Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

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kaptainkory
Posts: 187
Joined: June 28th, 2010, 10:33 pm
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas

Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by kaptainkory »

Previous reports for 2013:
Once school kicked in, there wasn't too much herping to be done...but I did get out just a few times and had reasonable success.


My Dad hadn't checked the skimmer in a while, so I got a surprise when I did...Western Pygmy Rattlesnake!
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After a hot dry spell finally broke, it came time to release the state record Lined Snake and her offspring (3 were retained for vouchering). I took lots of photos!
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Only one of five turtle eggs collected earlier in the summer hatched, but it was just what I was hoping for...Midland Smooth Softshell.
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I got out one Saturday with Devin and Mike for some local herping. We turned up a few common species (Eastern Gartersnake, Southern Leopard Frog, Orange-striped Ribbonsnake, STRIPED SKUNK!, and Texas-Black Ratsnake).
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Cave Salamanders and Dark-sided Salamanders are a pretty easy finds on cool rainy nights by my house.
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A log being deposited by an American Bullfrog on a log. HA! I didn't even notice until I was processing the photo later.
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Eastern Gartersnake and (more of) Orange-striped Ribbonsnake
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Warmer rains came through in mid-October, stimulating some unseasonable frog chorusing. With slim hopes, I begrudgingly shot down to the Arkansas River Valley to search for one specific species. I trained my ears on each separate chorus of Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad I came upon. Then, at one stop, I *thought* I heard a few individuals (maybe 6-8 out of 20 or so) that sounded just ever so slightly different. I noted the location but just had to abandon post due to the plague of mosquitoes chewing me up (being in shorts and short sleeves). I returned the next night better adorned to fend off the mosquitoes, but the rains had pretty well trailed off. There were still 5-6 frogs chorusing...very intermittently, and 1 or 2 still sounded just a bit different. I sloshed off into the hay field and, with some clumsiness, I finally got one in hand...Western Narrow-mouthed Toad! (While far from being a rare species, it is uncommonly encountered in Arkansas...and a lifer for me!)
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A migrator of the fall...Ringed Salamander
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For the (likely) last big herping hurrah of the year, I took a long weekend to see if I might stir up all of the mountain salamanders of the Arkansas Ouachitas. I particularly wanted to find one of the Fourche/Rich Mountain Salamander hybrids I had heard about from our state herpetologist, Kelly Irwin, and published by Shepard, et. al., ...so this was my first target.


Fourche Mountain Salamander X Rich Mountain Salamander (hybrid)
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Then over to Rich Mountain. It took me longer than usual, about 20 minutes, to turn one up at my "go-to" spot.
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Southern Red-backed Salamanders are also plentiful at the same locality.
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Over in the range for Kiamichi Salamanders, I turned up a slimy salamander right at dusk...but had some doubts that it might be a Rich Mountain Salamander variant instead of Kiamichi. The few Rich Mountain Salamanders collected from this part of their range lack the characteristic chestnut coloration. I really didn't want to backtrack the next day so continued to work with flashlight well after dark, but finally conceded. I returned the next morning and pretty quickly turned up a couple of others. From the photos, Donald Shepard thought all were Kiamichi (but it's darn near impossible to know *for sure* without genetic testing...and even more sorting out is yet to come!).
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On to the next, but first a Southern Copperhead on the crawl (not photographed) and this Great Plains Ratsnake. It was somewhat surprising to see snakes surface-active on a day where the highs were barely pushing 60F! The ratsnake was on the north-facing side, too, where I was flipping for salamanders.
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At the same locality, I turned up two Fourche Mountain Salamanders.
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Other than driving the very rocky road simply to get there, the next--and last--mountain salamander get was painfully easy...had to flip all of about 3 rocks. I haven't personally seen a lot of these for comparison, but I thought this Caddo Mountain Salamander was a rock-star!
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Ugh, people, why? ...Mississippi Map Turtle.
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Four steps from my front door...Spotted Salamander.
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Arkansas Chocolate Tarantulas mating. This was pretty cool!
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If interested, I've posted a selection of nonherping photos (off-site) from the same span.


Thanks for looking!


