Year in Review - Part One

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mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Springfield, VA

Year in Review - Part One

Post by mtratcliffe » November 28th, 2016, 7:10 pm

2016 has been a year of ups and downs. I spent the first three and a half months deployed to the Middle East, where my extent of herping involved seeing a couple of Rough-tailed Geckoes around my dorm and an unknown snake while out dune bashing. I finally returned back stateside mid-April, and thankfully I was able to hit the ground running to catch up on the herping I missed out on. Things slowed down a bit once summer hit, but I was still able to get out every now and then.

Towards the end of July, my family was thrown a curveball when I unexpectedly received orders from the Air Force to move. A month and a half later, we found ourselves living in Fairfax County, VA, just outside of D.C. There were many herping goals left unfulfilled with my departure from Florida, but I hope to return there someday. In the meantime, our new house is situated in some great herping territory. While we live in a suburban development, my house backs up to a stretch of woods, and there is an ephemeral creek back there that you can see from our deck. Since moving here, I've turned up 11 species at the house or within a few hundred feet of it. Three snake species, one lizard, one turtle, three frog, and three salamander. The latter has me especially excited, as salamanders were exceptionally difficult to find in Tampa, while they are quite abundant near my current house. And plenty more salamander species are available in the region, which has me excited. Despite the cooler temps up here, herping has still been productive late in the season. I recently added lifer number 20 for the year - a Northern Dusky Salamander. In this post, between the states of Florida and Mississippi, I turned up ten of those 20 lifers. For the year, my species count is at about 75. I'll list the species in Part Two.

While the move went well, it's still been a tough year. I lost my grandmother in March, my uncle in November, and two close family members within five weeks of each other this Fall. I sincerely hope that is the last of the losses my family will experience. In a way, herping has helped me cope with these hardships, and I've been able to integrate my son into the activity quite a bit, so it's not just me setting out on my own. I've found more salamanders with him in tow than on my own. It's also helped that being back in VA has us close to our homes in MD and DE, so we've been fortunate to have the support of friends and family.

All right, I've got a lot of pictures to share, so I'm splitting this post up into two parts. First up is a recap of all my herping prior to the move. The second part will be everything I've found up in VA, MD, and DE since moving. Enjoy!

Within a week of my return from my deployment, I took my son out to a local nature park in Tampa. Started the herping season off with eight species that day.

Green Anole - very happy with the quality of these photos

ImageDSCN0696 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0701 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0706 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

You have to look hard to spot some of the gators at this location

ImageDSCN0710 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0713 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0729 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0775 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0790 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Limpkin - I'm going to miss these birds

ImageDSCN0704 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Red-bellied Cooter

ImageDSCN0715 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Female Eastern Pondhawk

ImageDSCN0722 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Large Peninsula Cooter

ImageDSCN0793 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0795 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0802 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Young Red-bellied Cooter

ImageDSCN0822 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0823 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Watersnake on the prowl

ImageDSCN0744 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0748 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Striped Mud Turtle - only my third one ever

ImageDSCN0757 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0758 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Watersnake

ImageDSCN0783 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

SE Five-lined Skink. These were the only skinks in Tampa. Up in VA, I need to catch them to get a proper ID!

ImageDSCN0808 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0814 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

During my post-deployment R&R, my wife and I left our son in the care of my parents and took a trip down to the Keys and the Everglades. It was so worth it! We had a great time, and I had three lifers from that trip.

FL Keys Cornsnake, near Marathon. I found this one hanging out in the grass right near a path.

ImageDSCN8959 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN8960 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Lifer Northern Curly Tailed Lizard

ImageDSCN8970 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Mangrove habitat

ImageDSCN8974 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Manatee

ImageDSCN8983 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9000 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Iguana

ImageDSCN8992 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Upside-down Jellyfish

ImageDSCN9012 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Starfish

ImageDSCN9021 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A prehistoric beast, and my wife's favorite animal

ImageDSCN9056 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

For a barracuda, this is a small one

ImageDSCN9076 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Great snorkeling at the Dry Tortugas

ImageDSCN0942 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Magnificent Frigatebird

ImageDSCN0946 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Sooty Terns

ImageDSCN0984 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

The famous American Crocodile in the moat at Fort Jefferson

ImageDSCN0985 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN0989 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Being able to experience the Everglades without a child in tow is liberating. We took a tour one day, and then set out on our own the next. Both nights involved road cruising with solid results.

