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What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 8:58 am
by Bryan Hamilton
I found this on inaturalist. Pretty cool feeding observation from Arizona.

I'm looking for corroboration on the species involved in this photo.

Thank you.

Edit: The photographer asked me to take the photo down.

Follow the link to see the photo.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observation ... nt_2730489

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 9:13 am
by Kelly Mc
It looks like a shovel nosed snake Bryan and what its doing is strongly similiar to what I see snakes doing in enclosures where they are exposed to ubv wavelengths.

I have dozens and dozens of photos of this discreet behavior.

I think it is a basking behavior or a way of 'testing' temperature and lighting conditions with less risk than 1rst quadrant head/heart/lung body exposure to predators.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 10:06 am
by Kelly Mc
I wont be embarrassed - well maybe a little - if i saw the gray object as something inorganic, in front of, a snake's tail exposed out of cover.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 10:49 am
by Kelly Mc
I have never seen a live blind snake, but if that is a blind snake eating a shovel nosed snake, then I am hopeful that my theory of caudal exposure doesnt seem as crazy as it sounds.

I swear that thing looks like a piece of wire fence. I didnt focus on it and in my excitement just saw the snake's tail, which turns me into a perception theory in itself!

Is that what that is??

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 11:08 am
by Bob McKeever
Seems to be a Ring-necked Snake preying on either a Ground Snake or Banded Sand Snake. More info would help, but with the characters to be seen in the photo, I come down on the side of Chilomeniscus with Sonora running a close second.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 11:33 am
by Kelly Mc
Theres nothing like the quick sear of an enthusiastic mistake to inspire one to learn more - now Im impelled to better learn about the small banded guys of Arizona.

Thanks! :oops: :)

I do hope though that my caudal exposure observation is someday shared/ looked into and that I havent marred its potential as a 'thing'

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 11:49 am
by Bryan Hamilton
Here's a link to the observation on inaturalist.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/3540904

Folks are trying to say both snakes are ground snakes. To me the "eater" is definitely not a groundsnake. I've never seen that pattern or color combination in a groundsnake and I love to look at pictures of groundsnake variability....

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 12:01 pm
by Kelly Mc
In the link pic i can easily see the scalation, eyes and even head musculature of the Grey Snake, even the slight compression of the banded snake being eaten.

But what is the grey snake?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 12:08 pm
by Kookamongus
Looks to be a really large ringneck snake eating a ground snake.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 12:35 pm
by Kelly Mc
The ringneck snake eating a snake makes that most likely, instead of a freak eating event and looking more like a standard snake in a clearer pic but could someone apply some clarity to me about the cryptic banded sand/ground snake species of SW?

Im not clear on identifying those. Its muddled to me.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 18th, 2019, 1:34 pm
by Bryan Hamilton

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 19th, 2019, 2:14 am
by Fieldherper
I think it's a Regal ringneck eating a ground snake. The larger ringneck are notorious snake-eaters. In AZ, ringnecks can occur in semi-arid and even arid areas at higher elevations, but they are very unlikely to occur in the same habitat as banded sand snakes or shovel nosed snakes. The small amount of habitat visible in the photo suggests against lower desert.

FH

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 19th, 2019, 1:48 pm
by DRDAN
Neat observation of a Diadophis eating a Chilomeniscus. I’ve heard there are “ringless” ring necks in some parts of AZ but have as yet to find one.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 8:14 am
by Paul Freed
I photographed an all grey Sonora semiannulata in Study Butte, west Texas back in 2004 (see below) that looks similar to the one in the posted observation. What do you all think?

Paul

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 10:29 am
by Kelly Mc
Sometimes hints or flecks of pigment can be a clue, when a solid mutation is compared to a phenotypically solid colored snake of contention, which will Always have a typically pigmented iris.

An atypically solid specimen may have irises that are also pigmented atypically ( a shade matching the body, or the blotches, bands, belly color that aint there)

This isnt like, something I picked up per captive morphs which I really dont follow, and dont think they would follow the same, in the applied genetic mish mosh..

Anyway someone with Regal and Ground Snake color forms would be able to peep more. Ive already screwed up with my initial jump in but I wonder if any one can resolute on the irises for a possible clue. Since they are both brightly marked usually my input may be moot but Im interested

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 10:43 am
by BillMcGighan
I have to vote for another " Diadophis eating a Chilomeniscus."

On Gray Sonora ..... Have there been any records of ophiophagy by Chilomeniscus or Sonora?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 12:19 pm
by Kelly Mc
Hey guys, Im still quite struck by the absolute mathematical rigidity of the gray snake - could it also be a clue?

Would a Ringneck snake take on such an unusual conformation, or if its not a ringneck, could that be a kind of reactive physical - to ie; "biting off more than it bargained for" Or has it ever been seen with small species eating large, linear inverts?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 2:00 pm
by BillMcGighan
Sometimes , when the prey snake stops struggling, a ringneck or king will backup to straighten out the meal that may well be longer than itself.

http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=264517
http://www.naherp.com/viewrecord.php?r_id=161314

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 4:09 pm
by Kelly Mc
Yes, Ive seen prey manipulation before, but that sure is a peculiar moment.

Like the King Cobra of his mini domain. Badass.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 21st, 2019, 6:47 pm
by Kelly Mc
I think its important to let people see that the membership here operates in a dominatingly helpful spirit. I could have easily been shamed, or savaged, but that really doesnt happen here much, and its cool to share what we think, including odd esoterics. People here who are SW experts are patient and kind and Im stoked that Arizona is in my future plans.

I had started a notebook with Arizona Dreamin' on it and Fieldherper's post is written in it.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 30th, 2019, 6:01 pm
by Brian Hubbs
It is definitely a Regal Ringneck eating a Ground Snake. The locality precludes the victim being a Sand Snake.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: March 31st, 2019, 9:40 am
by BillMcGighan
a Ground Snake. The locality precludes the victim being a Sand Snake.
Brian, is this because of range or habitat?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 1st, 2019, 8:21 am
by Jimi
I'm with Hubbs. Ringer and a Sonora. That's a fun pic. I didn't go to the original source. In far NW AZ that is the only Sonora morph I've seen, but elsewhere they diversify.

Bryan - what county is the pic from?

Hubbs - what's shakin'?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 5th, 2019, 2:58 pm
by Bryan Hamilton
Hey Jimi,

Its from Montezuma Castle, Yavapai county.

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 6th, 2019, 11:50 am
by Jimi
Thanks Bryan. I've never pulled in there for a look, though I drive by at least once a year. I like that ecotone as you run down the freeway through there into the desert. That seems pretty close to where the saguaros start / end.

There's some super fun herping a little farther down the hill there. Red speck land.

Is a Great Basin ringer still one of your white whales? Hey (here's a chance...) Mark and I are scheming a trip to not so far from Pioche this coming weekend; think you can make some time? I'd like to discover the Beaver Dam wash around the state line. Not sure what he's gonna advocate.

cheers

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 6th, 2019, 7:44 pm
by Bryan Hamilton
That sounds rad. Far enough south for mitchelli?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 8th, 2019, 2:57 pm
by Jimi
Far enough south for mitchelli?
Mos' def

Could call it a target...

Got time?

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 8th, 2019, 3:32 pm
by Kelly Mc
If you see any snake tails on mild mornings, motionless for minutes on end before a foot fall, think about it.

Maybe soon I will be able to join yooz guys

Re: What's happening in this photo?

Posted: April 8th, 2019, 3:33 pm
by Kelly Mc
And take a pic!