My Best Herping Discovery

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RobertH
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My Best Herping Discovery

Post by RobertH » May 30th, 2016, 9:11 am

On Saturday my dad and I hiked a small riparian canyon in the San Gabriel Mountains with year around water. Here we had seen a couple of two striped garters, and one helleri. This canyon is west of Azusa and far east of the 14 freeway, so basically the Mt. Wilson area. We started our hike above the creek. I quickly caught the first snake, a striped racer. I didn't really take any pictures aside from a voucher shot. Once in the canyon we reached a pool that we had always thought there should be Garters but ha never seen one. But quickly that changed.
ImageTwo-stripe Garter (Thamnophis hammondii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr
Continuing and a bit further I found another garter. I only got a quick voucher. After I had failed to catch it we studied its location and suddenly I saw an alligator lizard sitting in the bush over hanging the water. It had an interesting pattern.
ImageSan Diego Alligator Lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) by NicholasHess, on Flickr
We hiked further and the canyon got more rocky and the trees thinned. As we were walking I looked to my left and stretched on a rock was my first San Gabriel Rosy Boa :shock: This had to have been the last snake on my mind. I was extremely ecstatic. I didn't really realize that they were in that part of the San Gabriels. I remind you, this canyon is west of Azusa and east of the 14. It did not have spurs so it was a female. It was about three feet long and VERY orange. Of course I took lots of pictures.
ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

A remake of the insitu. I love how there are oak leaves in the shot. Not something you usually see with rosies.

ImageCoastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) by NicholasHess, on Flickr

One thing I found interesting was that it had orange speckling on its belly. On California Herps website, none of the coastal rosies had that orange speckling, but the desert ones did. Anyone know if this means anything? I can't recall the bellies of the ones I've seen in Riverside Co.

Image

I was stoked and I still am right now. This must have been one of the most memorable moments of herping for me. For the rest of the hike I was in disbelief. On the walk out we encountered one more snake, a sub-adult gopher snake. I was taking a picture of a hummingbird when out of a crack a gopher snake fell out of a crack and slid down the road cut a couple of feet :lol: . Anyone else would probably say it was attacking them.
A short little hike ended up really successful. I believe you can find anything by hiking. I'm so glad my first San Gabriel rosy wasn't a DOR. I think it is much more rewarding to walk them. I feel honored to have encountered such a rare and beautiful animal.
Final Herp : ≈ 15 Newts, ≈20 Fence Lizards, 1 Uta, 2 Alligator lizards, 2 Two-striped garter snakes, 1 Striped racer, 1 Gophersnake and 1 San Gabriel Rosy Boa.

Nicholas

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » May 30th, 2016, 11:23 am

Beautiful animal, Nicholas, well done!

DallasJolly123
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by DallasJolly123 » May 30th, 2016, 12:26 pm

Nice shots and nice boa! Looks like a solid day in the Gabes. I've tried for those and zonota a couple times but I never do good with snakes in that mountain range, nothing but gophers, southerns, and one cal king for me. I'm due for another visit soon for sure.

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Steve Bledsoe » May 30th, 2016, 12:44 pm

Robert - When are you going to give Nicolas his own account here on FHF, and on the HERP database?
As far as I'm concerned, he has enough herping experience to pass for a forty year old! :lol:

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Jeremy Wright
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Jeremy Wright » May 30th, 2016, 3:41 pm

That's awesome man! They are really pretty up there. Only ever seen DORs. Not a lifer but I saw a couple collareds up in the gabes today. It's a good time of year.

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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by hellihooks » May 30th, 2016, 3:54 pm

A bit too precise on locality (better to hear it from me, than an officer :crazyeyes: ) but other than that AWESOME DUDE!!!! :thumb:

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Porter
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Porter » May 30th, 2016, 10:08 pm

Well done young padawan :beer: I notice in pictures 5 & 6 there is a small burnt-orangish shrub peeking out below the snake... notice any other unique colors to that specific locale that match the snakes reflection of color indicating influential camouflagish-mic elements & minerals? ...looks as if the gator displays the same.

