Travels in New Mexico - Part 3

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mothman
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Travels in New Mexico - Part 3

Post by mothman » March 4th, 2017, 10:39 am

This last installment of the New Mexico trip will be in Otero and Dona Ana Counties of New Mexico and Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, Texas.

Rainbow at Oliver Lee Memorial State Park, Otero County, New Mexico
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Northern Black-tailed Rattlesnakes (Crotalus molasses molossus). These snakes was engaged in a courtship dance near the campground bathroom at 2:30 a.m. while I was on a “nature call”. The two snakes were entwined and with the rostral third of their bodies raised off the ground. I could not believe my eyes. I have never seen this before. I am not in the habit of taking photo equipment with me in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom so I ran to the car. By the time I returned the snakes were laying side by side as pictured here. I had spoiled the magic moment for them. What an unforgettable sight. Otero County, New Mexico
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This is one of the snakes engaged in the courtship dance. Otero County, New Mexico
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Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii), female. A brief shower near dusk brought out the toads. Otero County, New Mexico
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Couch’s Spadefoot Toad (Scaphiopus couchii), male. Otero County, New Mexico
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Red-spotted Toad (Bufo punctatus). Otero County, New Mexico
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Great Plains Toad (Bufo cognatus), Otero County, New Mexico
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Texas Crevice Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus poinsettii axtelli)
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Desert Striped Whipsnake (Colluder taeniatus taeniatus)
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Chihuahua Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus tetanus scitulus). Otero County, New Mexico
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Next stop was White Sands National Monument in search of Bleached Earless Lizards and Little White Whiptails.
White Sands National Monument with afternoon storm clouds. Otero County, New Mexico
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Storm clouds building over dunes of White Sands National Monument
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Interdune habitat of Bleached Earless Lizard and Little White Whiptail, White Sands National Monument
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Bleached Earless Lizard (Holbrookia maculata ruthveni) at White Sands National Park
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Little White Whiptail (Aspidoscelis gypsi) with its impressively long tail. White Sands National Monument
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Beautiful cirrus clouds above the Organ Mountains. Dona Ana County, New Mexico
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Ornate Tree Lizard (Urosaurus ornatus schottii), Dona Ana County, New Mexico
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Organ Mountains at sunset
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Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis), Dona Ana County, New Mexico
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Round-tailed Horned Lizard (Phyrnosoma modestum), Dona Ana County, New Mexico
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Juvenile Western Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Cotalus atrox), Dona Ana County, New Mexico
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Chihuahuan Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus tetanus scitulus), female. Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas
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Chihuahuan Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus tetanus scitulus), male. Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas
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Chihuahuan Spotted Whiptail (Aspidoscelis exsanguis), Franklin Mountains State Park, El Paso, Texas
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A storm was fast approaching on the last afternoon of our trip so we headed back to the car and started down the road when I spotted my lifer Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornate luteola) walking on the roadway.
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Of course the brief rain resulted in our last rainbow of the trip overlooking El Paso, Texas.
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The New Mexico adventure was a great trip. Thirty seven species of herps were identified and most accompanied by photographs. I will leave you with this photo of sunset at City of Rocks State Park, New Mexico.
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bgorum
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Re: Travels in New Mexico - Part 3

Post by bgorum » March 5th, 2017, 10:44 am

Very nice! You do realize however that the "courtship dance" you described is probably male/male combat and not courtship. Of course I'm just jealous because its a behavior I've yet to witness in the wild :)

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nhherp
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Re: Travels in New Mexico - Part 3

Post by nhherp » March 6th, 2017, 7:59 am

Your parting photo of CoR sunset I particularly like. Thanks for sharing. I will also agree with bgorum in the envy on your blacktail observation.

-N-

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mothman
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Re: Travels in New Mexico - Part 3

Post by mothman » March 9th, 2017, 5:13 am

bgorum wrote:Very nice! You do realize however that the "courtship dance" you described is probably male/male combat and not courtship. Of course I'm just jealous because its a behavior I've yet to witness in the wild :)
bgorum:
Thanks for correcting my mistake about the behavior of the Black-tailed Rattlesnakes. What was I thinking (or not)!! I hope you get to observe male combat someday soon. It was quit a sight.

Mitch

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Ameron
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Nice Vicarious Drive

Post by Ameron » March 10th, 2017, 5:24 pm

Add me to the list of enchanted viewers.

(You moved the Box Turtle off of the road to safety, right?)

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