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Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: March 28th, 2016, 10:37 am
by simus343
I'll be going herping at Saint Marks National Wildlife Refuge this coming Sunday if anyone is interested in meeting up over there.

Re: Herping sunday.

Posted: March 28th, 2016, 3:51 pm
by Coluber Constrictor
I would if I could, but that is a bit of a drive for me just for a day trip. I need to get back there some time this year. it is a great area. Let us know what you find.

Re: Herping sunday.

Posted: March 28th, 2016, 7:37 pm
by simus343
Yeah, I like to cut down from hwy 20 to 98 through the sumatra tract of ANF, so what would normally take me 2 1/2 hours takes 3 1/2 - 4 when I go haha. I've never found anything there, I just like driving through there. It's a bit of a drive for me as well, though I think I'm still 2 hours closer than you. And yes, I will post pics of what I find. Alligators for sure if nothing else haha.

Re: Herping sunday.

Posted: March 29th, 2016, 10:51 am
by Noah M
Oh man I want to, but I don't think I can this weekend. Best of luck to ya though!

Re: Herping sunday (PICS ADDED)

Posted: April 4th, 2016, 7:04 pm
by simus343
So I went to St. Marks NWR Sunday and here's what I came away having found.

There were lots of five-lined skinks (broadhead? what's the labial scale count again?) all over the place, and so ended up being the first species of herp that I found that day.
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Leopard Frogs were all over in the freshwater ponds.
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Then there was the ever-present cottonmouth, but only one. Though I spent most of my day in the higher salinity areas.
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Up in the freshwater areas I managed to turn up the most common snake in Florida, the Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake.
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Then, saving the best for last, this was actually one of the first snakes I found that day. While looking for my lifer Eastern King, I stumbled across a snake that I didn't expect to see sitting in freshwater, and would have thought to look in the saltwater tidal canals for instead. My lifer Gulf Salt Marsh Snake that might take first place for awesome snakes this year, for me, if I can't get a southern hog, mud, or rainbow :D.
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Also while there I found out that there was a presentation on Ambystoma cingulatum. It was a very nice presentation, but what piqued my interest the most is that the Greater Siren is currently under review for being split into 7 distinct species, one of which would yet again add another Eglin Reservation endemic amphibian, something of particular interest to me living right in the heart of Eglin.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 7th, 2016, 4:37 am
by BethH
Very nice pictures. Thank you for posting them. You said in the text that the Pygmy rattlesnake is the most common snake in Florida, is that true? Both it, and the cottonmouth had beautiful coloration.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 7th, 2016, 4:21 pm
by Coluber Constrictor
The skink looks like a female broadhead.

I have not seen a saltmarsh snake in a while. That's a pretty one.

I get out to St Marks every year or so but it's always in late fall or winter so I have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to herps there.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 7th, 2016, 7:11 pm
by Noah M
BethH wrote:Very nice pictures. Thank you for posting them. You said in the text that the Pygmy rattlesnake is the most common snake in Florida, is that true? Both it, and the cottonmouth had beautiful coloration.
I don't think any studies have been done regarding what is most abundant. But, pygmies, ribbons, water snakes and cottons are all fairly common.

Also, I love clarkii... they're just awesome.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 8th, 2016, 4:13 am
by BethH
Thanks for the information. They're such pretty little snakes.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 10th, 2016, 1:32 pm
by simus343
BethH wrote:Very nice pictures. Thank you for posting them. You said in the text that the Pygmy rattlesnake is the most common snake in Florida, is that true? Both it, and the cottonmouth had beautiful coloration.
Not necessarily, however based on how many I find a year compared to all the other species of snakes in NW Fla, unless you "get lucky" I'd say so at least regionally. I photograph just about every snake I see (except black racers) and my pygmy pictures every year usually total all of my nonvenomous combined, and beat out cottonmouths by 10 plus. As far the racers, oddly enough, I can count on two hands how many I've seen over the last 12 months. I'm hard pressed to not find a pygmy unless I'm in a floodplain. If I don't find a pygmy in my spots, I very likely didn't find anything else either. Yet, as Noah said, there isn't any real "evidence" to support my claim. I do believe that due to their small size and seeming abundance, they can arguably be one of the most successful snakes as a species, or they are just really picky about where they sit and that happens to be where I just happen to be walking haha.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: April 10th, 2016, 5:12 pm
by BethH
That's really interesting. I was in Florida once, recently, and I saw a Pygmy Rattlesnake, and I was pretty happy and impressed with myself. I also saw a cottonmouth, and a couple of water snakes. Commoners, I guess. The Pygmy was a lifer for me, and I was really happy. Thanks again for the nice pictures.

Re: Herping sunday. pics added

Posted: May 11th, 2016, 6:29 am
by dwakefield
Awesome photos and finds! I'm in south Florida and I'm still trying to get my lifer Pygmy.......I know it's going to happen soon!