Second Quarter Post

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kevin h
Posts: 98
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm

Second Quarter Post

Post by kevin h » June 28th, 2016, 3:12 pm

So here is some stuff I've managed to find from April through June. Most of this was done along with Ananth Miller-Murthy who's also on the forum.

To start things off there was a local Herpetology Weekend that I always try to attend and this year wasn't as productive as past years but it was fun nonetheless.
ImageNorthern Brown Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageEastern Smooth Earth Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageSpiny Softshell Turtle by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageBlack Kingsnake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
This huge guy was on the crawl and its always fun to see them in their natural habitat.

ImageBlack Mountain Dusky Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageEastern Milksnake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageGreen Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Greens are one of my favorite species and I finally got a photo that did them at least some justice.


Next weekend after that my family headed down to far south eastern Kentucky for my Grandmothers 92nd birthday. Considering it's a small town we always find the time to walk the local cemetery and I usually flip up the odd eft or ravine salamander but this time it was different.
ImageMidland Mud Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
I couldn't believe that I had flipped up one of the rarest species in KY in an open graveyard! Not to mention a stunner at that too. And don't worry I wasn't flipping tombstones. :lol:


The next herping outing I took was a drive up to Jefferson County, KY with my dad to try our luck at a species I'd always wanted to see.
ImageKirtland's Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
One of KY's prettiest serpents. This was also a lifer for us and along the way we came across some other cool species.

ImageSpiny Softshell Turtle by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageCommon Musk Turtle by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageCommon Musk Turtle by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr


In the down time before finals Ananth and I would get out and do some urban herping around town and find some common but cool species.
ImageQueen Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageEastern Garter Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageCave Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr


One weekend in early May my dad and I went to a site that supposedly had a good population of hognoses. Unfortunately the Heterodon evaded us yet again but we did come across some other interesting snakes.
ImageEastern Milksnake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageGray Rat Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr


With summer break fast approaching Ananth and I got out to eastern KY one last time before he went to India for a month. We have always like salamanders more than any other herp so we went to a site that has a good diversity.
ImageNorthern Slimy Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Two-lined Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageCumberland Plateau Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageAllegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
This species can be very spotty in its range here in KY but where it is found they're really common. There were also Spring Salamanders that I didn't photograph cause I didn't need to. We also came across several reptiles as well.

ImageEastern Box Turtle by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageBlack Kingsnake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
This big girl was either digesting a nice copperhead or gestating that's the bulge you can see on the left.

ImageNorthern Copperhead by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Speaking of nice copperheads.


At this point school had ended and it was late may. Ananth had already flown off to India to get bit by a undescribed krait (just kidding he didn't). So with my dad off work for the week we decided to mosey on over to West Virginia, his home state to get some endemics. While the forecast had said it would rain all week it barely sprinkled the entire time and while that made for some stunning vistas it prevented us from having any real chance of finding a lifer Cow Knob Salamander. But we didn't go home empty handed.
ImageCheat Mountain Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageJefferson Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Two-lined salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageShenandoah Mountain Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
This last one was a lifer and the highlight of the trip.


After that I had about 9 days of total summer boredom until my family started our summer vacation trip out west. This year I had persuaded them to go to the amphibian rich Pacific Northwest. I plan on doing a separate post on this trip cause we saw so much and I have scenery shots I need to upload as well. It was loads of fun, we went to Crater Lake and the Redwoods, here are some of the highlights.
ImageNorthwestern Garter Snake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageDunn's Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageRough-skinned Newt by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageLong-toed Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageDel Norte Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageWandering Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
This species, the Wandering Salamander is really neat because researchers have found nesting females over 300 feet up in the canopy of a redwood! I also really liked it because it was a chunky version of the Green Salamander.


Once back in KY and Ananth back too we headed out to try and find Mudpuppies the only species of Caudate native to KY I haven't seen. We failed because of recent tornado scale rain but my dad saved the day with a huuuuge red salamander and a copperhead.
ImageNorthern Red Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Two-lined Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Watersnake by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Copperhead by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr


With that my second quarter wraps up and I hope that the third will be just as productive. Thanks for reading you guys and happy herping!

Oh also I plan to be in western North Carolina (Asheville area) from July 17th through July 22nd and if anyone wants to meet up please PM me.

Thanks, Kevin.

Tamara D. McConnell
Posts: 2248
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am

Re: Second Quarter Post

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » June 28th, 2016, 3:47 pm

Holy cow, you really racked up! Your photos are beautiful. My very favorite is the eastern box turtle. Great shot! Thank you for sharing your wonderful finds!

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mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Second Quarter Post

Post by mtratcliffe » June 28th, 2016, 4:59 pm

Great finds and impressive Salamander diversity! That's cool that you got to herp the Pacific NW. I really like the Shenandoah Mountain Salamander - do those tend to have variable patterning?

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kevin h
Posts: 98
Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm

Re: Second Quarter Post

Post by kevin h » June 28th, 2016, 7:38 pm

mtratcliffe wrote:Great finds and impressive Salamander diversity! That's cool that you got to herp the Pacific NW. I really like the Shenandoah Mountain Salamander - do those tend to have variable patterning?
Apparently they can range from a solid red stripe like a red-backed to a lead phase. I've heard from some sources that the ones with a solid red back are a hybrids of P. virginia and P. hoffmani but I'm not certain to the accuracy of this.

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