-- Arkansas herp species found so far this year. --

Dwarf American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus charlesmithi)...JAN 29...Benton Co.
Fowler's Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Blanchard's Cricket Frog (Acris blanchardi)...JAN 20...Madison Co.
Western Bird-voiced Treefrog (Hyla avivoca avivoca)...JUN 04...Faulkner Co.
Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)...MAY 09...Benton Co.
Green Treefrog (Hyla cinerea)...MAY 25...Sebastian Co.
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)...JAN 29...Benton Co.
Cajun Chorus Frog (Pseudacris fouquettei)...MAR 09...Benton Co.
Strecker's Chorus Frog (Pseudacris streckeri)...APR 05...Crawford Co.
Eastern Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne carolinensis)...MAY 25...Sebastian Co.
Western Narrow-mouthed Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)...AUG 10...Sebastian Co. *
American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus)...JAN 29...Benton Co.
Green Frog (Lithobates clamitans)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus utricularius)...JAN 29...Benton Co.

Ringed Salamander (Ambystoma annulatum)...MAR 09...Benton Co.
Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)...JAN 29...Benton Co.
Small-mouthed Salamander (Ambystoma texanum)...MAR 09...Benton Co.
Ouachita Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus brimleyorum)...JUN 09...Garland Co.
Dark-sided Salamander (Eurycea longicauda melanopleura)...FEB 17...Benton Co.
Cave Salamander (Eurycea lucifuga)...APR 17...Benton Co.
Oklahoma Salamander (Eurycea tynerensis)...JAN 11...Benton Co.
Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)...JUN 12...Garland Co.
Western Slimy Salamander (Plethodon albagula)...MAR 15...Benton Co.
Ozark Zigzag Salamander (Plethodon angusticlavius)...JAN 25...Benton Co.
Caddo Mountain Salamander (Plethodon caddoensis), Upper Caddo River Variant...OCT 20...Montgomery Co.
Fourche Mountain Salamander (Plethodon fourchensis), Buck Knob Variant...OCT 20...Scott Co.
Kiamichi Slimy Salamander (Plethodon kiamichi)...OCT 20...Polk Co.
Rich Mountain Salamander (Plethodon ouachitae), Rich Mountain Variant...OCT 19...Polk Co.
Southern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon serratus)...OCT 19...Polk Co.
Central Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens louisianensis)...MAR 09...Benton Co.

Southern Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix contortrix)...MAY 27...Sebastian Co.
Western Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus leucostoma)...MAY 26...Sebastian Co.
Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus)...APR 14...Washington Co.
Western Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius streckeri)...AUG 08...Madison Co.
North American Racer (Coluber constrictor ssp.)...APR 06...Franklin Co.
Eastern Coachwhip (Coluber flagellum flagellum)...APR 28...Benton Co.
Prairie Kingsnake (Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster)...MAR 19...Crawford Co.
Speckled Kingsnake (Lampropeltis holbrooki)...MAY 07...Benton Co.
Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum ssp.)...APR 28...Benton Co.
Northern Rough Greensnake (Opheodrys aestivus aestivus)...MAY 27...Sebastian Co.
Great Plains Ratsnake (Pantherophis emoryi)...APR 28...Benton Co.
Texas Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Flat-headed Snake (Tantilla gracilis)...APR 28...Benton Co.
Western Wormsnake (Carphophis vermis)...APR 14...Washington Co.
Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus ssp.)...MAR 09...Benton Co.
Western Mudsnake (Farancia abacura reinwardtii)...JUN 04...Faulkner Co.
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)...APR 14...Washington Co.
Plain-bellied Watersnake (Nerodia erythrogaster ssp.)...JAN 20...Madison Co.
Broad-banded Watersnake (Nerodia fasciata confluens)...JUN 03...Conway Co.
Northern Diamond-backed Watersnake (Nerodia rhombifer rhombifer)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Midland Watersnake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Midland Brownsnake (Storeria dekayi wrightorum)...APR 17...Benton Co.
Orange-striped Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis proximus proximus)...MAY 19...Benton Co.
Eastern Gartersnake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)...MAR 09...Benton Co.
Rough Earthsnake (Virginia striatula)...May 26...Sebastian Co.
Western Smooth Earthsnake (Virginia valeriae elegans)...APR 28...Benton Co.

