Guyana snakes- a photolog

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Asnyder
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Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 30th, 2014, 7:48 am

Hey all,

It's been a long while since I last posted here, so I'm sure many don't remember me. Anyway, just for a quick intro, I'm a PhD student at the University of Mississippi studying comparative phylogeography of Guiana Shield reptiles and amphibians. I've spent a lot of time in Guyana in various parts of the country, both for my own research and as the herpetologist for the World Wildlife Fund-Guianas and Global Wildlife Conservation's Biodiversity Assessment Team. I've got tons of photos, so I figure it probably makes the most sense to break them up into groups. Since they are my favorite, I'll start with snakes. There are still a few species that I've photographed that aren't pictured here because I haven't gotten around to uploading them. Warning LOTS of pics!

Enjoy

-Andrew

Vipers:

Labaria/Fer-de-lance (Bothrops atrox)
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Bushmaster (Lachesis muta)
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Rupununi rattlesnake (Crotalus durissus trigonicus)Image
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Bi-striped viper (Bothriopsis bilineata)
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Boas:

Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus)
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Rainbow boa (Epicrates cenchria)
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Emerald Tree Boa (Corallus caninus)
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Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)
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Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)
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Elapids

Micrurus psyches
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Micrurus lemniscatus
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Colubrids:

Whipsnakes:
Chironius fuscus
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Chironius carinatus
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Chironius scurrulus
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Snail Eaters:
Dipsas catesbyi
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Dipsas indica
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Sibon nebulata
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Calico snakes:

Oxyrhopus melanogenys
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Oxyrhopus occipitalis
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Oxyrhopus petolarius
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Tropical flat snake (Siphlophis compressus)
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Cat eyed snake (Leptodeira annulata)
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Amazon banded watersnake (Helicops angulatus)
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Blunt headed tree snake (Imantodes cenchoa)
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Amazon banded snake (Rhinobothrium lentiginosum)
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Machete couesse (Mastigodryas boddaerti)
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Ratonel (Pseudoboa neuwiedii
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Amazon egg-eating snake (Drepanoides anomalus)
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Emerald Palm snake (Philodryas viridissimus
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Swamp snake (Liophis typhlus)
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Swamp snake (Liophis reginae)
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Swamp snake (Liophis sp)
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Green vine snake (Oxybelis fulgidis)
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Aniliidae
Coral Pipe snake (Anilius scytale)
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Naja Bungarus
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Naja Bungarus » May 30th, 2014, 8:22 am

Thanks for being a part of the good work herpetologists are doing, also, thanks for the good photos. Nice collection :beer:

KUJordan
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by KUJordan » May 30th, 2014, 9:11 am

Holy crap. Your photography aside, that is one mind-blowingly beautiful collection of snakes. The shot of the little viper on the mossy log with the little waterfall in the background is awesome- almost feel like I can hear the water :-) How did you do the white shots? A lightbox or something?

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regalringneck
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by regalringneck » May 30th, 2014, 9:33 am

... stunning, all of them, the green palm snake is an intreguing looking beast ... the rainbow boa & bushmaster; incredible, but just good ole boa constrictors in situ are surprisingly uncommon on this foro ... thankyou twice.

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 30th, 2014, 10:11 am

Thank you all very much, I'm really glad you like them. I'll try to get the amphibians and other reptiles posted later on, and try to throw in some habitat shots as well.
KUJordan wrote: How did you do the white shots? A lightbox or something?
- I use both a lightbox (for anything venomous) as well as a sheet of white acrylic with numerous flashes. Typically it is one below and one above, but that can vary depending on the subject.

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justinm
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by justinm » May 30th, 2014, 10:59 am

Andrew,

I always enjoy your work. The shots where you're breaking up the scene with a vertical branch or tree buttress are classic and are starting to define your style. The light is great and it's obvious the care you're putting into your shots. I enjoyed this a lot. How large was that Bushmaster? It has the head of a fully adult big animal. I've heard some say that Rattlesnakes get a "chunk" head at a point where they're fully grown/matured.

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Mike VanValen » May 30th, 2014, 11:25 am

Hey Andrew, awesome collection. I love the Anaconda shots, pipe snake, and rainbow boas. I assume the anaconda is in situ?

