New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

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snakemastermyke
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New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by snakemastermyke » January 5th, 2015, 11:05 am

What better way to kick off the New Year than with a crazy lifer right? That's exactly what myself, Devon Massyn and Bruce Edley were thinking when we made the 23 hour drive south to Baja in search of Bipes biporus. At times it was cold (40s at night), at times it was sketchy (got shot at once) and with only 6 days available it was a rush to the finish. We had read it is not advisable to travel at night, and with limited day light hours this time of year, it took us two days to get to our destination outside of La Paz. That said, the drive was epic scenic and well worth it. Lots of Tacos! Lots!

First off a pleasant scenery shot...
Imagebaja shore by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

We flipped lots of trash, and most the time it was your usual rubbish... most the time. Devon Massyn flipped a bag under a mesquite by the airport. A 1935 San Diego Natural History Museum record had led us to this area, but the actual coordinate listed was now part of the airport itself, so we had to search the outskirts. As we were flipping Devon came across a trash bag that opened up due to sun wear. It revealed leaves hiding a complete sea turtle shell... obviously hidden poaching. This was a sad find indeed.

Imagesad by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

We went lot to lot and for the most part the first day was less than productive. It was New Years Eve. We opted to go to bed at 10pm to start early the next day... I might be getting old. Realistically we needed to find the Bipes in the next day and a half or go home broker and with no epic find.

We resumed flipping and did well for the time of year. In total we found 3 sand snakes (Chilomeniscus stramineus) one of which was patternless (not photographed due to accidentally letting it lose prematurely, two spiny iguanas (Ctenosaura hemilopha) , two baja coachwhips (Masticophis fuliginous), Sceloporus zosteromus, and a San Lucan Diamondback (Crotalus ruber lucasensis) which we had knee jerk ID-ed as Crotalus enyo, since that was the species we had really wanted to see. Never did find and enyo... but the day was wearing on and we still had no bipes.

Crotalus ruber lucasensis
Imagebanner by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Chilomeniscus stramineus
Imagesand snake2 by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imagesand snake by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imagesand snake macro by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Masticophis fuliginosus
Imagetopper 2 by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

ImageBJC by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imagebaja coachwhipe by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Ctenosaura hemilopha
Imagein hab by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imageiguana by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Sceloporus zosteromus
ImageSCELOP by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

It wasn't until I had given up all hope that we found the bipes... We were in one final trash pile, the sun was starting to set, and it was time to throw on the jackets and stay warm. There were some gun shots in the background and it was getting to the point where we needed to find a place to camp. Then at the 11th hour... MAGIC. We found the elusive phallic like creature.

Bipes biporus
Imageb2ipes by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imagebipes by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

Imagebipes4 by myke.clarkson, on Flickr

If it is true the first find sets the tone for the year, it will be a happy new year indeed.
Thanks for reading.

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walk-about
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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by walk-about » January 5th, 2015, 12:53 pm

Myke - WoW! You did it man! What a find and what a specimen and a trip that I can imagine you'll relive many times. Great pics too by the way. Thanks for posting Bipes - a specie that I can not remember ever seeing posted here before on FHF???

Rock ON!

Dave

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snakemastermyke
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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by snakemastermyke » January 5th, 2015, 3:08 pm

Thanks man! Yeah it was sort of one of those dream finds. Right before we left the U.S. Government had put out the first ever travel warning, siting danger in La Paz, a typically peaceful area. As a result of years of travel warnings, a lot of baja has been boarded up due to the tourism drying up. The day before we left, more news stories came out that the Cartel had targeted La Paz, and that violence was on the rise, which is new for Baja Sur. We did pause for a moment and ponder our plans, but decided based on the stats for the area, it couldn't be as bad as the hype made it out to be, and we were correct in this assumption.

I found Baja to be a very warm and welcoming area, and rather safe. Granted we heard some gun shots in La Paz, granted we were followed by a guy in a hoody for a short bit in Loretto, and yeah there were places we didn't just stroll into with out some careful observation, but you could say the exact same thing about New Orleans, Detroit, or Compton.

All in all... it was a fantastic trip, and I do plan to go back with some more herping and diving in mind.

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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 5th, 2015, 3:19 pm

Really makes me jealous, especially after reading through Grismer's Baja book; it just feels so much more real to see someone actually find the stuff I was reading about. Gorgeous animals, all of them, and that may be the only (certainly one of the only) wild Bipes ever posted on the Forum. Thanks for sharing.

-Gene

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snakemastermyke
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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by snakemastermyke » January 5th, 2015, 8:51 pm

I remember when I first got Grismer's book. Had been wanting to go to Baja before, and even more after. Finally did, and I am sure I will have many follow up trips. Too close not to.

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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by snakemastermyke » January 6th, 2015, 4:08 pm


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jonathan
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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by jonathan » January 7th, 2015, 7:37 am

Bipes is an amazing find.

Definitely been posted at least once before:

http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=17615

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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by Zach_Lim » January 7th, 2015, 9:38 am

I knew I was gonna love this thread when I read "tacos"!

Sounds like an amazing and suspenseful trip! Bipes is high, maybe #1, on my life list, so this was a great read!

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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by snakemastermyke » January 19th, 2015, 10:43 pm

For those who care to see the video version... it's a bit silly, but lots of fun!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2InMYBknRUk

Matt Cage
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Re: New Years 2015 and the ever phallic Bipes

Post by Matt Cage » January 21st, 2015, 12:25 pm

Myke,

Great stuff! I really enjoyed the photos and video. Congrats!

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