atrox several DOR coachwhips. Below, are some photos from that trip.

Crotalus ornatus
ImageEastern Black-tailed Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Another individual C. ornatus
ImageEastern Black-tailed Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Thamnophis cyrtopsis
ImageBlackneck Garter Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Agkistrodon laticinctus
ImageTrans-pecos Copperhead by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The following week, I made another trip to the Sanderson area with my dogs. This weekend looked promising because there were summer storms brewing throughout west TX. I focused my efforts east of Sanderson towards the Dryden area. Numbers were not high, but each night I found a few snakes. The first night, I found a DOR atrox, an emory that was out of reach, and a pretty little longnose, walking a set of cuts. The following night, I found a couple of C. ornatus. One was cruised and photographed the following morning. The second C. ornatus, was found walking a cut and photographed in situ. Towards the end of the second night, around 3am, I found a very young lepidus crossing the road. I quickly darted out of my car and moved the snake off the road, as I was being tailed by an 18 wheeler. The lepidus was photographed and released in a safer location. Below, are snakes from that trip.

West TX storm approaching
ImageWest Texas incoming rains by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Rhinocheilus lecontei
ImageLong-nosed Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Crotalus ornatus
ImageEastern Black-tailed Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

In situ C. ornatus
ImageOrnate Black-tailed Rattlesnake (In situ) by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A very young Crotalus lepidus lepidus
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

I skipped a weekend in July to await the arrival of my girlfriend that was visiting me for a few weeks. The last weekend of July, I made another trip to the Davis Mts with my girlfriend and dogs. This was one of the most memorable nights of herping in 2015 for me. Not only were snake numbers very high, but species diversity was high as well. We drove out during the afternoon. Within half an hour of arriving in the mountain range, I found a very large Crotalus ornatus crossing the road. I measured this individual out of curiosity. It was approaching 48 inches. I photographed the snake and released it. My girlfriend and I, rested in a picnic area for a little while awaiting the sun to set. The dogs ate dinner and got in some play time. Once sunset was near, I drove out to one of my favorite locations within the Davis Mts. Several C. ornatus were seen and moved off the road while driving to said location. We walked a little canyon and saw many canyon treefrog tadpoles. There were also several chunky black necked garters present that must have been feasting on the tadpoles. We alternated between cruising and hiking. Several C. atrox and C. ornatus were seen on the road. Nearing 11pm, I noticed a very small snake on the road. It was a Crotalus lepidus lepidus. I placed the snake in a bucket to photograph and release the next day. After 1am, I decided to walk cuts in a different region of the Davis Mts. While driving there, I spotted a rather large trans pecos rat snake on the road. Several DOR emorys and atrox were seen while driving to the different location. It was now around 2am and my girlfriend was falling asleep. I decided to let her sleep in the car with my dogs, while I walked cuts. Within minutes of walking, I found another C. lepidus lepidus. I barely caught a glimpse of the rattle in a crevice. Almost 20 feet across, was a juvenile baird's rat snake. One of my favorite snakes to encounter in the field. My blood was pumping and I was full of energy. I found an emory rat snake walking the same cut. After the emory, I didn't see another snake for the next hour and a half. I decided to drive back to camp and hope for more exciting species on the roads. Several C. ornatus were seen and moved off of the road on my way to camp. It was now 4:30am and I was tired but pumped from a very successful night. The following morning, snakes were photographed and released in their original locations. A large storm hit our area and cooled the environment significantly. I drove south of the Davis area, but snake activity was very low that evening. Only a few C. atrox and one C. ornatus were seen. The following morning, I took a different route on my way home. I saw a small twig-like structure on the road. I was driving rather fast, and I was quite sure the object was a stick. I decided to turn around and give the object a second look. To my surprise, the stick was a mexican hognose. Another species I greatly enjoy encountering in the field. This was a young female. I subsequently photographed her and continued on my journey home. A DOR Crotalus viridis, and a few, warm, explosive coachwhips were the last species seen on this trip. Below, are some highlights from that trip.