ImageDSCN0991 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Halloween Pennants were out in full force

ImageDSCN1001 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Water levels in the Everglades were much higher than normal, which made it harder to find wildlife

ImageDSCN1035 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Barred Owl

ImageDSCN1050 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Swallow-tailed Kite

ImageDSCN1063 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Croczilla at Nine Mile Pond. Toughest paddle of my life!

ImageDSCN1070 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1071 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1073 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Recognize that shape?

ImageDSCN1102 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Pelicans at sunset over Florida Bay

ImageDSCN1144 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Gums, the toothless crocodile

ImageDSCN1155 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Our first snake on our first night of roadcruising was this Eastern Mudsnake, a lifer for me! This one quickly bolted after this photo was taken. The Everglades is not the ideal place to encounter your first Mud, as they are shy creatures and handling them in an attempt to get a quality photo is off-limits.

ImageDSCN1159 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Green Watersnake - my first one in over two years

ImageDSCN1163 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1166 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Juvenile Florida Watersnake

ImageDSCN1177 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

We passed this Cottonmouth on the road, but by the time I back-tracked to find it, it was gone. Careful searching of the shoulder revealed it, and thankfully no one was walking there.

ImageDSCN1179 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1182 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1187 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

I think this was the first time I ever got one to open up like this

ImageDSCN1189 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Tree snail the next day. Didn't see a whole lot that day until nighttime.

ImageDSCN1198 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

This path marked the divide between fresh forest and recently burned forest (resulting from a wildfire)

ImageDSCN1202 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Peninsula Cooter at Anhinga Trail

ImageDSCN1226 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Gar

ImageDSCN1230 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

FL Red-bellied Cooter

ImageDSCN1235 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A huge Florida Softshell

ImageDSCN1244 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

The endless sawgrass of Nine Mile Pond

ImageDSCN1254 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Softshell resting on the bottom of the...pond? River? Endless water expanse that is the Everglades?

ImageDSCN1259 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A bonus of herping in the Everglades is that you don't have to check the hind leg webbing to distinguish Pig Frogs from Bullfrogs

ImageDSCN1263 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Leopard Frog

ImageDSCN1265 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Watersnake

ImageDSCN1269 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Stripeless Green Treefrog

ImageDSCN1274 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A striking juvi Florida Cottonmouth - if you have one that rivals this one, please share! This was one of my favorite snakes all year.

ImageDSCN1280 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1284 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1286 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

One of the largest Southern Toads I've ever seen

ImageDSCN1288 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Mudsnake #2 of the trip. This one was slightly more cooperative.

ImageDSCN1291 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageMudsnake Cropped by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

The Mudsnake dance

ImageDSCN1294 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1295 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Mudsnake #3 - the worst of the bunch

ImageDSCN1318 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Not much else was seen the rest of that night until we hit the Pinelands on the way out of the park. My wife was nearly asleep, and I was blurry-eyed, but then I saw a shape crossing the road that I won't soon forget. I knew when I saw it that it was one of three possible snakes, two of which would have made me exceptionally happy. Thankfully, it was one of those - my lifer Scarlet Kingsnake!

ImageDSCN1325 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1327 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1331 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Our last stop of the trip was Shark Valley, on the northern end of the Everglades.

Find the herps!

ImageDSCN1348 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Baby Gators are always a joy

ImageDSCN1343 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1345 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1347 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Along the bike path, we came across these two male Gators locked in combat. This was something we had never observed before. It wasn't as action packed as you might think - they stayed like this for a good while.

ImageDSCN1358 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1362 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1363 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

In May, I participated in a Gopher Tortoise burrow survey at a nature preserve in St. Petersburg. Didn't see a whole lot, but we found more than a dozen active burrows, include two juvenile burrows. Also found some neat "evidence" of herp activity.

