Summer recap part two

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NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Summer recap part two

Post by NACairns » November 26th, 2016, 7:31 pm

Part 1 (http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=23939)

This year just as things were getting active at home in Saskatchewan I had to return Ontario to do some lab work related to my grad studies. The drive led to some productive but brief herping.

Just north of town a male western painted turtle was crossing the road:
ImageChrysemys picta by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageChrysemys picta by N Cairns, on Flickr

Once in Ontario gray tree frogs were plentiful:
ImageHyla versicolor by N Cairns, on Flickr

On the drive out I picked up a hitch hiker near the Manitoba border, I told him that I could take him all the way to Kingston (~2000km) but he’d have to put up with me looking for rattlesnakes in Georgian Bay he agreed and by the time we got to the spots I wanted to check out he was almost as excited as me but I failed to deliver. We saw 4 massasaugas but they were all dead or dying on the meat grinder that is Ontario’s highways. Unfortunately for him, the drive back was very productive, finding 3 massies AOR in the roughly 30 km I had time to cruise.
ImageSistrurus catenatus by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageSistrurus catenatus by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageSistrurus catenatus by N Cairns, on Flickr

Toad and crane for good measure
ImageAnaxyrus americanus by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageAntigone canadensis by N Cairns, on Flickr

I saw very few prairie rattlesnakes before I left but the buzzworm activity really picked up after I returned.
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

And the Phrynos’ started popping
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr

More Crotes’, a big husky female:
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

And the male that was tailing her:
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Any idea what is going on with the tissue swelling around his eye?
ImageCrotalus viridis eye issue by N Cairns, on Flickr

I love stumbling across viridis where there is no chance they’ll meet a tire or a shovel.
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Summer progresses and more and more Phrynos are out, it seemed to be a good year for them.
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr

I assume this racer was in the uplands looking for neonate Phrynos
ImageColuber constrictor by N Cairns, on Flickr

The other late season critters were also going full bore.
Mormon metalmark
ImageApodemia mormo by N Cairns, on Flickr

Flower longhorn
ImageDorcasina sp. by N Cairns, on Flickr

I love watching sand wasps as the provision their offspring with deerflies while maintaining burrows from marauders and kleptoparasites.
ImageBembix sp. by N Cairns, on Flickr

We went to Vancouver Island for a wedding we lucked out and flipped a western red-backed salamander on a very dry day.
ImagePlethodon vehiculum by N Cairns, on Flickr

We drove back through central Washington in hopes to see a lesser short-horned lizard, we struck out on our target but there was lots of side-blotched lizards and cool inverts.
ImageUta stansburiana by N Cairns, on Flickr

Robber fly
ImagePromachus sp. by N Cairns, on Flickr

Male black widow
ImageLatrodectus variolus (male) by N Cairns, on Flickr

We did luck out and stumble across a rubber boa in Montana
ImageCharina bottae by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageCharina bottae by N Cairns, on Flickr

Back in Saskie, the lizards were still busy into late August early September.
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImagePhrynosoma hernandesi by N Cairns, on Flickr

As the birds started moving through I had to head back east for the Canadian Herpetological Society’s annual conference and do a bit of lab work.
ImageCardellina pusilla by N Cairns, on Flickr

I dropped by my buddy’s banding station again
ImageLeiothlypis ruficapilla by N Cairns, on Flickr

Once he was done banding for the day, we headed to a nearby sand prairie with eastern hognose snakes as our goal, we quickly turned up this screamer huffing and puffing as we walked past in a hardwood lowland.
ImageHeterodon platirhinos by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageHeterodon platirhinos by N Cairns, on Flickr

We came back and the bat folks were back at it again, they invited me in for a red bat photoshoot.
ImageLasiurus borealis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Notice the transmitter
ImageLasiurus borealis by N Cairns, on Flickr

The hatchling rat snakes were out and about
ImagePantherophis spiloides by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImagePantherophis spiloides by N Cairns, on Flickr

And I lucked out finding a Butler’s garter snake in downtown Sarnia ON.
ImageThamnophis butleri by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageThamnophis butleri by N Cairns, on Flickr

On the drive back heavy rain drove some amphibian activity even in 8 degrees Celsius
ImageLithobates pipiens by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageSpea bombifrons by N Cairns, on Flickr

Great tiger activity and tons of diversity in appearance.
ImageAmbystoma mavortium by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageAmbystoma mavortium by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageAmbystoma mavortium by N Cairns, on Flickr

A last pulse of activity at the hibernacula
ImageColuber constrictor by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

The inverts settled up before the big chill
ImageAgapostemon angelicus by N Cairns, on Flickr
ImageFormica (obscuripes or rubicunda) attacking Camponotus vicinus by N Cairns, on Flickr

And the last herp was the trusty basement 'mander
ImageAmbystoma mavortium by N Cairns, on Flickr

Looking forward to next spring,
Thanks for reading,
Best,
Nick

User avatar
Porter
Posts: 1993
Joined: March 19th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Re: Summer recap part two

Post by Porter » November 27th, 2016, 6:15 pm

Those bat shots are rad :thumb: :thumb: ...this too! Awesome shot
I also like that shot of the first barred tiger variation. Cool mander :thumb:

ImageCrotalus viridis by N Cairns, on Flickr

Jimi
Posts: 1852
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Summer recap part two

Post by Jimi » November 28th, 2016, 12:32 pm

Great post, I love the diversity of bugs and stuff. Thanks.
this screamer huffing and puffing
Indeed, a really handsome hoggie. Wow.

I also like the story of the hitchhiker. That's cool you turned him on to something he probably wasn't very aware of before - rattlesnake appreciation and conservation.

cheers,
Jimi

NACairns
Posts: 372
Joined: December 30th, 2013, 7:27 am

Re: Summer recap part two

Post by NACairns » November 30th, 2016, 8:25 am

Thanks Porter and Jimi,
The bat shots were really fun, the bat crew was using laser triggered flashes so we just had to point the camera set it to B and wait.
I don't think I'll see another hognose that compares to that one. I've seen a number within a few kilometers of there and never one with that amount of colour. Also had a really interesting tick on it. I'll try to find a picture.
The hitchhiker was a really nice guy but wasn't aware there were rattlesnakes in Ontario, most folks seem to assosiate them with arid places not northern swamps so we had good time chatting about that. I felt bad that all he got to see was dead and dying ones but I think he had fun. At least he got a 2000km lift out of it.
Thanks for reading.
Best,
Nick

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