Shot 8... great angle :thumb:

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LouB747
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by LouB747 » May 31st, 2016, 3:25 am

Very cool, congrats!

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Fieldherper
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Fieldherper » May 31st, 2016, 4:51 am

That's really awesome! Walking up a rosy in the daytime is always unforgettable. What a unique habitat to find one in. Looks good for zonata too.

FH

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Fundad
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Fundad » May 31st, 2016, 5:55 am

Right on Young Man!! Congrats on the beautiful SG Boa. Beautiful photos and finds. You did it the right way~!!!!! :thumb: :beer: :shock:

Fundad

RobertH
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by RobertH » June 1st, 2016, 8:35 pm

Robert - When are you going to give Nicolas his own account here on FHF, and on the HERP database?
As far as I'm concerned, he has enough herping experience to pass for a forty year old!
Yeah, good point, Steve. I think it's about time. I'll probably do it next year when Nicholas turns 50 ... eh ... 15. 8-)
A bit too precise on locality (better to hear it from me, than an officer :crazyeyes: )
Well, Nicholas was using the words "Mt. Wilson area" very loosely. The canyon where we found the snake is quite a few miles away from the actual Mt. Wilson - either east or west. Nicholas just wanted to point out that the Rosy was NOT found where virtually, or perhaps even all, of the other SG Rosys have been found. His Rosy may well be the first GPS-recorded and vouchered Rosy from this part of the SG, ever. Not to mention that it was alive, rather than DOR.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's kind replies to Nicholas. I am sure he'll post some final words here soon. In the meantime, here's a shot of him with his treasured find:

ImageP1060896 by Robert Hess, on Flickr

Robert

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 3rd, 2016, 2:19 pm

Very nice find. You done good young man!

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Fieldnotes
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Fieldnotes » June 3rd, 2016, 2:24 pm

Despite the boa's tarnished appearance, San Gabriel Mtn boas are genetically linked more to L. t. gracile than to roseofusca. Stripes tend to disfigure with age, this boa may have had perfect, gracile stripes when smaller. Its stripes are pretty clear now, even for such a big, mature specimen.

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dave_zeldin
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by dave_zeldin » June 4th, 2016, 12:44 pm

Nice work guys! What a beautiful boa!

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ricrabt
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by ricrabt » June 4th, 2016, 3:29 pm

Very nice Robert, Danny L. and I have been working that area and also northwest of there as well. Orange speckling on the bellies is common, but usually has some dark as well. If that is near the tail then no dark is common at that point. Not a lot come from that area so it is really a special find....congrats. ..John p.s. I sent you a pm.

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ricrabt
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by ricrabt » June 4th, 2016, 10:54 pm

Fieldnotes wrote:Despite the boa's tarnished appearance, San Gabriel Mtn boas are genetically linked more to L. t. gracile than to roseofusca. Stripes tend to disfigure with age, this boa may have had perfect, gracile stripes when smaller. Its stripes are pretty clear now, even for such a big, mature specimen.
Will, all my babies come out pure roseofusca as far as the stripe goes....

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ricrabt
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by ricrabt » June 4th, 2016, 11:05 pm

RobertH wrote:
Robert - When are you going to give Nicolas his own account here on FHF, and on the HERP database?
As far as I'm concerned, he has enough herping experience to pass for a forty year old!
Yeah, good point, Steve. I think it's about time. I'll probably do it next year when Nicholas turns 50 ... eh ... 15. 8-)
A bit too precise on locality (better to hear it from me, than an officer :crazyeyes: )
Well, Nicholas was using the words "Mt. Wilson area" very loosely. The canyon where we found the snake is quite a few miles away from the actual Mt. Wilson - either east or west. Nicholas just wanted to point out that the Rosy was NOT found where virtually, or perhaps even all, of the other SG Rosys have been found. His Rosy may well be the first GPS-recorded and vouchered Rosy from this part of the SG, ever. Not to mention that it was alive, rather than DOR.