Habitat

ImageDSCN9267 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Cooter shell fragment

ImageDSCN9266 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Six-lined Racerunner

ImageDSCN9265 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Predated Gopher Tortoise egg

ImageDSCN9264 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Box Turtle shell fragment

ImageDSCN9258 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Juvi burrow

ImageDSCN9255 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Racer shed, I believe

ImageDSCN9253 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole

ImageDSCN9250 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

The only live Gopher that day

ImageDSCN1528 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1526 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Florida Leopard Frog

ImageDSCN1523 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Anhinga

ImageDSCN1521 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1519 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Peninsula Cooter

ImageDSCN1518 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

In June, Tropical Storm Colin skirted Tampa, bringing several inches of rain. What else is there to do but roadcruise under those conditions? These herps were found on MacDill AFB.

Florida Watersnake

ImageDSCN1562 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A large FL Leopard Frog

ImageDSCN1569 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A Cuban Treefrog in amplexus with a Green Treefrog.

ImageDSCN1571 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

An unmolested Green Treefrog

ImageDSCN1573 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1579 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Leopards. These frogs are just about everywhere when it's not peak breeding season.

ImageDSCN1577 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1578 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Eastern Narrowmouth Toad - I'm going to miss this little guys

ImageDSCN9273 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

The most unexpected find of the night - an Eastern Glass Lizard. In my three years of living on base, I never saw one until that night. This was also my first Glass Lizard that I found all on my own.

ImageDSCN1584 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1587 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A few days later, I joined Noah up in the northern peninsula for a day of herping. I had previously recapped this in detail, so I'll keep the descriptions brief. That said, it was a great day of herping, with five news lifers for me.

We started off with a round of heavy dipnetting.

ImageDSCN9292 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9293 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Treefrog tadpole

ImageDSCN9295 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

???

ImageDSCN9297 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Crayfish

ImageDSCN9299 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Grass Shrimp

ImageDSCN9301 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Lifer Peninsula Newt

ImageDSCN9302 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Catfish

ImageDSCN9307 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Lifer Dwarf Salamander - Noah has great eyes to have found this guy among the dipnetting by-product

ImageDSCN9311 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole that watched us dipnet

ImageDSCN9312 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Leopard Frog under a mattress

ImageDSCN9317 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Spadefoot Toad Tadpoles near Noah's place

ImageDSCN9323 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9325 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9326 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Me with a Yellow-bellied Slider

ImageDSCN9338 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Fallen trees in Saltmarsh Snake habitat

ImageDSCN1640 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Large Fiddler Crab

ImageDSCN1641 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

That night, Noah and I roadcruised a nice secluded spot in Dixie County. Turned up a decent haul of snakes, including two lifers.

One of many Squirrel Treefrogs at a gas station

ImageDSCN1649 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1653 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Lifer Southern Ringneck Snake - I wish the northern variety had this coloration

ImageDSCN9355 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1667 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9348 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN9353 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

First of three Cottonmouths that night

ImageDSCN1654 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

FL Watersnake

ImageDSCN1656 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

LIfer Blue-striped Ribbonsnake - it wasn't very cooperative

ImageRibbon Resize 1 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageRibbon Resize 2 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Cotton #2

ImageDSCN1670 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1672 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Another uncooperative Blue-striped Ribbon

ImageRibbon Resize 3 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

FL Leopard Frog

ImageDSCN1684 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Discarded shark head

ImageDSCN1688 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Tail and Dorsal Fin

ImageDSCN1689 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Fiddler swarm

ImageDSCN1690 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Cotton #3

ImageDSCN1692 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1694 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

It was a great night of cruising and I'm very appreciative to Noah for showing me his spot. The next morning, I met up with another herper at Payne's Prairie Preserve.

Green Treefrog

ImageDSCN1703 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Gator

ImageDSCN1705 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Heron

ImageDSCN1707 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Gulf Fritillary

ImageDSCN1712 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

FL Watersnake

ImageDSCN1748 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Wilde Horses

ImageDSCN1734 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Skink

ImageDSCN1762 by Matt Ratcliffe, on Flickr

That about wraps up my herping in Florida for 2016. I had a couple of other outings, but they didn't produce anything not seen here. In July, my family traveled up to Mississippi for a family reunion, stopping in the FL Panhandle on the way up and back. Stopping at two different parks produced a few herps.

