Urban Florida herping

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Gloydi
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Joined: September 30th, 2015, 11:40 am
Location: London, England

Urban Florida herping

Post by Gloydi » October 17th, 2015, 1:12 pm

Hi, I am a wildlife enthusiast from the Uk and of course like everything else here i have a love for reptiles and amphibians. However im far more used to chasing slow worms and common lizards round the heathland of Southern England than herping in southern Florida.


However im visiting Florida soon and will be spending most of my time on wildlife trip around Florida: crystal river, everglades etc. However i will spend a good deal of time in and around my hotel (in the suburbs of Orlando) and have noticed a decent amount of forest around the hotel and was wondering what species i can expect to find in such a habitat.



Thank you. Joe.

Coluber Constrictor
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Location: Mobile, AL

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Coluber Constrictor » October 17th, 2015, 1:59 pm

Common Florida hotel herps would be various treefrogs, geckos, anoles, black racers, etc. If the habitat is substantial enough you might find something more interesting than that. Maybe a glass lizard which is the equivalent to your slow worm. Ringnecks, corn snakes, rat snakes maybe? Hopefully there will be some junk to flip....

The NAHERP database is a good source to find out what could be in the area. It has records for every county in Florida and most counties have lots of records. I also recommend the Eastern Peterson's field guide (Conant/Collins).

Gloydi
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Joined: September 30th, 2015, 11:40 am
Location: London, England

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Gloydi » October 17th, 2015, 3:09 pm

Thank you !

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mtratcliffe
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Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by mtratcliffe » October 18th, 2015, 1:14 am

I recommend skipping Crystal River unless the Gulf temperatures are in the low 70s and it has been confirmed that manatees are hanging out there during the day. Three Sisters Springs is a constant 72F year-round, and when it's still warm out, the manatees don't really spend much time there. They don't migrate inland until the Gulf temps drop to level mentioned above. Crystal River itself is nothing to look at - it's short, developed, and it empties out into a brackish bay. The springs are the only really interesting thing, and I don't recall seeing any turtles last time I was there. The best time to visit is late Nov/early Dec through February.

Instead of the Crystal River, I would check out Weeki Wachee River or the Hillsborough River. The former is a spring-fed river, and you should see turtles and perhaps a Cottonmouth, if you are lucky. However, it can be crowded on the weekends, but this time of year may be better. The Hillsborough River is the best river I've paddled in this state so far. Very little human presence, tons of gators and turtles, plus birds and the occasional snake. You can rent from Canoe Escape - great folks.

If you have time while in Orlando, check out Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland. Lots of trails to hike there, and I always see a decent selection of herps. Good luck!

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Noah M
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Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Noah M » October 18th, 2015, 11:23 am

If you send me a PM with more specifics of your trip, I may be able to help some.

Gloydi
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Joined: September 30th, 2015, 11:40 am
Location: London, England

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Gloydi » October 20th, 2015, 12:13 pm

Thank you for the replies guys. Unfortunately this is not a strictly herping trip im going with my girlfriend and theres only so much wandering through forest looking for wildlife she can take. However i will check the reserve out because one day of herping wont do any harm. However most of the time spend wildlife watching will mainly be around Orlando and the hotel.

Gloydi
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Joined: September 30th, 2015, 11:40 am
Location: London, England

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Gloydi » October 20th, 2015, 12:17 pm

Also could i ask what the transport links are like in Orlando, id like to go the Circle B Bar Reserve, However im unfortunately without a car.

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Curtis Hart
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:07 pm
Location: Hillsdale County, Michigan

Re: Urban Florida herping

Post by Curtis Hart » October 20th, 2015, 5:53 pm

Rent a car. It's probably cheaper than you think. It will save you so much time compared to public transport, which probably doesn't even exist for the places you'll want to go. This is basically a fact of life in the US, save a few major cities.


Good luck,


Curtis

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