A very large C. ornatus that approached 48 inches
ImageOrnate Blacktail Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Pantherophis emoryi
ImageGreat Plains Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

C. lepidus lepidus
ImageRock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

In situ C. lepidus lepidus
ImageRock Rattlesnake (In situ) by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Same individual as above
ImageRock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Bogertophis subocularis
ImageTrans-Pecos Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Juvenile Pantherophis bairdi
ImageBaird's Rat Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Heterodon kennerlyi
ImageMexican Hognose Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Two weeks passed and I made another trip to the Davis Mts/Alpine area for the 2nd weekend of August. I saw many black necked garters and canyon treefrog tadpoles the first evening. The occasional atrox and ornatus were also found cruising. At midnight, I decided to hike a new area (new to me). After an hour or so of hiking, I took a short break to drink water. I looked down at my feet, and there I spotted a little western hooknose snake. Sometimes, spectacular things or animals are found in moments when one isn't particularly "searching." Activity died down and I called it a night around 4am. The next morning, I photographed a few of the snakes I held from the previous night, and released them. I drove towards Alpine to check into my motel room. While driving, I spotted a turtle crossing the road. I originally thought it was a box turtle, but upon approaching the turtle, I realized that it was a yellow mud turtle. I photographed the turtle and released it in safer habitat near water. That evening, I went to search some cuts in Alpine with my constant companion, Anubis. I wasn't seeing much snake activity. I found a fairly large atrox on a very busy highway 90, which I then moved off the road. After two hours of walking cuts, I found a beautiful and large, male C. lepidus lepidus. I photographed the snake in situ and kept the snake overnight to take additional photographs in the morning. In the morning, I photographed the lepidus and released it in the habitat I found him in. That concluded the trip.

Thamnophis cyrtopsis
ImageBlackneck garter snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Gyalopion canum
ImageWestern Hooknose Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Kinosternon flavescens
ImageYellow Mud Turtle by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

In situ Crotalus lepidus lepidus
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake (in situ) by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Same animal photographed the following morning.
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The following weekend, I agreed to meet up with a fellow herper (from Arizona) in the Davis Mts. He wanted to see a lot of the "west TX" herps. I had high hopes because of recent weather patterns, and the Davis Mts had produced good numbers of herps for me all summer. Luck is a funny thing though. The first night in the Davis, was very unproductive. A few atrox and ornatus were the only snakes found. The next morning, AZ herper and I decided to go meet my friend in Sanderson. We caught up on sleep, then prepared to head out for the evening. My friend from Sanderson and I, went to hunt the gap and the region around Marathon. AZ herper went to a different location (I later learned that he scored an alterna; oh well). That night produced extremely good numbers. The evening began with a few explosive coachwhips moving around. I photographed a juvenile that was feisty as hell. This time of year, many baby snakes are seen moving around. At dusk, my friend and I spotted a large black snake moving very quickly across the road. It was a desert kingsnake. A really dark looking animal. The snake was held onto overnight for photographs. Several longnose were seen on our way to the gap. From 10pm to around 1am, the night was fairly yielded no snakes. I believe the temperature was still a tad high for good snake activity. After 1am, I took some energy pills. I think it was a mistake to take both pills at the same time. I was beyond wired. Almost as an indicator of my energy level, the atrox activity suddenly exploded. My friend and I lost count of the number of atrox we saw that night. A few emory rat snakes were also seen while cruising roads. Near 2am, we decided to leave the gap and explore a different area. We found a couple of Crotalus viridis, one of which was photographed. Finally, at around 4am, we left back to Sanderson. I don't know how, but I spotted a tiny Tantilla on the road back to Sanderson. In fact, I am not even sure if I spotted the snake or if I simply saw something else that resembled a snake and luckily stumbled across the tiny Tantilla. This evening yielded an incredible amount of snakes. It was a good night for sure. I went to sleep around 5am. The following night my friend from Sanderson and I went to explore a different, popular herping local, River Road. The night did not cool down until around 2am. There was a lot of DORs of common species. At around 3am, I spotted a female Trans-Pecos rat snake on a cut, going into a crevice. I barely got her in time. She was an attractive snake. I also had a nasty little insect fly into my eye. My eye would later turn red like a strawberry. It was not a pretty sight! We called it a night around 5am. Below, some photos.

