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 Post subject: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 28th, 2013, 10:34 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:42 am
Posts: 433
Location: Boerne, Tx
Well, this summer I met up with my good friend Ben, and did a little herping.
Yes, it's true I was out in West Texas, and this post is about that trip.
My herp trip started a few hours before Ben's did, you see we met up in McCamey, but I got there a few hours before him, so I decided to do some flipping, which turned up this little gem.
Desert Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula splendida)
Image
_DSC0023 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

I met up with Ben and we headed south towards Ozona, where we cruised up this nice snake.
The first of many Blacktail Rattlesnakes
Pandale locality, Ornate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus Ornatus)
Image
_DSC0033 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Later that night we turned up this Longnose
Longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Image
_DSC0057 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

And the last find of the night was this Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis)
Image
_DSC0063 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Next day we headed over to Snakedays for a meet and greet,where I may have met some of the people reading this post, if so hello again.
That night Ben and I headed down south to River Road, and it was a good decision.

First off, we found this Western Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum testaceus) slithering its way through the middle of the town of Marathon.
Image
_DSC0074 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Next, as we made our way south out of alpine we found this beauty crossing the road.
Del Norte locality Ornate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus)
Image
_DSC0084 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0095 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

These are the clouds at the time of the photographing.
Image
_DSC0114 - Version 2 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

We got down to River Road with time to spare, so we hiked around for a while.
After we got driving again we found this little guy right as Baba O'riley started playing on my iPod.
Trans Pecos Ratsnake (Bogertophis subocularis)
Image
_DSC0122 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Minutes later we found another on the slopes of Big Hill.
Image
_DSC0127 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Next snake was surprisingly the only Western Diamondback of the trip.
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)
Image
_DSC0141 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next snake was a major lifer to for me.
Chihuahuan Lyre snake (Trimorphodon vilkinsonii)
Image
_DSC0153 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0150 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Later that night we found some Texas Nightsnakes which we held on to to photograph in the morning.
Texas Night Snakes (Hypsiglena jani)
Number 1
Image
_DSC0034 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Number 2, possible Hypo
Image
_DSC0041 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The two together.
Image
_DSC0039 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next few snakes are not mine, but someone else found them and so I asked if I could snap a few photos.
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus)
Image
_DSC0001 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Trans Pecos Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortix pictigaster)
Image
_DSC0032 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

From Snakedays we headed north to Iraan, where on the way we found my favorite snake of the trip.
A big, mean, and beautiful Blacktail Rattlesnake
Glass Mountains locality Ornate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus)
Image
_DSC0003 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0011 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The only other snake from that night was this Suboc.
Image
_DSC0028 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next day began a journey that would test my driving skills, and my car itself.
I can;t tell the location of where we went, but just know, it was the definition of remote.
First snake we found there was this surprise.
Chihuahuan Lyresnake #2!
Image
_DSC0074 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Next snake was another Blackail Rattlesnake
Crotalus ornatus
Image
_DSC0080 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

And then we found one of many Banded Geckos (Coleonyx brevis)
Image
_DSC0084 2 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next morning, still at the secret spot, we hiked around a forested canyon, and found a couple of these little snakes.
Western Blackneck Garter (Thamnophis crytopsis crytopsis)
Image
_DSC0004 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Garter in Habitat
Image
_DSC0025 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Hiking later that night turned up this fella
Ornate Blacktail Rattlesnake (Crotalus ornatus)
Image
_DSC0007 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next day there was unprofitable, so after three days in the middle of nowhere, we left.
We ended up going back to river road that night but found only this Suboc, and another Longnose snake.
Image
_DSC0010 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0020 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The next few days were tough, we drove for hours trying to get away from storms, but alas the hail and cold rain prevented us from finding much
One find was this Prairie Rattlesnake out basking north of Marathon.
Image
_DSC0029 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0039 2 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Ben getting an awesome macro shot of its face.
Image
_DSC0035 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

The only finds from the next few days, other than toads were these.
I may be out of order on these few.
Sonoran Groundsnake (Sonora Semiannulata)
Image
_DSC0008 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Kansas Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans)
Image
_DSC0005 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

After days of nothing, we decided to get as far from the rain as possible, so we drove east, all the way to highway 277.
And we were rewarded.
Driving north we found this guy.
Checkered Garter (Thamnophis marcianus)
Image
_DSC0001 2 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Next, as we walked the first cut of the night I hear Ben yell out something I'd been hoping for the entire trip "Rock Rattler!" the other best find of the trip.
We held him for the night to photograph him in the morning light.
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus)
Image
_DSC0014 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0017 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Image
_DSC0029 2 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

Then, as we photographed him, Ben saw a snake in the grass.
Bairds Ratsnake (Pantherophis bairdii)
Image
_DSC0009 by Saundersdrukk, on Flickr

And thats it, Ben and I parted ways in McCamey, and I returned hom to Boerne, leaving the desert behind for the hill country, where I sit planning a herping trip for next week as I watch Game of Thrones.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 28th, 2013, 4:10 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Posts: 1578
Location: San Francisco, CA
Amazing post.