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Cole Grover
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Cole Grover » May 30th, 2014, 12:10 pm

Fantastic post, man. Just fantastic.

-Cole

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 30th, 2014, 12:13 pm

Thanks a lot Justin and Mike, I really appreciate it.
justinm wrote: How large was that Bushmaster? It has the head of a fully adult big animal. I've heard some say that Rattlesnakes get a "chunk" head at a point where they're fully grown/matured.
This individual measured surprisingly just shy of 6 feet, but it definitely has the stature of a giant adult. It's girth was roughly the size of my forearm. In my experience though, it's unbelievable how just a few inches makes a huge difference with these snakes. On my recent expedition in March I collected a specimen of one that was killed the night before by the village chief that measured 6 feet, but if I had to guess before measuring it I would have sworn it was about 8 feet. The pictured individual is one of my favorite finds to date.
Mike VanValen wrote:Hey Andrew, awesome collection. I love the Anaconda shots, pipe snake, and rainbow boas. I assume the anaconda is in situ?
I actually found this anaconda the night before right near this spot. I took it back to camp so I could take a tissue sample the next day and placed it here to release it. It decided to cooperate so I took a few images before ensuring that it disappeared into the swamp.

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Christopher
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Christopher » May 30th, 2014, 3:04 pm

Wow, absolutely mind blowing assortment of snakes! Excellent work, how long were you there for? I have spent a bit of time in amazonion Peru and found a fair amount of the same animals but am extremely jealous of the Lachesis and durissus. Looks like an amazing time, and great photography to boot!

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 30th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Christopher wrote:Wow, absolutely mind blowing assortment of snakes! Excellent work, how long were you there for? I have spent a bit of time in amazonion Peru and found a fair amount of the same animals but am extremely jealous of the Lachesis and durissus. Looks like an amazing time, and great photography to boot!
Thanks a lot Chris! I actually have you to thank as well, because it was your facebook post earlier that inspired me to finally make my own post. I've been to Guyana 5 separate times now, with my 6th trip coming this summer (and likely a 7th in the fall). So at this point I've spent about 6-7 months in the field. That Lachesis was my absolute favorite find so far, and that durissus was pretty cool as well. I actually found 3 on my WWF expedition to the Rupununi, this being my first and of course the largest.

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Christopher
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Christopher » May 30th, 2014, 3:43 pm

I've been to Peru 4 times, looks like I need to catch up! I need to post my last Peru trip on here as well haha. I would love to go to Guiana though, looks like you have a great time out there! 3 durissus, man I am jealous. I also LOVE the melanosuchus in your other post, I have caught a few babies and only saw one adult that got away before I could snap a shot. That must have been awesome, how many have you seen in that area?

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 30th, 2014, 4:28 pm

Christopher wrote:I've been to Peru 4 times, looks like I need to catch up! I need to post my last Peru trip on here as well haha. I would love to go to Guiana though, looks like you have a great time out there! 3 durissus, man I am jealous. I also LOVE the melanosuchus in your other post, I have caught a few babies and only saw one adult that got away before I could snap a shot. That must have been awesome, how many have you seen in that area?
I know I have plenty more Melanosuchus shots but that seems to be the only one that I have posted to Flickr. I just get so behind it seems like. I've seen a ton of adults down there, this individual was seen every night that we were at this particular site, coming in to dine on the fish carcasses. I'd say at this point I've probably seen a good 30+ individuals, mostly adults. In some rivers like the Essequibo and the Rupununi they are very abundant. There's a place down in Yupukari village called Caiman House that does a lot of Black caiman work...you may be familiar with Adam Rosenblatt? He got his PhD at FIU and I know he was down there recently doing caiman work. Maybe we can arrange a combined future trip...