Crotalus ornatus from the Davis Mts
ImageOrnate Blacktail Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Juvenile Coluber flagellum
ImageCoachwhip by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Crotalus viridis
ImagePrairie Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Pantherophis emoryi
ImageGreat Plains Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Lampropeltis splendida
ImageDesert Kingsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Tantilla hobartsmithi
ImageSmith's Black-headed Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Bogertophis subocularis
ImageTrans-Pecos Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Close up of the same animal
ImageTrans-Pecos Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The last weekend of August, I decided to do a three day weekend trip to Arizona. A peer and his girlfriend also came along. We departed on a Thursday evening and arrived in Arizona around 11pm. A few C. scutulatus and and Pituophis DORs were seen driving into our camp location. One live C. scutulatus was seen. The next morning, I awoke fairly early. I noticed another person camped by very close to my camp site. That person approached me, and we began to talk. It was another fellow herper. He was expecting a friend of his, who for one reason or another, could not make the trip. As we talked, it became apparent that fellow herper was very familiar with the region. He told us he could take us to a good location for C. willardi. My peer and I gladly and excitedly, accepted. We began hiking early. Within a few minutes I spotted a female C. klauberi. We gathered to photographed the animal. Afterwards, we continued hiking and I stumbled upon a beautiful male C. willardi resting next to a tree. I yelled for the crew. I was extremely pumped and excited to find this animal. After photographing the animal in situ, I almost stepped on a female C. willardi. Again, I yelled in excitement. She was photographed and the crew continued hiking. Six more klauberi (found by the others in the group) were found hiking that morning. At around noon, the group decided it was a good time for lunch. The meal was extremely satisfying. Perhaps because I found one of my target species. Finding one C. willardi was rewarding enough, but two was a treat. Afterwards, fellow AZ herper parted ways. My peer, his girlfriend, and I, headed to a different mountain range to search for vine snakes. Coming into the mountain range, we found a large DOR ringneck snake. We spotted a young man outside his car, photographing something in his hand. We were curious so we went to check out the situation. That young man was photographing his lifer vine snake. He told us that he frequented that particular mountain range often with no luck. For two years, he searched endlessly and finally, he found his prize. After talking with him for a while, my peer, his girlfriend, and I, drove off. We stopped in a little scenic area to scan the range. I leaned against a tree and stared at the wood for a while. I suddenly noticed that my hand was very close to a vine snake. Holy cow! What luck. I yelled in excitement as I grabbed the snake. I almost felt bad having heard the story from the young man I had met a few minutes ago. Then again, I have experienced the opposite scenario with alterna many times, so the feeling is familiar to me. The vine snake was photographed then released. The night didn't yield much except a very nice Crotalus molossus, which was photographed. The following day, our group did not experience quite the same luck hiking. We came across a sonoran whip snake, which got away from us. That evening, the group decided to check out a different mountain range. Unfortunately, we were rained on. Snake activity would probably be good in subsequent days, but not that night. The storm was heavy and brutal. Still, my peer and I though it would be a good idea to continue cruising to find a large sonoran toad. Around midnight, my peer spotted a massive sonoran desert toad. This anuran must have been the size of my head. It was colossal. The toad was photographed and released. Overall, this AZ trip was very satisfying.

Crotalus scutulatus
ImageMojave Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Crotalus lepidus klauberi
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Large male C. lepidus klauberi
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Juvenile C. lepidus klauberi
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

