My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

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dave_zeldin
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My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by dave_zeldin » October 27th, 2015, 8:48 pm

As the end of the year is quickly approaching, so is the end of herping season here in Southern California. I know there are still some herps to be found in late fall and into winter, but this time of year is pretty hectic for me at work. So I probably wont have much time to herp for the rest of this year. That being said, I wanted to share some of my finds from this year.

I would like to start with my two favorite finds of the year. Both lifers for me, both found on the same day, and both found less than five feet apart. Nick Barrientos & I had put a lot of work into this board-line that produced these two lifers for the both of us. Nick & I both are very thankful to have received some great tips from the Ruber Boa genius (Richard Hoyer). We flipped two Southern Ruber Boas under one piece of artificial cover, and flipped the Mountain Kingsnake under another piece of artificial cover right next to Ruber Boas.
ImageSouthern Rubber Boa (Charina umbratica) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageSan Bernardino California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata parvirubra) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

Video Below
ImageSan Bernardino California Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata parvirubra) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

If you follow me on Instagram (dave_zeldin) you may already know that I find a lot of snakes just leaving my house or coming home. I live on the top of a hill with a long windy paved driveway. When the conditions are good, the snakes like to hang out on the driveway. This year has been different from the past years though. In the past, typically I would see Red Diamond Rattlesnakes, Gopher Snakes and Western Fence Lizards. That's about it. I have been pleasantly surprised this year with the diversity of species on the driveway or in my yard.

Here are some photos of what my driveway and yard treated me with this year...
ImageSpeckled Rattlesnake (c. pyrhus) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageNeonate California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Lyresnake (Trimorphodon lyrophanes) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageSan Bernardino Ring-necked Snake (Diadophis punctatus modestus) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

Image

Nightsnake (Hypsiglena klauberi) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageRed Diamond Rattlesnake (c.ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

Video Below
ImageNeonate Red Diamond Rattle (c. ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr


I found this dead snake in my water shut-off valve box. No clue what species it is.
ImageSpecies Unknown by dave zeldin, on Flickr



A few months back I found this adult Gopher Snake on my driveway. She was very tame and lethargic like when I picked her up, which immediately had me a little concerned. Then I noticed she was drooling/foaming at the mouth. I figured she had to have been sick, eaten something that was poisoned or eaten a frog. (I was told frogs can cause foaming at the mouth). So I took her home, setup and large tote for her with bedding, water dish and a heat pad. I checked on her everyday until she started to look better (which only took a couple days). But when I pulled her out and examined her before releasing her I noticed that she looked gravid. So I decided to hold on to her for another week or so and see what happened. Sure enough, a couple days later I opened the tote to see her laying her last egg. She laid thirteen eggs total. This was a really neat experience. This was my first time incubating eggs. All thirteen eggs hatched into very healthy little gopher snakes. The snakes were released in my yard. :)
ImageMama San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

Below is a video of the hatch-lings emerging.
ImageSan Diego Gopher Snake Hatchlings by dave zeldin, on Flickr


After hearing the heart-breaking news about Kent Vansooy passing away Jeff Nordland, Cody Merrylees and I drove out to the desert to night-hike one of Kent's favorite canyons. It was a great hike and we feel Kent was there in spirit. Below are the finds from that night.
ImageSpeckled Rattlesnake by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageGranite Night Lizard by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageLeaf-toed Gecko by dave zeldin, on Flickr



Below is a rather large Red Diamond Rattlesnake (c. ruber) that Jeff Nordland and I spotted on one of our visits to a preserve in Fallbrook, CA. Jeff has been coordinating several surveys on this preserve for the City of Fallbrook.
ImageRed Diamond Rattlesnake (c.ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr


Below are some random photos of some of my finds this year.


ImageHatchling Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (c. helleri) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageRed Diamond Rattlesnake (c. ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageRed Diamond Rattlesnake (c. ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageSpeckled Rattlesnake (c. pyrrhus) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageWestern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageLong-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageBlack & White Desert Phase Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageBlainville's Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma blainvillii) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageNeonate Red Diamond Rattlesnake (c. ruber) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

Image

Intergrade San Diego-Sonoran Gopher Snake by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageChionactis occipitalis annulata (Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageRosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Newt (Taricha torosa) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Kingsnake - Striped Morph - (Lampropeltis getula californiae) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageSidewinder (Crotalus cerastes laterorepens) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageTri-colored Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Chionactis occipitalis annulata) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageWestern Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageWhiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageSpeckled Rattlesnake (crotalus mitchellii) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

ImageEnsatina (ensatina eschscholtzii) by dave zeldin, on Flickr

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Porter
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by Porter » October 28th, 2015, 3:50 am

Your DIWSVB is nerodia. Nice pics :thumb: belly shot of that tantilla by chance?

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Porter
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by Porter » October 28th, 2015, 4:53 am

Also, nice save :thumb: (gopher mamma)

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SurfinHerp
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by SurfinHerp » October 28th, 2015, 11:47 am

Awesome Dave! 8-)

My guess is the dead snake was a two-striped gartersnake.

Lots of great pics, but I really like the photo of the baby gophers hatching!

Cheers,

Jeff

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shredsteban
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by shredsteban » October 28th, 2015, 2:31 pm

Great post Dave! Makes me miss hitting the field with you man :( . When I'm passing through California next summer we gotta go out again. Great photos as always too :beer:

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LouB747
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by LouB747 » October 28th, 2015, 2:45 pm

Great post Dave. Call me crazy, but the pic of the ringneck is my favorite.

PeterAPerez1982
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by PeterAPerez1982 » October 28th, 2015, 4:12 pm

Wow, this is my first year living in Baja and I'm excited to see what I will find in 2016! Thanks for sharing your photos!

RobertH
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by RobertH » October 28th, 2015, 5:28 pm

I really like the video of the gopher snakes hatching. I find it amazing how ready they are after they hatch. Very well done :thumb:
Nicholas

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Ross Padilla
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by Ross Padilla » October 29th, 2015, 11:12 am

Awesome pictures, awesome finds! Way to go, Dave. :thumb:

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El Garia
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by El Garia » October 30th, 2015, 6:01 am

Very impressive post, Dave! Looks like you done well, this year :thumb:
Like Lou, I really like that ringneck pic!

Derek

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Porter
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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by Porter » October 30th, 2015, 8:48 am

Im going off of what Ive seen at one of the small ponds they eradicated. Ive never seen a two striped garter, or any belly pics of one with blotch markings. (Notice the diminishing pattern Twards the end of the tail in the video...similar to your mystery snake. And some banded pattern peeking over on the right side of ur snake and large belly botches on the belly at the top, mid body of ur snaKe) im guessing the southern invasive sub. either way, check the box again in the spring and you'll find your culprit... Most likely should be an aquatic snake of some kind. I've only found garters in those valve boxes...

http://youtu.be/-TMtApt40fw

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Re: My 2015 Herping in a nutshell... (LOTS OF PHOTOS)

Post by Porter » November 20th, 2015, 7:32 pm

I saw a pic posted of a two sided garter snake... I got a degree that's probably what it is. that little bit of pattern peeking over seems to match. I'm pretty sure I was wrong :beer:

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