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Christopher
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Christopher » May 30th, 2014, 4:53 pm

Asnyder wrote:I know I have plenty more Melanosuchus shots but that seems to be the only one that I have posted to Flickr. I just get so behind it seems like. I've seen a ton of adults down there, this individual was seen every night that we were at this particular site, coming in to dine on the fish carcasses. I'd say at this point I've probably seen a good 30+ individuals, mostly adults. In some rivers like the Essequibo and the Rupununi they are very abundant. There's a place down in Yupukari village called Caiman House that does a lot of Black caiman work...you may be familiar with Adam Rosenblatt? He got his PhD at FIU and I know he was down there recently doing caiman work. Maybe we can arrange a combined future trip...
Wow that is awesome, the area I was in unfortunately has a lot of hunting, it was rare to see large spectacled caiman, let along black caiman. Very sad, I have always wanted to study Melanosuchus more, they are really neat looking crocodilians. I know of Adam, we both graduated from FIU, but I have never met him. I would LOVE to get down there and see black caiman like that. And finally someone on the forum that appreciated crocodilians-they're really my life but most people gloss right over them and dont seem very interested.

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Mark Brown
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Mark Brown » May 31st, 2014, 12:31 am

Wow, my favorite post in a long time. Just fantastic photography of a monumental series of animals, especially the Lachesis. Any post that includes Lachesis (and they don't come around very often) always gets my vote. Those are among the best photographs I've seen of many of those species.

Made my day!

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » May 31st, 2014, 7:25 am

Mark Brown wrote:Wow, my favorite post in a long time. Just fantastic photography of a monumental series of animals, especially the Lachesis. Any post that includes Lachesis (and they don't come around very often) always gets my vote. Those are among the best photographs I've seen of many of those species.

Made my day!
Thank you very much Mark, glad you liked them!

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Mike Rochford
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Mike Rochford » June 1st, 2014, 12:20 pm

This post is just nuts. Holy crap. Nice work. Supremely jealous. It's making me thing Guyana is on my list of future travel destinations. Excellent photography too! Especially liked the buzzworms.

Mike

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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Rothdigga » June 2nd, 2014, 4:39 pm

Christopher wrote:Wow, absolutely mind blowing assortment of snakes! Excellent work, how long were you there for? I have spent a bit of time in amazonion Peru and found a fair amount of the same animals but am extremely jealous of the Lachesis and durissus. Looks like an amazing time, and great photography to boot!

I was thinking the same thing Chris. I saw a few of the same kind of snakes (and amphibs from the other post) as I did when I was in Manu in Peru. I may be hitting you up for some Guyana suggestions if I ever choose to make a trip down there. These photos had tons of the species I was hoping to see but missed out on (rainbow boa, emerald tree boa etc). Your photos are spectacular. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

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Dr. Dark
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Dr. Dark » June 2nd, 2014, 5:08 pm

Spectacular array of snakes you've found! Outstanding!

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » June 2nd, 2014, 11:32 pm

Wonderful compositions, just wonderful. I know how hard it is to photograph tropical snakes on nice backgrounds without them getting away before you've gotten a single shot in, and that makes the images even more wonderful. Either you had a large staff of wranglers at hand, or you have the patience of a python. Your photos utterly shame me - having no patience at all, my pix will always stay way below that "mind-blowing" mark.

Why do you use the lightbox for anything venomous? Sorry, I'm not familiar with lightboxes. And do you take them into the field, or rather take the snakes to the lightbox back at camp?

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crocdoc
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by crocdoc » June 4th, 2014, 7:50 pm

Beautiful shots of beautiful snakes.

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Nshepard
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Nshepard » June 4th, 2014, 8:33 pm

Always great stuff Andrew!! I enjoy seeing your photos on flickr but its nice to see an all inclusive post. Hope many more trips are in your future, as I'm sure many more wonderful photographs are!

Asnyder
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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Asnyder » June 9th, 2014, 7:27 am

Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:
Why do you use the lightbox for anything venomous? Sorry, I'm not familiar with lightboxes. And do you take them into the field, or rather take the snakes to the lightbox back at camp?
The lightbox is a white collapsible box that has an opening on one side. For the photos of the species on the white background, I typically put them on a sheet of white acrylic though sometimes the animal doesn't cooperate. For something like the bushmaster/rattlesnake, I like to put them in this big box as it settles them down quickly AND makes the process safer. And for where I photograph them, it depends, but most of the time it is back at camp. If it is an individual that I will not be taking as a specimen, I typically at least take it back to camp to get a tissue sample.


As for everyone else, just want to thank you guys again for the kind comments. I really enjoy getting to share all of these with you.

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Re: Guyana snakes- a photolog

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » June 9th, 2014, 9:09 pm

Thanks for the explanation!

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