Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
Zach_Lim
Posts: 1607
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Zach_Lim » October 1st, 2013, 10:27 pm

I often forget that the Five-toed Worm Lizard (Bipes biporus) is an actual, living herp and that it is endemic to North America (Baja California, Mexico).

Has anyone here every herped for them, or has seen one alive?

jimoo742
Posts: 546
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:43 pm

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by jimoo742 » October 2nd, 2013, 4:16 am

I believe the recent Baja trip group, with many people that frequent the forum (and some chapter moderators) encountered one on their last trip. They may have posted photos here, I'd be surprised if none of them did. If I'm mistaken and the photo I saw was from an older trip, I apologize.

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2073
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Mike VanValen » October 2nd, 2013, 8:21 am

Yup, A group of herpers saw one recently. It's picture was all over Facebook but I am not sure if it was posted here. Perhaps Mr. Pingleton or Mr. Warfel will post one here.

User avatar
AndyO'Connor
Posts: 1019
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by AndyO'Connor » October 2nd, 2013, 11:58 am

Our group (a majority of us, my car with 2 other people missed out, we got caught up in a storm and were about 2 hours behind) did find one live adult and there are photographs that I am sure will get posted sooner or later. Tim is still on the road, but there are a few active users that were there for it. I will be going back within a couple years with those and a couple other species to focus on.

User avatar
JAMAUGHN
Posts: 1132
Joined: May 14th, 2011, 11:16 pm
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by JAMAUGHN » October 3rd, 2013, 11:58 am

I seem to remember there was a record of one in Alaska, "...leaping across a crevasse." The record's since been deleted, for obvious reasons, but it did make me chuckle. I'm with Zach in looking forward to the picture and story of the one from Baja. Such odd-looking creatures.

JimM

User avatar
klawnskale
Posts: 1211
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:09 pm

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by klawnskale » October 3rd, 2013, 5:21 pm

There have been a couple of anecdotal accounts of Bipes appearing in sandy soils in the Long Beach area. I think those accounts maybe on record unofficially at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum and/or the San Diego Matural History Museum. The descriptions the witnesses gave of the specimens fit Bipes. If there are Bipes in this area, it certainly would seem more plausible than Alaska
:lol: It is not entirely impossible; geologically, Baja extends into Southern California. There you go, Zach! There's your project: find Bipes in Long Beach.

User avatar
jonathan
Posts: 3627
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by jonathan » October 4th, 2013, 4:12 am

I'm surprised that no one checked http://www.naherp.com yet. Jackson Shed has one from La Paz entered there.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=31782


p.s. - that creature doesn't look like it has any clear reason to exist.

Matt Cage
Posts: 127
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Matt Cage » October 4th, 2013, 7:00 am

Well, our group did wrangle one up just a couple of weeks ago. As Andy mentioned, conditions were less than ideal as a tropical storm rolled through, flooding the area making the sand turn to more muck. We tried anyway and after about 20 minutes, here is what Alex found under a piece of paper on the edge of a puddle:

Image

They are very strange creatures. They propel themselves like a snake but use the for limbs for added propulsion and direction.

User avatar
Andy Avram
Posts: 897
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Andy Avram » October 4th, 2013, 7:51 am

Not that I am against going to Mexico, but it is not high on my list of places I want to visit, BUT a Bipes is the only thing that really, really makes want to make the trip. Maybe the coolest Mexican creature.

User avatar
Mike Pingleton
Posts: 1472
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:45 am
Location: One of the boys from Illinois
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Mike Pingleton » October 5th, 2013, 4:06 pm

You got some great shots of that critter, Matt!

That was certainly a top-tier find on a trip with many cool finds.

-Mike

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Fieldnotes » October 6th, 2013, 2:32 am

Less then ideal conditions, sounds better. I find most of my worms after a nice soaking rain floods them from their holes. However, I have yet to find a worm as cool as that :thumb:

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1471
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Fieldnotes » October 6th, 2013, 2:42 am

Andy Avram wrote:Not that I am against going to Mexico, but it is not high on my list of places I want to visit, BUT a Bipes is the only thing that really, really makes want to make the trip. Maybe the coolest Mexican creature.

Now this sounds like a Field Herp Forum Adventure for 2014. I will drive, just make sure if your in my truck you got your passport and like to drink. Cause nothing's better then switak-Bogertophis, fish taco, and Bohemia (the official beer). One place is a must visiting Bahia del Los Angeles with Paul as the tour guide. Also if people want to explore some awesome areas around San Luis Gonzaga, its possible to throw those spots in too, I know some herp spottings that ROCK!

... While at it, why not throw in a tour of the nearby herp endemic island. I talked my self it -- anyone else interested?

2014 is going to be awesome!

