End of Year 2014

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MCHerper
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End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 1:26 pm

Hi Folks,

I realized that it's long overdue for me to catch up with the folks here on what I've been up to, especially with some of the beautiful pics that have been shared lately and the great end of year posts. Juggling being a parent and having a full time job with actually getting into the field is pretty tough, let alone posting the finds online!

2014 began with some seep searching in Mercer, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties:

Teaching my son about herps, a dusky salamander:

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A nice P. ruber:

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Some pickerel frogs and assorted sals:

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(bad pic of larval red)

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Then on to the vernals. We got to watch some of the male wood frogs try to bully the males in amplexus off of the females:

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Spotteds were a treat to see:

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As well as peepers:

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We got to see a mating ball form...

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...and it looked like they almost drowned the female:

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MCHerper
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 1:37 pm

Spring had sprung, the air was warming, and I became interested in finding some Pseudotriton ruber populations in our home county. Throughout the course of the spring and summer, I found them in 5 different locations:

First specimen:

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Second:

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More:

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I found quite a few larvals too:

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MCHerper
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 1:47 pm

Spring and summer were good to me!

Found lots of beautiful garters:

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Lots of redbacks:

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and some cool turtles:

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MCHerper
Posts: 443
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 1:56 pm

Lots of sallies this year. I found my first marbled sal:


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Lots of duskies:

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My 3-year old was absolutely thrilled when he flipped this mommy guarding her eggs:

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A pair of slimy salamanders from end of 2013-courtship?

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Plenty of bislineata, of course:

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Also found bislineata egg masses with developing tadpoles inside:

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MCHerper
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 2:15 pm

I was fortunate with frogs and toads as well:

Fowler's toad:

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baby Fowler's:

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Southern leopard frog:

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Wood frogs:

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Green frog:

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Pickerel frog:

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Bullfrog:

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In Salem County, NJ, a friend and I went to check out the newly documented population of Hyla cinerea there:

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Later in the summer, some friends and I heard the lone calling of a Pine Barrens Tree Frog in Burlington County, NJ. I did a little searching, and came face to face with this beautiful specimen:

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Probably my favorite photo of the year:

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NewYorkHerper16
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by NewYorkHerper16 » January 14th, 2015, 2:53 pm

Great post! That southern leopard frog is the most beautiful shade of green ever! Are they common in southern NJ? The pine barrens tree frog is so beautiful, too!

Im so jealous of all your Desmognathus too! I have NEVER seen one, and i've been flipping rocks in mountain creeks since i was 3 years old haha.

-Alex

MCHerper
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 14th, 2015, 3:53 pm

Alex, thanks for the kind words. Maybe you should come down our way! Yes the Southern leopard frogs in the Pine Barrens definitely have an interesting metallic luster to them!

...and now for some snakes:

We found this little red-bellied Storeria on a hike:

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Found this S. dekayi in a spot near home:

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I've always appreciated Nerodia, and the kids and I found some juvies this year as well as some nice adults:

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Found this young lady in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, she was quite docile, especially for a water snake:

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Found a few ringnecks. There are Northern, Southern and intergrades in our home county. Neat!

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Somewhere in Northern New Jersey, I was walking along and looked down:

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Black rat snakes are always a treat.

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...not as happy to see me, I guess:

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We reliably found garters until late in the autumn. Teaching my sons:

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Saw some really cool racers this year. This guy was from the Pine Barrens:

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Probably the coolest thing this year was finding an egg clutch, and having the opportunity to witness this:

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Just seconds old:

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This is mommy, content under an adjacent board:

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Thanks for looking folks!!!

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intermedius
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by intermedius » January 14th, 2015, 6:02 pm

Great post! Thanks for showing us some NJ appreciation. That PBTF is a stunner.

- Justin

herper1
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by herper1 » January 14th, 2015, 7:23 pm

Great finds, great pics, and a all around great post! I heard about the Salem Co. Green tree frogs but wasn't sure it was true. Thats wild that you found them! Good job.

joconnor
Posts: 118
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Location: NJ

Re: End of Year 2014

Post by joconnor » January 16th, 2015, 10:43 pm

Mark ,
Well done . Nice diversity in Herps as well as the broad geographic sampling from around the state !
:thumb: :D

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incuhead2000
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by incuhead2000 » January 19th, 2015, 8:29 am

Awesome observation on the hatching little racer and stellar photo of the PBTF! Looks like you had a good year!

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ebit123
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by ebit123 » January 19th, 2015, 6:07 pm

MCHerper, love seeing your pix from the pine barrens! I'm trying to talk my son into a trip to the Jersey shore in mid-April or end ofMay to visit friends, and herp in the pine barrens.( Even though I grew up in monmouth county, never spent any time in the pine barrens.) Anyway, during those times of year, are the snakes there active? Is it worth it to herp in April, or better to wait till May? Thanks.

MCHerper
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by MCHerper » January 22nd, 2015, 10:23 am

Hi Ebit, my apologies for the delay in my response. Late April-early May should be fine. Good luck with your trip!

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cbernz
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by cbernz » January 22nd, 2015, 3:30 pm

ebit123 wrote:MCHerper, love seeing your pix from the pine barrens! I'm trying to talk my son into a trip to the Jersey shore in mid-April or end ofMay to visit friends, and herp in the pine barrens.( Even though I grew up in monmouth county, never spent any time in the pine barrens.) Anyway, during those times of year, are the snakes there active? Is it worth it to herp in April, or better to wait till May? Thanks.
If I had to pick between mid-April and late-May, I'd go with late May. It could possibly be chilly in mid April, whereas late May is almost guaranteed to be warm.

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ebit123
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by ebit123 » April 8th, 2016, 9:30 am

Hi, didn't get down to NJ last year - so planning on week of April 17...looks like it will be mid-60s when I'm there. I want to just go to northern ends of Pine Barrens (near Lacey Township area.,,possibly the state forest around there and this nature conservancy or audubon preserve..forget the name right now), and possibly Blaire state Park in Wall. In your honest opinion, is there a decent chance of spotting snakes there (any kind....it's been a long winter..i'm not picky) in those areas in those weather conditions? Any tips for best habitats would be appreciated, too. Thanks.

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cbernz
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by cbernz » April 8th, 2016, 11:15 am

ebit123 wrote:Hi, didn't get down to NJ last year - so planning on week of April 17...looks like it will be mid-60s when I'm there. I want to just go to northern ends of Pine Barrens (near Lacey Township area.,,possibly the state forest around there and this nature conservancy or audubon preserve..forget the name right now), and possibly Blaire state Park in Wall. In your honest opinion, is there a decent chance of spotting snakes there (any kind....it's been a long winter..i'm not picky) in those areas in those weather conditions? Any tips for best habitats would be appreciated, too. Thanks.
Sure, if it's 60's and sunny, you could probably see some snakes. Walk or drive some sand roads, look for old railroad beds or other abandoned structures, and keep an eye out for wetlands.

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ebit123
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Re: End of Year 2014

Post by ebit123 » April 8th, 2016, 5:33 pm

Ok, great, thanks!

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