In situ male C. willardi willardi
ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Female C. willardi willardi
ImageArizona Ridgenose Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Crotalus molossus
ImageBlacktail Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Oxybelis aeneus
ImageBrown Vine Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Incilius alvarius
ImageSonoran Desert Toad by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The following weekend (first weekend of September), my brother, dogs, and I, went to the Davis Mts yet again. What can I say, I love that mountain range. My peer (same one that accompanied me to Arizona), would meet us later that night at the Davis Mts. Our drive to a poplar herping local yielded no snakes. Around midnight, we spotted our first snake on the road. An attractive trans pecos rat snake. My brother also noticed that someone else had eyes on the snake. Behind the snake, a large great horned owl was standing on a rocky outcrop. On this occasion, I was glad to spoil supper. A few atrox and ornatus were seen on the road. My brother and I, alternated between cruising and hiking. We found a couple of Rio Grande leopard frogs. One, was giving off a distress call. I could see that a large black necked garter snake was consuming the frog in distress. A neonate gopher was seen crossing the road around midnight. Activity died down significantly after 1am. My brother and I called it quits around 3am and made camp. The following morning, snakes were photographed and released. My brother and I, decided to go to the Marathon area for the evening. That night yielded the most snakes of the year. Between 40-50. We lost exact count. Two thirds of that number consisted of baby atrox. Baby snakes were moving relentlessly. We called it a night around 4:30 am. The next morning, my brother and I met up with my peer at the Davis Mts to photograph a few snakes. My peer told us that he found an attractive pink lepidus. The lepidus was indeed stunning! One of the most attractive Davis Mountain lepidus I had ever seen. After photographing and releasing snakes, my brother and I drove back home towards El Paso.

Pituophis catenifer affinis
ImageSonoran Gopher Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

A large C. atrox
ImageWestern Diamondback Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Bogertophis subocularis
ImageTrans-Pecos Ratsnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Lithobates berlandieri
ImageRio Grande Leopard Frog by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Neonate C. scutulatus
ImageMojave Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Attractive C. lepidus lepidus
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Same animal, close up
ImageMottled Rock Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The following weekend, I decided to make my last west TX trip. Now that school was in full session, it would become more difficult to make weekly herping trips. I would still have one last, very short, and unproductive, Arizona trip to come. The first night, I went to Davis Mts. Upon arriving, I found a large C. ornatus on the road. It was the most attractive and yellow C. ornatus I had ever encountered. This animal resembled the south western NM and Arizona molossus. I photographed the animal then continued on my journey. The night was slow. I hadn't seen any snakes and it was already midnight. I was falling asleep, which was unusual so early. I was not functioning correctly, even the energy pills were of no use. I decided to take a short, 15 minute, power nap. That little nap helped a great deal. I cruised and worked cuts until 1am. Finally, I turned up two snakes, back to back. A trans pecos copperhead and a nice orangish looking night snake. On my way back to camp, I found a decent sized C. scutulatus. It was 5am when I called it quits. Below, are the photos.

Crotalus orantus
ImageOrnate Black-tailed Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

C. scutulatus
ImageMojave Rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Hypsiglena jani
ImageTexas Night Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Agkistrodon laticinctus
ImageTrans-Pecos Copperhead by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The last week of September, I spent a little time herping in the Hueco Mts, which is close to my house. I didn't find many snakes but I found an interesting rattlesnake. Scale counts and pattern made me suspect it could be a hybrid between Crotalus scutulatus and C. atrox, or C. scutulatus and C. viridis. I am not sure though, it could have simply been an aberrant animal. My brother and I also checked out some local wetlands. We were pleasantly surprised to find a group of Canada geese.

Branta canadensis
ImageCanada Goose by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Interesting, possibly hybrid, rattlesnake in shed
ImageHybrid rattlesnake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

The first weekend of October, I made a very short trip to Arizona with my brother; the last "road trip" of the year. Snake activity was very low. My brother and I found several DOR molossus and a juvenile mountain patchnose. The highlight of this last trip for me, was seeing a large tom cougar a mere few meters from my car. I had never seen a mountain lion from such close proximity. Unfortunately, it took off too quickly for me to get photographs. That, and I was in a bit of a trance.

Salvadora grahamiae
ImageMountain Patchnose Snake by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Final thoughts: Overall, 2015 was a fantastic year. I had a blast throughout. I found around 300 snakes and all (except the dead ones) were great to find. I never bore of seeing and photographing even the common species. I'll finish off this post with a few photos of views and my ever present herping buddies, my dogs. I hope 2016 will be just as special as 2015 was. Cheers.