All screamers, especially that lyre!

Great shots.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 28th, 2013, 6:35 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2332
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
You sure on your ID of the "reticulated gecko?" Looks like a standard "lunker" female brevis to me...do you have any pics of the others for comparison?


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 28th, 2013, 9:02 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:42 am
Posts: 433
Location: Boerne, Tx
Thats my only pic of one that I got ( they are so annoying to photograph so I don't bother usually).
Im pretty sure about it, I had a few people verify it.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 12:56 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:15 am
Posts: 567
Location: Austin, TX
Looks like a great trip, especially the Trimorphs and that gorgeous Glass Mt Ornatus.. I'm heading out there next week and if I have half as much luck as you did, I'll be doing backflips till Christmas. Good show!!! :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 4:25 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2332
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Saunders wrote:
Thats my only pic of one that I got ( they are so annoying to photograph so I don't bother usually).
Im pretty sure about it, I had a few people verify it.


Color's wrong, tail's too fat, and there are no tubercles on the body. How big was it?

If you google pics of retics, you'll see what I mean (but a "reticulated gecko" search also pulls up brevis shots).


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 4:58 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 1:15 am
Posts: 567
Location: Austin, TX
Another tip-off might be, if you see "many" of them, they probably aren't Retics. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 5:05 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:21 pm
Posts: 45
Location: Southwest Oregon
Lovin' all the blacktail pics. One of my favorite crotes. Excellent post.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 6:01 am 

Joined: July 1st, 2010, 7:07 pm
Posts: 122
Everyone is finding trimorph's but me! Great post


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 6:22 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Posts: 3420
Location: Illinois
To me this is like a highlight reel of what I would hope to see in West Texas in one single trip. Great photos and finds.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 6:29 am 
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Joined: July 5th, 2010, 4:44 pm
Posts: 206
Location: Greenwood, AR
Very nice, thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 6:40 am 
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Joined: June 18th, 2010, 4:32 am
Posts: 272
Location: Arizona
Very nice finds, I hope I can get over to that area someday.


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 Post subject: Quite Enjoyable
PostPosted: June 29th, 2013, 7:14 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 4:57 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Portland/Vancouver
I've lived in 8 states, traveled thru 22 states, plus Canada & Mexico. Lived brielfy in San Antonio & Wichita Falls, but never visited west TX. I'd love to see the Chihuahuan Desert rivers & canyons. Edwards Plateau & Big Springs beckon.

Desert Kingsnake was especially nice (my favorite Kingsnake patterns & colors).

Thanks for sharing!

Ameron
Portland/Vancouver

1.0 Pituophis catenifer deserticola (Alvord Desert, OR)
0.1 Pantherophis guttatus (Carolina phase)
1.1 Pituophis catenifer catenifer (native, wild pair in backyard nature restoration zone)


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 30th, 2013, 6:14 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:42 am
Posts: 433
Location: Boerne, Tx
Thanks for all the comments guys, also, the reticulated gecko is just a banded gecko, Chris showed me the error of my ways.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 30th, 2013, 6:16 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:42 am
Posts: 433
Location: Boerne, Tx
Thanks for all the comments guys, also, the reticulated gecko is just a banded gecko, Chris showed me the error of my ways.


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 Post subject: Re: West Texas Trip 2013
PostPosted: June 30th, 2013, 6:37 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 11:13 pm
Posts: 2332
Location: Greater Houston TX Area
Saunders wrote:
Thanks for all the comments guys, also, the reticulated gecko is just a banded gecko, Chris showed me the error of my ways.



The pics I shared with Saunders, from 2008 when I had the opportunity to photograph both species side-by-side (the retics were legally caught by someone else, under permit).

In this first pic, a reticulated gecko (Big Bend gecko) is on the lower left, and a Texas banded gecko is in the upper right.

Image


In the next pic, the TX banded is in between two retics. I've never seen a retic specimen any color other than some form of pink (i.e. no yellow); plus if you look closely you can make out the tubercles on the bodies of the retics. Secondary identifying traits include the "emaciated" appearance, even for healthy wild specimens, and the disproportionate head size relative to the body (they are said to eat other lizards, including their smaller banded gecko cousins).

Image


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