Juvenile Southern Toads were common in one park

ImageDSCN1776 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

My first Eastern Fence Lizard of the year

ImageDSCN1800 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Broadhead Skink

ImageDSCN1812 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Another park produced only Florida Cooters and Yellow-bellied Sliders

Cooter

ImageDSCN2044 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Juvi Slider

ImageDSCN2045 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

One-eyed Cooter

ImageDSCN2049 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

I didn't get much time to herp in Mississippi, but I was able to turn up a good number of herps at the house I was staying at, which sat next to a small lake. Lizards and turtles were easy to find with minimal effort, while Green Treefrogs and Eastern Cricket Frogs filled the nights with their choruses. It felt great to be able to step outside and see native lizards all over, which is in contrast to the flood of Brown Anoles we have in Tampa.

Eastern River Cooter

ImageDSCN1813 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Fence Lizard

ImageDSCN1834 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Unknown Skink species

ImageDSCN1841 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole in shed

ImageDSCN1855 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

River Cooter

ImageDSCN1860 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Bluegill - we took our son fishing for the first time!

ImageDSCN1868 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Slider out for a stroll

ImageDSCN1872 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A massive grass carp

ImageDSCN1887 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Young Red-eared Slider

ImageDSCN1893 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

River Cooter - love the look to this one

ImageDSCN1894 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Anole

ImageDSCN1898 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Now here is an unexpected lifer, one that I wasn't sure of until several days later, but the long neck should have given it away. There were a couple of Eastern Chicken Turtles hanging out in the lake, much to my surprise. I always expected that I would find my first one out in the swamps, away from civilization.

ImageDSCN1899 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Another Chicken Turtle (different day) - look at that neck!

ImageDSCN2012 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Final lifer of this post - Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell

ImageDSCN1878 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Juvi Five-lined Skink

ImageDSCN1912 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole at our friend's house

ImageDSCN2023 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole at my dad's childhood house. There were some Fence Lizards there as well. My dad owns 150 acres of land there, which I can't wait to herp when the temps are cooler.

ImageDSCN1926 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Nothing but forest around the house

ImageDSCN1928 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1931 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Long-leaf pine sapling

ImageDSCN1935 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Male Widow Skimmer

ImageDSCN1946 - Male Widow Skimmer by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Juvi Toad - I think this was a Fowler's

ImageDSCN1963 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

There's a gully on my dad's land that contains marine invertebrate fossils, possibly from the Oligocene Era. I have fond memories of going here as a kid to collect fossils.

ImageDSCN1987 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1989 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1993 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A dammed-up pond on the land - should be good for frogs

ImageDSCN1996 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

ImageDSCN1997 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

Green Anole in the woods

ImageDSCN1968 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

A possible inactive Gopher Tortoise burrow? Jasper County is right on the edge of their range, and they may be extirpated from the area. My dad remembers hearing about Gophers as a kid, and I myself have a distinct memory of a large turtle crossing the driveway at the house pictured earlier from when I was younger. It definitely wasn't a snapper, and I don't remember it looking like a pond turtle either. Nor do I think it was a Softshell. Could they still be in the area? I hope so, and only time will tell.

ImageDSCN1967 by Matthew Ratcliffe, on Flickr

I'll leave you all to ponder that mystery for now. Keep an eye out for Part Two, which features a completely different selection of herps, in the next few weeks. I hope you enjoyed reliving my herping experiences!

Species observed in FL/MS (60 total):

Crocodilians
American Alligator
American Crocodile

Turtles
Gopher Tortoise
Florida Box Turtle (remains)
Peninsula Cooter
Florida Red-bellied Cooter
Eastern River Cooter
Coastal Plain/Florida Cooter
Red-Eared Slider
Yellow-bellied Slider
Eastern Chicken Turtle (lifer)
Florida Softshell
Gulf Coast Spiny Softshell (lifer)
Striped Mud Turtle
Florida Snapping Turtle (DOR)
Green Sea Turtle (no photo voucher)

Lizards
Southeastern Five-lined Skink
Five-lined Skink
Ground Skink (no photo voucher)
Six-lined Racerunner
Eastern Fence Lizard
Northern Green Anole
Southern Green Anole
Eastern Glass Lizard
Brown Anole
Wood Slave
Northern Curly-tailed Lizard (lifer)