Western Slender Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus)...MAY 27...Sebastian Co. *
Eastern Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus collaris)...AUG 02...Benton Co.
Prairie Lizard (Sceloporus consobrinus)...MAR 15...Benton Co.
Common Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)...MAR 15...Benton Co.
Broad-headed Skink (Plestiodon laticeps)...MAY 11...Benton Co.
Southern Prairie Skink (Plestiodon septentrionalis obtusirostris)...MAY 27...Sebastian Co. *
Little Brown Skink (Scincella lateralis)...APR 06...Yell Co.
Prairie Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineata viridis)...APR 17...Crawford Co.
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)...JAN 15...Benton Co.
Southern Painted Turtle (Chrysemys dorsalis)...JUN 04...Faulkner Co.
Western Chicken Turtle (Deirochelys reticularia miaria)...JUN 03...Conway Co.
Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica)...JUN 03...Madison Co.
Ouachita Map Turtle (Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis)...JUL 01...Johnson Co.
Mississippi Map Turtle (Graptemys pseudogeographica kohnii)...JUN 04...Faulkner Co.
Eastern River Cooter (Pseudemys concinna concinna)...APR 05...Franklin Co.
Three-toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis)...MAY 11...Benton Co.
Ornate Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata ornata)...MAY 18...Benton Co. *
Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)...MAR 19...Sebastian Co.
Mississippi Mud Turtle (Kinosternon subrubrum hippocrepis)...MAY 26...Sebastian Co.
Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus)...MAY 25...Sebastian Co.
Midland Smooth Softshell (Apalone mutica mutica)...JUL 01...Johnson Co. *
Spiny Softshell (Apalone spinifera ssp.)...MAY 27...Sebastian Co.

Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola)...FEB 17...Benton Co.

* = Top target for 2013.

User avatar
sjfriend
Posts: 256
Joined: February 20th, 2011, 1:38 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by sjfriend »

Hey Kory. Great post as usual. Photos are stunning. Sure wish I could make it out there some day. If your ever up this way I'm pretty sure we could get every frog possible for you.

corey.raimond
Posts: 240
Joined: July 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by corey.raimond »

Very cool. Nice job with the lined snake I didn't realize they weren't known from the state.

-Corey

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kaptainkory
Posts: 187
Joined: June 28th, 2010, 10:33 pm
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by kaptainkory »

sjfriend wrote:Sure wish I could make it out there some day. If your ever up this way I'm pretty sure we could get every frog possible for you.
Let me know if you do and I'll be glad to join up and/or point you in some good directions. If I'm being honest on your offer...I think Alaska would be a beautiful place to visit, but it's just sooo COLD. I don't know how I'd do it. HA!
corey.raimond wrote:Nice job with the lined snake I didn't realize they weren't known from the state.
A previous record--1954?--from the SW corner of the state needs additional verification (recheck of the actual museum specimen and tag, etc.). This specimen comes from the NW corner. I was not the one who found it, but I did house and care for it until birth. Two sheds and three offspring were retained.

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sjfriend
Posts: 256
Joined: February 20th, 2011, 1:38 pm
Location: Alaska

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by sjfriend »

Ah, come on Kory... All that swatting at mosquitos and running from bears is plenty enough to get you blood pumping.

I'll be sure to let you know if I end up that way some time, thanks.

Again, great post as usual.

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IllinoisGuy
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Joined: June 14th, 2013, 1:17 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by IllinoisGuy »

Great finds. The Lined Snake with young is awesome!

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justinm
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by justinm »

Dude, your posts always rock. The state record Lined Snake, that's awesome! I loved all the Plethodons one of my favorite genus for sure. Why do you think you had a low hatch rate on the turtles?

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kaptainkory
Posts: 187
Joined: June 28th, 2010, 10:33 pm
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas

Re: Arkansas - Second Half of 2013

Post by kaptainkory »

Thanks, all.
justinm wrote:Why do you think you had a low hatch rate on the turtles?
As I recall, two looked to be infertile. I think the other two may have been turned wrong; I wasn't very careful about that. They were incubated on top of my external hard drive, so... Yeah.

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