Drive
Image

View of the Santa Rita Mountains
ImageSanta Rita Mountains by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

Brady with me and Anubis on a hike
Image

Daisy and Anubis passed out in our motel room
Image

Daisy and Anubis at our camp site
Image

Anubis guarding me while I sleep
Image

Anubis hiking
ImageAnubis in the Mountains by Frank Portillo, on Flickr

User avatar
Kyle from Carolina
Posts: 221
Joined: May 3rd, 2012, 7:12 pm
Location: western MA and NC

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by Kyle from Carolina » February 3rd, 2016, 6:31 pm

I don't think the photo link worked, might need to try it again.

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achillesbeast
Posts: 42
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 8:52 am

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 3rd, 2016, 7:03 pm

Kyle from Carolina wrote:I don't think the photo link worked, might need to try it again.
I'm trying to fix them. I'm not quite sure why they aren't working. I may have to work on it some more tomorrow.

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Soopaman
Posts: 923
Joined: March 18th, 2012, 6:34 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by Soopaman » February 4th, 2016, 2:47 pm

Great stuff, Frank.

I think I may have run into you one night in the Davis Mountains in August. Can't remember the weekend I was there, it was either the second or third week. I remember coming up on a stopped car with AZ plates, and one passenger was at the cut. Told us he thought he saw a ringtail and I shined my flashlight from the car onto a lepidus that he was standing by. That was a good night with a lot of lep activity.

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achillesbeast
Posts: 42
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 8:52 am

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 4th, 2016, 3:16 pm

Soopaman wrote:Great stuff, Frank.

I think I may have run into you one night in the Davis Mountains in August. Can't remember the weekend I was there, it was either the second or third week. I remember coming up on a stopped car with AZ plates, and one passenger was at the cut. Told us he thought he saw a ringtail and I shined my flashlight from the car onto a lepidus that he was standing by. That was a good night with a lot of lep activity.
Thanks, Soopaman. I don't recall the AZ plates story, but I do remember meeting someone else on a night that was particularly good for leps.

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noah k.
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Joined: November 3rd, 2011, 4:27 pm

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by noah k. » February 4th, 2016, 5:07 pm

Very enjoyable post!

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achillesbeast
Posts: 42
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 8:52 am

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 4th, 2016, 5:41 pm

noah k. wrote:Very enjoyable post!
Thanks!

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chrish
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Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by chrish » February 4th, 2016, 6:40 pm

That's one hell of a year!

Many years ago I found a presumptive hybrid rattlesnake in the Huecos that (IIRC) was atrox x viridis. It was gravid as it turned out and it and its babies went back to the collection at UTEP where it was used for venom research for a while. I don't remember the details, but I think there was some evidence (venom?) that there was some scut blood in the lineage as well. Weird snake, a bit less viridis looking than yours, but equally odd.

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achillesbeast
Posts: 42
Joined: July 15th, 2012, 8:52 am

Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 4th, 2016, 6:50 pm

chrish wrote:That's one hell of a year!

Many years ago I found a presumptive hybrid rattlesnake in the Huecos that (IIRC) was atrox x viridis. It was gravid as it turned out and it and its babies went back to the collection at UTEP where it was used for venom research for a while. I don't remember the details, but I think there was some evidence (venom?) that there was some scut blood in the lineage as well. Weird snake, a bit less viridis looking than yours, but equally odd.
Interesting, Chrish. I have actually seen a couple of strange crot hybrids in the UTEP collection. It would have been interesting to see those animals in life. I'm sure there are regions, such as the Huecos, where hybrid zones occur and perhaps even produce viable offspring. Maybe there is even some recruitment occurring with these weird snakes. It would be interesting if these populations were researched. I'd be very interested in the findings.

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TravisK
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Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by TravisK » February 5th, 2016, 1:37 pm

I enjoyed this post quite a bit. Great photography and story, I envy you southwest folks.

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achillesbeast
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Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 5th, 2016, 2:50 pm

TravisK wrote:I enjoyed this post quite a bit. Great photography and story, I envy you southwest folks.
Thank you for your compliment. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

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Roki
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Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by Roki » February 9th, 2016, 7:57 am

Great shots and the pink atrox was the perfect intro.

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achillesbeast
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Re: NM, West Texas and Arizona

Post by achillesbeast » February 9th, 2016, 3:09 pm

Thanks a lot. That atrox was definitely one of the nicer specimens I've encountered.

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