Anyway, thanks for everyone's kind replies to Nicholas. I am sure he'll post some final words here soon. In the meantime, here's a shot of him with his treasured find:

ImageP1060896 by Robert Hess, on Flickr

Robert

Robert , rest assured that many localities come out of the San Gabes. Hes not giving anything away. The range goes over to I-5 and north along the 14. Boas have been found all through that area on both sides (north and south) of the range. If you would like more info pm me and I'll fill you in a bit more....

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Fieldnotes
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Fieldnotes » June 5th, 2016, 1:11 am

Ric: Just reiterating the genetic analyses (fig. 4) by Wood, D.A., R.N. Fisher, and T.W. Reeder, 2008. Novel patterns of historical isolation, dispersal, and secondary contact across Baja California in the Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata) Interesting to hear the young appear as roseofusca. If your interested in reviewing that paper, email me and I'll send it right over.

[email protected]

W

ramblon
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by ramblon » June 5th, 2016, 9:02 am

Your first vertical 'snake in habitat' shot is perfect.

Congrats on your first from there as well, those big orange dinosaurs are a treat!

~Kevin

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Ross Padilla
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Ross Padilla » June 5th, 2016, 11:20 pm

Very nice find. What a beautiful boa. :thumb:

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 6th, 2016, 12:00 pm

Fieldnotes wrote:Ric: Just reiterating the genetic analyses (fig. 4) by Wood, D.A., R.N. Fisher, and T.W. Reeder, 2008. Novel patterns of historical isolation, dispersal, and secondary contact across Baja California in the Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata) Interesting to hear the young appear as roseofusca. If your interested in reviewing that paper, email me and I'll send it right over.

[email protected]

W
I am so tired of this genetic analysis crap. We need a system that is easy to use to identify what we see today, not what the ancient lineage of these things is...our old system was not broken...I don't see why it needed to be changed. You should see the new Eastern field Guide...some of the species say that positive ID is not possible without DNA analysis. What a crock. :roll:

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Steve Bledsoe » June 9th, 2016, 2:08 pm

This is certainly a topic for another thread (sorry Nick and Robert), but you and I, Brian, are just a couple of old dinosaurs who loved the morphological taxonomy system. Even though it wasn't perfect, it certainly made more sense than this mysterious DNA driven mess that's in play today. At least in the old days, a couple of guys could refer to a subspecies that gave both parties a fairly clear indication of what the animal looked like and approximately where it came from. With today's general lineage system, it's impossible for guys like you and me to identify anything anymore. :(

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ricrabt
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by ricrabt » June 10th, 2016, 9:48 am

Steve Bledsoe wrote:This is certainly a topic for another thread (sorry Nick and Robert), but you and I, Brian, are just a couple of old dinosaurs who loved the morphological taxonomy system. Even though it wasn't perfect, it certainly made more sense than this mysterious DNA driven mess that's in play today. At least in the old days, a couple of guys could refer to a subspecies that gave both parties a fairly clear indication of what the animal looked like and approximately where it came from. With today's general lineage system, it's impossible for guys like you and me to identify anything anymore. :(

It is certainly harder these days. Kinda like if it looks like a duck, sounds like duck, it's probably a chicken..lol

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Steve Bledsoe
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Steve Bledsoe » June 10th, 2016, 10:39 am

ricrabt wrote:It is certainly harder these days. Kinda like if it looks like a duck, sounds like duck, it's probably a chicken..lol
LMAO ! :lol: :lol:

Great analysis, John. :lol:

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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by hellihooks » June 10th, 2016, 1:08 pm


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Speckled Rosy
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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by Speckled Rosy » June 10th, 2016, 8:33 pm

Awesome find Nicholas and Robert.. Definatly a rare find in that part of the range.. Superb photos as well!

-Dan

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Re: My Best Herping Discovery

Post by reako45 » June 11th, 2016, 4:20 am

Amazing! Awesome find. Congrats!

reako45

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