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 Post subject: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 7th, 2018, 7:59 pm 

Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 11:55 pm
Posts: 10
Long time lurker, first time posting. Have always appreciated the photos/commentary here and the guilt of never contributing has reached the limit! I’m a bio major at Utah Valley University, finishing a B.S. this fall. Grew up on the coast of Virginia (Delmarva Peninsula), but have lived in Utah since 2009. Always had a deep interest in zoology, my first real passion was birds. Around 12 years old I started keeping herps and have been in love with them since. Shamefully, I didn’t start field herping until 3 years ago. Anyway, that’s enough about me, y’all want to see pics! On this post I’ll share some of my favorite finds. Will make a 2017 season post soon.


This is by far my favorite find and likely will not see it in situ again. Every couple days I was visiting these two gravid C.o.lutosus that were sharing a "rookery" rock. My hope was to see a litter hanging out with mom before dispersing. On my way to a weekend herp trip I decided to check in on them again. It was an afterthought. Saw the highway exit and was like, oh yeah might as well go look. Was rewarded with this sight! Unfortunately I was not able to return the area for two weeks. By the next visit, both females and the litter were gone.
Imagelutosus.birth.5 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
Imagelutosus.birth.3 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
Imagelutosus.birth.2 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
Imagelutosus.birth.4 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr



This find is special since it’s the species that got me into researching a target and putting in effort to find it. Failed to see one my first season looking. The next spring, I found this yearling under the third rock that day! Seeing those colors pop after flipping the rock is a feeling I will never forget.
ImageUtah Milksnake (Lampropeltis triangulum taylori) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageDuchesne County, Utah habitat by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


Found this patternless C.o.lutosus on a road I have seen several rubber boas on. From the car thought it was an adult boa. Was quite the shock when I got out and realized what it was. Almost wasn't able to document it, because I didn't have a hook with me and it was heading for some thick scrub. Fortunately a usable stick was found just in time.
Imagepatternless.lutosus.7.6.16 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


On a Washington County, Ut trip we stopped for a glossy snake. While my friends were photographing it, I decided to poke around a nearby rock cut. Took no more than 10 steps and saw this beauty sprawled out 6 feet up..... "Uh guys, you're going to want to see this". My lifer mitchelli! We could have seen it from the road if we were shining out the car. Several yards away a second one was found.
Imagespeck.1.Al's.rock.5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
Imagespeck.1(2).Al's.rock.5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
Imagespeck.2.Al's.rock.5_25_17 by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


After finding one Utah Mountain Kingsnake, I decided to continue hiking the immediate area. Was thinking where there is one, there are more. Several hours later, a second was found coming out of a crevice I must have checked 10 times. Returned a few days later and found another right after deciding to turn around and head home.
ImageLampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageLampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageLampropeltis pyromelana infralabialis by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


Once I learned about the sky islands of southern Arizona, I became fascinated with the small montane crotes that live there. First pic is actually a video, click on it to view on flickr.
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageBanded Rock Rattlesnake (Crotalus lepidus klauberi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageRidge-nosed Rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr
ImageTwin-spotted Rattlesnake (Crotalus pricei) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


This is one of my favorite walked up snakes. I hiked hard to reach talus in the Santa Ritas, in hopes of finding C.pricei. Just as appropriate habitat was in sight, an afternoon storm popped up and sent me running back down the mountain. On the way I crossed paths with this large C.molossus. Snapped a quick in situ pic and kept running (lightening was starting to strike nearby)
ImageBlack-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus) by Hunter Meakin, on Flickr


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 8th, 2018, 3:01 pm 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Posts: 1172
Hi Hunter,

Very nice stuff! I've only seen birthing once in lutosus and it was a female I brought into the lab. Would you mind if I use those pictures in my dissertation defense? Full credit to you off course.....

That patternless lutosus is beautiful. I wonder if that has ever been reported in the literature?

Wonderful post. Its great to have you on the forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 11:16 am 

Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 11:55 pm
Posts: 10
Bryan Hamilton wrote:
Would you mind if I use those pictures in my dissertation defense? Full credit to you off course.....

That patternless lutosus is beautiful. I wonder if that has ever been reported in the literature?


Thanks! Definitely can use my images for that. Should be able to download them straight from flickr. If not, shoot me a PM with your email. Not sure if the patternless lutosus has been been reported before. Couldn't find anything, but I also don't know how to find that out for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 3:31 pm 

Joined: October 19th, 2010, 12:38 pm
Posts: 51
Great post, Hunter, and some really nice finds. I'm also in Utah, but don't get out as much as I should.
Thanks for posting and giving me some more motivation!
Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 9th, 2018, 5:40 pm 
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Joined: June 18th, 2012, 7:05 pm
Posts: 399
Location: Utah
Glad to see you finally on here. I wish more of the Utah guys were still active. Nice photos too. I look forward to your 2017 recap. For only herping a few years, you sure are knocking off some tough to find species.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 11th, 2018, 6:08 pm 

Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 11:55 pm
Posts: 10
Justin - Trade you Utah for Australia spots haha!
Rye - Thanks, heres to hoping we can all knock a few more off this year. Top targets for Utah this year are Diadophis, Leptotyphlops, and Trimorphodon.


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 12th, 2018, 7:40 am 

Joined: October 19th, 2010, 12:38 pm
Posts: 51
HunterMeakin wrote:
Justin - Trade you Utah for Australia spots haha!


Done deal!
Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2018, 11:22 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 5:29 pm
Posts: 2662
Location: I love L.A.
Wow that patternless lutosus is awesome! Great post. :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Introduction (and my favorite finds!)
PostPosted: February 24th, 2018, 4:08 pm 

Joined: August 2nd, 2015, 11:55 pm
Posts: 10
Ross Padilla wrote:
Wow that patternless lutosus is awesome! Great post. :thumb:


Thanks Ross, was definitely cool to see. Hope she has stayed away from the roads.


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