Snakes
Cornsnake
Southern Black Racer (no photo voucher)
Everglades Racer (DOR)
Gray Ratsnake (DOR and a possible missed voucher)
Eastern Mudsnake (lifer)
Scarlet Kingsnake (lifer)
Florida Watersnake
Florida Green Watersnake
Eastern Gartersnake (DOR)
Blue-striped Ribbonsnake (lifer)
Southern Ringneck Snake (lifer)
Pinewoods Littersnake (lifer)
Northern Scarletsnake (DOR)
Florida Cottonmouth

Frogs
Bullfrog
Pig Frog
Florida Leopard Frog
Eastern Narrowmouth Toad
Green Treefrog
Squirrel Treefrog
Barking Treefrog (heard)
Cope's Gray Treefrog (heard)
Pinewoods Treefrog (heard)
Cuban Treefrog
Greenhouse Frog
Florida Cricket Frog
Eastern Cricket Frog (heard)
Little Grass Frog (heard)
Southern Toad
Eastern Spadefoot Toad (tadpole only)
Cane Toad

Salamanders
Peninsula Newt (lifer)
Dwarf Salmander (lifer)

User avatar
Noah M
Posts: 2292
Joined: November 3rd, 2012, 6:00 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by Noah M » November 29th, 2016, 6:12 am

I think despite all of the cool herp shots and finds (the kingsnake being one), my favorite photograph is the anhinga in the water about halfway through the post.

Coluber Constrictor
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:25 am
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by Coluber Constrictor » November 29th, 2016, 8:13 pm

i think the "gopher tortoise" burrow is more likely an armadillo burrow or similar.

simus343
Posts: 566
Joined: March 30th, 2014, 12:16 pm
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by simus343 » November 29th, 2016, 10:04 pm

A very nice assortment of pictures Matt!

Also, I agree with Coluber. Having worked with Gopher Tortoises for 5 years and participating on several surveys, I'd definitely be willing to wager that the burrow at the end is a Armadillo burrow. The shape of the roof of the burrow, the width, coupled with the steepness all indicate that this would be an Armadillo rather than Gopher Tortoise to me.

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mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by mtratcliffe » November 30th, 2016, 3:39 am

Noah M wrote:I think despite all of the cool herp shots and finds (the kingsnake being one), my favorite photograph is the anhinga in the water about halfway through the post.
Thanks Noah. It's one of my favorite shots as well. That's not an easy angle to get on an Anhinga.

As far as the burrow, I agree that it belonging to an Armadillo is more likely. However, the burrow was larger than the picture would suggest and it did appear to have an apron at the entrance. Plus, it had fallen into disrepair so that has altered the burrow somewhat. I hope I can turn one up there someday.

Tamara D. McConnell
Posts: 2248
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:42 am

Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » December 3rd, 2016, 5:28 pm

Holy cow, what amazing nature photography! Wow!

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mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by mtratcliffe » December 6th, 2016, 5:28 pm

Tamara D. McConnell wrote:Holy cow, what amazing nature photography! Wow!
Thanks Tamara! It's nice to hear that, though I know I am leagues behind some of the top-end herp photographers out there. I try to do the best I can with with basic cameras that I have.

Jefferson
Posts: 143
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by Jefferson » December 7th, 2016, 3:26 pm

Amazing post with some impressive lifers from down Sunshine State way. I'm in Western Virginia, about three hours from DC, and if you ever get the time to come out this way, I can point you toward a ton of cool salamander lifers. Happy herpin'!

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mtratcliffe
Posts: 533
Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Location: Springfield, VA

Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by mtratcliffe » December 7th, 2016, 7:09 pm

Jefferson wrote:Amazing post with some impressive lifers from down Sunshine State way. I'm in Western Virginia, about three hours from DC, and if you ever get the time to come out this way, I can point you toward a ton of cool salamander lifers. Happy herpin'!
Sounds great! Thanks for the offer, and I plan to take you up on it. What part of the state are you in? I definitely have a trip to the mountains in mind for this Spring. Just gotta work the details out with the wife!

Jefferson
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by Jefferson » December 8th, 2016, 9:56 pm

I'm down in the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley in a town called Lexington. We're about an hour from Big Levels, Peaks of Otter, Wehrle's, and Cow Knob sallies depending on which way you go from town!

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dwakefield
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Re: Year in Review - Part One

Post by dwakefield » December 27th, 2016, 8:40 am

Nice post, Matt! If you're ever back in south Florida, let me know!

On to post #2...

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