It is currently December 12th, 2017, 9:51 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 14th, 2017, 9:47 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am
Posts: 372
I haven't been able to participate much in the FHF these days, I am in the home stretch of my graduate research and that has been the the focus of my time these days so less herping and less mucking around on the internet. Anyways here is a little post of my year so far, it is just the highlights or those that I got a decent picture of:

Living in rural SW Saskatchewan Canada mid winter is a poor time for wildlife and having a breakdown can be downright dangerous so I don't do too much driving around but sometimes you have to go to town and you can see critters off the highway:

long-eared owl
ImageAsio otus by N Cairns, on Flickr

We can have jumps of 10-20 degrees sometimes and this tends spur badger activity:
ImageTaxidea taxus by N Cairns, on Flickr

Moose are surprisingly common in very dry area.
ImageAlces alces by N Cairns, on Flickr

As spring approached my labmate and I went on out last collecting trip to the southern US. We are working on spring peepers across their range and these southern trips allow for some very cool side herps for us winter weary Canadians.

When we got to northern Arkansas we came across a daytime peeper chorus and a daytime foraging tricolored bat:
ImagePerimyotis subflavus by N Cairns, on Flickr

That night we went out with Kory who was a outstanding host, getting us more peepers than we could process. He also showed us 7 species of salamander and found the BBQ place we missed last year, all and all a fantastic night.
There were peepers in amplexus everywhere. I've found peepers to be pretty cryptic in where they deposit their eggs but the bottom was littered:
ImagePseudacris crucifer by N Cairns, on Flickr
'
We saw an absolutely nuts number of Ozark zigzag and western slimy salamanders
ImagePlethodon angusticlavius by N Cairns, on Flickr

ImagePlethodon albagula by N Cairns, on Flickr

The next day Kory continued the show, taking us to a cool spot where he knew Queen snakes occur, we search for a while with no luck. Kory found an Oklahoma salamander and we called my labmate Amanda over. On the way over to meet up with Kory and I she saw a head poking out of some rocks that we had already searched.
ImageRegina septemvittata by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageRegina septemvittata by N Cairns, on Flickr

He then took us to a an amazing spot where Rich Mountain salamander were plentiful. We thanks Kory for his hospitality and headed SW in to Oklahoma
ImagePlethodon ouachitae by N Cairns, on Flickr

Unfortunately initially Oklahoma was a bust, it was hot and dry and there were few peepers out. We collected any site we could find peepers calling but we needed rain. We did find some interesting fish in the foothills of the Ouachitas. Can anyone confirm the ID on this Creole darter?
ImageEtheostoma collettei (ID?) by N Cairns, on Flickr

To kill time we went to collect in areas where our gaps in coverage were smaller, luckily that meant we got to go back the the Caddos and Red River low lands.
Ouachita dusky salamander
ImageDesmognathus brimleyorum by N Cairns, on Flickr

Caddo Mountain salamander
ImagePlethodon caddoensis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Cottonmouth were ridiculously common, and made peeper catching more exciting.
ImageAgkistrodon piscivorus by N Cairns, on Flickr

With rain in the forecast, we returned to eastern Oklahoma and the herp activity appeared increased as well.
racer
ImageColuber constrictor by N Cairns, on Flickr

prairie lizard
ImageSceloporus consobrinus by N Cairns, on Flickr

I have the never got a picture of a cricket frog that I was happy with but I share this because of the gigantic size of this beast. It is bigger than a peeper.
ImagePseudacris crucifer and Acris blanchardi by N Cairns, on Flickr

This is the only animal I took pictures of on the best night of our trip, it was non-stop but I really wanted to get a shot of this little nocturnally active brown snake.
ImageStoreria dekayi by N Cairns, on Flickr

The next day we were back in Arkansas, we headed to Kelly's place and met up with him and Kory. We had hoped to do some nocturnal herping with them but with the time waiting for rain and the perfect peeper weather at our next site we couldn't lose the work day. Luckily Kory had some species from the far south of Arkansas and Kelly's yard is an excellent spot for herps. We were lucky enough to be there to flip the first eastern narrow-mouthed toad of the year.
ImageGastrophryne carolinensis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Also Kelly had waited to release this handsome prairie kingsnake back where it was found under the same board as the Gastrophryne.
ImageLampropeltis calligaster by N Cairns, on Flickr

We headed north, I will miss the south with diamondback water snakes hanging off everything
ImageNerodia rhombifer by N Cairns, on Flickr

