And not to be missed, shortly after, I saw a small skink basking on a log. Awesome experience. Didn’t see much there but another Croc (not Gums) and a Wood Slave. It was moving on the road when I first saw it, so I pulled over and followed it on foot for awhile. Western Hooded Scaly-foot (Pygopus nigriceps). It’s nice to be asked for opinions, but I hope there are better plans in place than taking advice from tourists. I think this one is an Amazonian Rain Frog, based in part on the bumpiness of the skin, heel color, and eyelid tubercles.
Walking through the better half and make my way through the thorny shrubs up into the hills behind I managed to find a couple of green and wall lizards, quite a few Kotschy’s geckoes camouflaged on the trunks of old olive trees and a single large and gnarly old marginated tortoise, Testudo marginata, wonderful beast that made the stop worthwhile after all. This could possibly have been the find of the trip. The next day I drove from Melrose to the wonderfully named Wilpena Pound in Flinders Ranges National Park, where I stayed for a few days and saw many fine things that will have to wait until Part 5. Gorum_150611_2655 by Bill Gorum, on Flickr Back in New Mexico on June 11th and I went looking for Rock Rattlesnakes with Neil M. The next morning Hayley, Joe, Matt, and Kevin posed our two captured snakes for photos before we released them back at the stream. In honor of the ubiquity, awesomeness, and ridiculousness of this species, I will conclude my account with a photo of a tribute to Tiliqua rugosa I had run across in Coffin Bay National Park. I started 2016 off with a Northern California trip.
Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)…APR 18…Lonoke Co. Around midnight the temperature suddenly got cooler, (I could feel it), and the calling abruptly stopped. And I largely thank his enthusiasm for herps as why I really got into herpetology (and why I’ve had such a fascination with Australia). As I drove into the town of Mareebra, I got a hint of that on the road. Seconds before we were going to say our goodbyes back at the campground, I asked him to stop the car for a small brightly coloured sausage on the road. On the way back to Roswell we stopped to look for another NM endemic, the Sacramento Mountain Salamander. Now that was pretty much it for herps that I photographed whilst there.
This “overgrown Acris-like” frog was calling near a chorus of other species, but it was calling from a region of bare dirt about 20 feet from the edge of the pond. After that, I called it a day. We carried on. The park was not teeming with visitors; I think I passed one other tourist car all day, and saw nobody else on foot. However, at one tin site, we heard a spring peeper calling from the nearby woods, and decided to check it out. We followed for another 30 minutes before he retreated into the bush. However, by the time we were in our canoes and paddling down Spring Creek the temperature had risen to a steamy 60 degrees which is great.
Striped racer, again. 1954. Closer examination revealed it was a cigarette butt. All in all a very productive trip considering most of it was spent shuttling from event to another. Perons and tyleri can both be easily found, and definitely heard… Don’t get too excited, folks, this is a captive animal from Oklahoma. Before I knew it, the trip had come to a close.
Disclaimer: Lot’s of prairie rattlesnake photos, perhaps too many. This male had a striking pose on the stump of a palm tree, which was in the yard of a vacation rental. During early may, I took a trip to up to the mountains to see if I could catch any horridus upon emergence. There has always been a full moon or 50-60 degree night time weather coinciding with the dates I go down, but it is what it is and we do our best and always seem to have a blast. I spent a few days in St.Lucia, an awesome little town full of wildlife! Twas a swell weekend indeed. Notice I did not say “posed”.
Words cannot express how excited I was to finally find a coachwhip, and a beautiful one at that. While the main project was on only Yellow-spotted Monitors a variety of other species were present and of interest. To start off is some of the Northern Copperheads from last fall. note* this animal was donated to a scientific entity in VA. So, after we were offered this meal of roasted rodent (rat? That’s ridiculous.