Zach_Lim
Posts: 1607
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Zach_Lim » October 7th, 2013, 7:36 am

Fieldnotes wrote:
Andy Avram wrote:Not that I am against going to Mexico, but it is not high on my list of places I want to visit, BUT a Bipes is the only thing that really, really makes want to make the trip. Maybe the coolest Mexican creature.

Now this sounds like a Field Herp Forum Adventure for 2014. I will drive, just make sure if your in my truck you got your passport and like to drink. Cause nothing's better then switak-Bogertophis, fish taco, and Bohemia (the official beer). One place is a must visiting Bahia del Los Angeles with Paul as the tour guide. Also if people want to explore some awesome areas around San Luis Gonzaga, its possible to throw those spots in too, I know some herp spottings that ROCK!

... While at it, why not throw in a tour of the nearby herp endemic island. I talked my self it -- anyone else interested?

2014 is going to be awesome!
In all seriousness, if you are down, I will be there in heartbeat. I've got a passport and a love for drinking lots and lots and lots of alcohol.

Also, in regards to Bipes, how large are they? They seem small from what I have seen on naherp, as well as online sources. Total dead-ringer for Mongolia's fabled "Death Worm".

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3298
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by chrish » October 7th, 2013, 9:18 am

Andy Avram wrote:Not that I am against going to Mexico, but it is not high on my list of places I want to visit, BUT a Bipes is the only thing that really, really makes want to make the trip. Maybe the coolest Mexican creature.
:?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

Really? Mexico has some frickin' awesome herps. Bipes is cool, but it wouldn't make my top 10 list of herps to find in Mexico.

Now if you restricted "Mexico" to meaning "Baja", then I would agree that Bipes is at the top of that list, but Mexico as a whole? No way.

Image

Zach_Lim
Posts: 1607
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Zach_Lim » October 7th, 2013, 9:58 am

How safe is Mexico/Baja CA these days to herp?

My extent of visiting Mexico was a quick gig in Tijuana which became a drunken crawl back over the border with amps, guitars, and a bass drum haha.

And...I still think we got ripped off at the bar/venue. $3 US for a 40oz of Tecate...that doesn't seem right! Took like 3 of those to feel slightly buzzed, too!

User avatar
AndyO'Connor
Posts: 1019
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by AndyO'Connor » October 7th, 2013, 10:10 am

Baja is extremely safe, safer than many US locations are to herp. There are obviously "sketchy" places in mainland Mexico, or so I'm told. But after spending 12 days in Baja Sur, I can say comfortably that I'd go back with a smaller group than this frist trip or alone if I got better with the language. There are places and situations to try and avoid, or just budget for "traffic infractions".

JohnU
Posts: 21
Joined: March 26th, 2011, 3:12 pm

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by JohnU » October 7th, 2013, 2:46 pm

I just spent about a week and a half near Ensanada in Baja Mexico. I have pretty weak spanish, but the people were extremely helpful and kind. I felt much safer there than when I am back home in Barstow, Ca. (what a craphole).

The trip was initially supposed to be only a weekend, but my girlfriend needed an emergency appendectomy at a tiny, private hospital south of Ensenada. It was tough finding people that spoke english in the poorer communities, but everyone was very kind and gentle. If my spanish was a little better I would not hesitate to take a trip to Southern Baja by myself, and I just might someday. Bipes is numero uno on my list of herps to see! However, it is a pretty far trip down there and there is not a whole lot else to see down there that you can't see in SoCal. The geography of the peninsula seems to limit diversity.

-John

User avatar
Andy Avram
Posts: 897
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:37 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by Andy Avram » October 7th, 2013, 2:51 pm

chrish wrote:
:?: :?: :?: :?: :?:

Really? Mexico has some frickin' awesome herps. Bipes is cool, but it wouldn't make my top 10 list of herps to find in Mexico.

Now if you restricted "Mexico" to meaning "Baja", then I would agree that Bipes is at the top of that list, but Mexico as a whole? No way.
Yeah, not sure why Mexico has never really been a huge draw to me, but again, it's not like I would avoid going, there are just many places I would rather go. Maybe if I lived closer to the country. To be honest I have never really even researched it and am not totally sure what truly unique and cool herps are there that you couldn't get in the S. US or in Central America. Bipes though is one. Like some sweet mole-lizard-worm rolled into one.

User avatar
chrish
Posts: 3298
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:14 pm
Location: San Antonio, TX
Contact:

Re: Has anyone ever encountered Bipes?

Post by chrish » October 8th, 2013, 11:38 am

It has some amazing herps, IMHO.

These are cool, even if you aren't into rattlesnakes (which I'm not)

Image
Image

Pretty much any cool herp that occurs in the US occurs in a cooler form in Mexico (ok, maybe not everything). And then there are the endemics and neotropical species to add.

I find Mexico more faunistically interesting than Costa Rica, for example, due to its unique pockets of endemism.

Post Reply