Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

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mothman
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Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by mothman » September 14th, 2015, 10:04 am

My first trip to southeastern Arizona during monsoon season was quit memorable. I thought the tropics ruled when it came to herp biodiversity but southeastern Arizona comes close. Some of the sites visited included Sabino Canyon, Ramsey Canyon, Coronado National Memorial, Chiricahua Mountains, Cochise Stronghold Recreation Area, Kartchner Caverns, Saguaro National Park, San Pedro Riparian Conservation Area, and Catalina State Park. The majority of the snakes and amphibians were observed in the region of the Chiricahua Mountains. The night cruises in the Chiricahuas were done with Tim Dayton and his friend Gary. I will put the lizards and desert tortoise in a subsequent post.

Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) on road during night cruise
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Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) off trail
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Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) on road during night cruise
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Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) on road during night cruise
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Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) on road during night cruise
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Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox), juvenile on road during night cruise
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Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus)on road during night cruise
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Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus) on road during night cruise
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Mojave Rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus), juvenile on road during night cruise
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Sonoran Whipsnakes (Masticophis bilineatus) were seen at four locations
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Sonoran Whipsnake (Masticophis bilineatus) close-up
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Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) in campground while I was on route to the bathroom. Always carry a camera with you wherever you go just as in the tropics. I really did not have the camera with me but the snake was right at my campsite.
ImageSonoran Coral Snake (Micruroides euryxanthus) on road during night cruise
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Black-necked Gartersnake (Thamnophis cyrtopsis)Image
Eastern Patch-nosed Snake (Salvadora grahamiae) dead on road Image
Nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata) on a rain wet road during night cruise
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Nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata) on hiking boot along with "shoelace snake"
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Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer) dead on road during night cruise
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Desert Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula) on road during night cruise
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Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer) investigating log
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So much for the snakes. Now for the toads and frogs which were mostly found in the Chiricahua Mountain region.
Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus)
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Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii), male
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Couch’s Spadefoot (Scaphiopus couchii), female
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Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata)Image
Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus) on road during night cruise
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Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus) in chorus
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Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius)Image
Chiricahua Leopard Frog (Rana chiricahuensis)Image
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbieana)Image
Last but not least here are a few invertebrates of note.
Stripe-tailed Scorpion
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Preying mantis (species?)
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Lubber Grasshopper Image
I will definitely be returning next monsoon season to pick up the species I missed this time. This trip was an incredible experience.

bgorum
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Re: Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by bgorum » September 14th, 2015, 12:16 pm

looks like a fun trip. Your variable sand snake looks like the tail of a gopher snake and your female couch spadefoot is actually a great plains toad though.

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John Martin
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Re: Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by John Martin » September 14th, 2015, 7:13 pm

Wow, you had a great trip! Agree with bgorum - that tail is definitely connected to a gopher snake. The scorpion is a Stripe-tailed Scorpion, Vaejovis sp., and the grasshopper is a Lubber Grasshopper. Those grasshoppers are out in hordes during a good summer rainy season. You must have seen some Desert Box Turtles too while in SE AZ?

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mothman
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Re: Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by mothman » September 15th, 2015, 4:26 am

John Martin wrote:Wow, you had a great trip! Agree with bgorum - that tail is definitely connected to a gopher snake. The scorpion is a Stripe-tailed Scorpion, Vaejovis sp., and the grasshopper is a Lubber Grasshopper. Those grasshoppers are out in hordes during a good summer rainy season. You must have seen some Desert Box Turtles too while in SE AZ?
John,
Thanks for the identifications of the scorpion and the grasshopper. You are absolutely correct about the gophersnake. Now I definitely must go back and find a variable sandsnake.

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mothman
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Re: Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by mothman » September 15th, 2015, 4:42 am

bgorum wrote:looks like a fun trip. Your variable sand snake looks like the tail of a gopher snake and your female couch spadefoot is actually a great plains toad though.
Thanks for pointing out my mistakes. The mislabeled great plains toad has been corrected and I added a picture of a real female Couch's spadefoot. The "variable sandsnake" photo has been relabeled as a gopher snake. At least I label the photos which unfortunately some who post on this forum do not do.

Mitch

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Re: Southeastern Arizona Trip... snakes and toads

Post by AZherper » September 18th, 2015, 5:53 am

Looks like a successful first trip to Az!
You found some good stuff, especially the coral, they're cool snakes.
And your scorpion looks like Hoffmanius spinigerus (formerly Vaejovis spinigerus).
All the best, Jules

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