We got to southern Illinois and one of the species that I have always wanted to see was bird-voiced treefrog, I got very excited for a split second by this Cope's gray tree frog
ImageHyla chrysoscelis by N Cairns, on Flickr

We didn't have time to hike snake road but we got to do a couple hundred meters, there were tons of cottonmouths but the cave salamanders caught me by surprise
ImageEurycea lucifuga by N Cairns, on Flickr

There were a couple black/gray ratsnakes clinging to the limestone.
ImagePantherophis spiloides by N Cairns, on Flickr

peeper
ImagePseudacris crucifer by N Cairns, on Flickr

Our last site of out trip was in southern Missouri and a short boardwalk produced some awesome cool weather herp watching.
southern painted turtle
ImageChrysemys dorsalis by N Cairns, on Flickr

banded water snake
ImageNerodia fasciata in flowering Forestiera acuminata by N Cairns, on Flickr

When I got back home my wife and I went to my buddy's wedding on the east slopes of the Rockies in Alberta. We stumbled across an amazing population of neotenic barred tiger salamander. These things were huge, that dock segment was 19 inches and the salamander was ~14 inches. The lake was large and very cold but they were active and were being fed on by a large number of diving ducks.
ImageAmbystoma mavortium (neotenic adult) by N Cairns, on Flickr

We then took the kid on a quick fishing trip just south of us in the Missouri River in Montana, it wasn't an extremely productive fishing trip but we got to see the odd spiny softshell and caught this little pallid sturgeon:
ImageScaphirhynchus albus by N Cairns, on Flickr

Then I went to Ontario to help teach a college herp course, we had a great group of students who dealt well with terrible conditions for herps (it snowed) but we did see seem neat critters.
common map turtle
ImageGraptemys geographica by N Cairns, on Flickr

smooth greensnake
ImageOpheodrys vernalis by N Cairns, on Flickr

I do not like how black/gray ratsnake hibernation sites don't look like snake hibernation sites, they just crawl out of holes with no regard to aspect or exposure.
ImagePantherophis spiloides by N Cairns, on Flickr

black and white warbler
ImageMniotilta varia by N Cairns, on Flickr

Now I'm finally back home and the kid and I get to go out a couple times a week to check up on our favorite prairie wildlife.
prairie rattlesnake
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

greater short-horned lizard
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr

bullsnake
ImagePituophis catenifer sayi by N Cairns, on Flickr

common nighthawk
ImageChordeiles minor by N Cairns, on Flickr

prairie rattlesnake
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Big thanks to Kelly and Kory for their continued assistance with my research and all herping good times. Looking forward to getting down there one day when peepers are not the sole target.
Looking forward to the rest of the summer.
Thanks for your attention,
Best,
Nick


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 2:57 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2162
Location: Unicoi, TN
Super post, Nick.
A good story, good pics, a great variety of nature, scaled, slimy, furry, feathered, leaved, etc.
:thumb: :thumb:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 15th, 2017, 6:10 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am
Posts: 372
Thanks Bill.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 16th, 2017, 12:08 pm 
User avatar

Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm
Posts: 1785
Nice photos :thumb: Really cool Badger shot and that Tiger Salamander larvae shot is awesome! Interesting artistic shape balance there. I like the close up queen snake shot as well :thumb:


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 6:16 am 
User avatar

Joined: April 7th, 2012, 11:38 am
Posts: 69
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Great post, great pics. Queen snakes are an elusive find for me so I enjoy seeing queen snakes.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: June 19th, 2017, 9:35 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am
Posts: 372
Thanks Porter and Melissaisdown the Queen snake was a huge treat and this one was really cooperative so compared to what I was expecting it was lovely to photograph. That badger was less calm. Neotenic Ambystoma are so weirdly shaped.
ImageAmbystoma mavortium (neotenic adult) by N Cairns, on Flickr


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: July 5th, 2017, 5:54 am 
User avatar

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:23 am
Posts: 2162
Location: Unicoi, TN
I forgot to ask, Nick, but, did you see some of the interesting studies they've done in Colorado on canabalism in paedomorphic adult tiger salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum nebulosum)?

Just a place to start: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/0012-9623-91.1.50/pdf


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Re: Year so far AR, OK, IL, MO, ON, AB, SK
PostPosted: July 6th, 2017, 7:44 pm 

Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am
Posts: 372
Thanks for the info Bill, I've heard about cannibalism in the fast developing larvae in arid areas but this is really interesting ecological story.
Best,
Nick


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 29 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: