California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

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Chad M. Lane
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California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Chad M. Lane » July 4th, 2013, 1:00 pm

I thought this observation would be of interest to many.

While out cruising one warm night with a my friend Austin I shined a California Kingsnake on the side of the road. I proceeded to get out of my truck and just watch it instead of moving it away from the road.
I'm sure glad I did! As I was watching this Kingsnake I noticed he was tongue flicking and moving his head side to side in an odd behavior that I've never witnessed before. I noticed a car coming and I turned around to make sure it was going to pass. As I looked back I noticed about three feet in front of the Kingsnake there was a California Nightsnake. Instead of grabbing either snake, or photographing them I watched to see if the Kingsnake was hunting the Nightsnake. Sure enough the Kingsnake crawled up to the Nightsnake and was within 2-3 inches and lost the scent due to the wind. There was a large weed directly behind the Nightsnake. The Kingsnake moved over the Nightsnake down to the weed, then caught the scent moving back up towards the Nightsnake where I watched it grab the Nightsnake and while constricting the Nightsnake it rolled 20-25 feet down the hill, at which point I yelled to Austin "The Kingsnake grabbed the Nightsnake!" I run to my truck to grab my camera and here are the results.

Sorry for the long Photo scene instead of making it short, I thought it showed the story of what I was witnessing better.

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Two other neat snakes from that night. First a Delta Aberrant California Kingsnake found by another herper.
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A Cool looking Northern Pacific Rattlesnake.
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Thanks,
Chad

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gopher
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by gopher » July 4th, 2013, 4:18 pm

Great series of photos! It is tough to imagine but it is nature, hard to imagine you didn't try to pick up both snakes :lol: :beer: .

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by hellihooks » July 4th, 2013, 4:27 pm

Chad M. Lane wrote: Image
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7288/9148 ... 3eb8_b.jpg
Love this shot. Great call on waiting, to see what was happening. I actually had the same chance, exactly one year ago today (4th). Was photographing frogs and a yearling king came cruisen down to the water, I would guess to eat frogs.
The reason I was there was to pick up my son and friends, one of which who had (after years of chickening out) jumped from 'The Falls' and seriously injured her back (fractured it actually :shock: ) They showed up, so we had to go... so they just took a pic of me holding the snake, and then I let it go.
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Sure wish I could have waited around to possibly get pics of that king scarffing some frogs... :(
Awesome you got the chance to document that... :thumb:
Funny enough... cruised another desert king that same night...
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This 4th of July sucks...car down and too hot to herp... worked today and have to work tomorrow... oh welll... go Dodgers? :lol: :lol: :lol: jim

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gopher
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by gopher » July 4th, 2013, 4:41 pm

hellihooks wrote: This 4th of July sucks...car down and too hot to herp... worked today and have to work tomorrow... oh welll... go Dodgers? :lol: :lol: :lol: jim
Don't even try herping today, everywhere flooded with people and their trash. People stomping on leaf litter, ruining good habitat, and some of the worst was messing with the native herps there. I told someone off for messing with a yearling pond turtle :x
Damn that is my pet peeve.

All said and done I will go to therapy and forget the trashed up forest and come back in a week hoping the rangers and my friends will clean the place up. I normal would help out as that is my "job" but like I said I need therapy :lol:

On a brighter not, the turtles obviously emnjoy my efforts and one even stopped by to say "thanks" :thumb:
not really but hey it sure looks like it
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by hellihooks » July 4th, 2013, 6:36 pm

http://i1106.photobucket.com/albums/h37 ... 4991fc.jpg
yeah... rub it in... :lol: :lol: Stupid turtles... :x
I'm a therapist... counselor actually... ever notice that the word 'therapist' is two words put together... 'the rapist'. getting away from people and out alone in Nature should be all the therapy anyone needs... :thumb:
But... we digress, and shouldn't derail Chad's fine post further...:D jim

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Zach_Lim » July 4th, 2013, 6:54 pm

Excellent observation, man!

Funny enough, I would have been more stoked in seeing the Hypsiglena than the getula :oops:

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Owen
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Owen » July 4th, 2013, 7:44 pm

Very cool.

Thanks for posting this.

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Calfirecap » July 4th, 2013, 9:08 pm

Outstanding documentation!
Thanks Chad.

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by devilfish79 » July 4th, 2013, 10:52 pm

Fantastic series of events bro and thanks for grabbing the camera! It would've been really hard for any one of us to not pick up each snake. However, nature needs to take it's course and only the strong survive. :beer:

Cheers,
Erik

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by JAMAUGHN » July 4th, 2013, 11:33 pm

Brilliant stuff, Chad. Great observation and stellar photography, as usual.

JimM

dinodan
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by dinodan » July 15th, 2013, 1:41 pm

Yep that's what happens when you put a king snake and a night snake in a bucket...............staged??????????????but cool

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El Garia
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by El Garia » July 15th, 2013, 2:20 pm

Awesome predation sequence, Chad! I'm really glad that I checked this out. Thanks for posting this!

Excellent photography, too.


dinodan - Not staged... Chad's good people... he wouldn't stage such an event, nor would he fabricate an in-detail account of what occurred. No hard feelings, Dan; I just felt like the "staged" comment needed to be addressed by someone who's familiar with Chad.

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Chad M. Lane
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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Chad M. Lane » July 15th, 2013, 6:56 pm

Thanks everyone!

I guess Dinodan can't read? As already stated by Derrick, I didn't stage it, nor would I have ever thought about staging such an event. There was another witness to this event as well.

I'm currently writing a small paper in order to get this observation published. I would not do this if it was indeed stage in which it is not.




Cheers,
Chad

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by hellihooks » July 16th, 2013, 8:26 am

Everyone who knows you Chad, knows the event is authentic as you yourself are... :thumb: jim

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by AndyO'Connor » July 16th, 2013, 12:04 pm

Very cool series of events and congrats.

I think the staged accusation was unnecessary. As others have addressed, Chad is a stand up guy and herper as evident by his long history on these forums and interactions with many of us (although I still need to get down there and herp with ya!) and such an inflammatory comment can really stick around and shouldn't be cast so easily. You should check your facts before making a comment like that. What part of his story or pictures would indicate it couldn't have happened exactly as described?

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by regalringneck » July 16th, 2013, 7:14 pm

.. yoe, Jim nice king there as your mojave-gets tend to be... h8td the story of the young lady who didnt listen to her inner self ... & got hurt .. sux.
but my main pt in commenting here ...we miss 1/2 the comments when these posts are cross posted, rather than linked w/ a nice descriptive title like Chad did here ...

...lemme see if i show what im typen about by example ...

Subject: Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Message body: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=16820

... :thumb:

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by condyle » July 20th, 2013, 3:35 am

I saw a z scarf one down under some astroturf in a mid sierra trash heap.

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Porter » July 21st, 2013, 7:41 am

Great series Chad :thumb: I saw this awhile back... I like the shots of the night wrapped around the kingsnake, desperately trying to pull himself free. Ironic that the only thing him could find to wrap himself around, to save his own life, was the very thing eating him... graphic. Great observation and set :beer:

As for being staged... I know what road he found it on. There are many nights he has driven that road and seen tons of snake encounters, including some breeding or fighting oreganus, which is rare as shit and could never be staged! The only time I've even seen that in the wild was when I was a young teen and saw two Stripe Whipsnakes going at it, before they saw me and bolted off a cliff/hill into a tree over hanging a creek. Spent the next twenty minutes catching them with two other friends...chasing them back and forth through the tree/bush...one of in the water half the time. Sounds like BS, but my friends Scott and Shane are witness to that as well. When you're deep into it (field herping) like Chad and many of us, eventually you come across those rare scenario's. I've herped with Chad and know he's on the level. Nice stuff Chadster :beer:

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Re: California Kingsnake ophiophagy. Eating Nightsnake

Post by Porter » July 21st, 2013, 7:44 am

That black-headed king is sick ;)

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