Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

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Mike Pingleton
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Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 4th, 2011, 7:40 pm

Time to wrap this up with some saurians, some bugs, and a snake or two.
I was very happy that my first Iguana iguana was in a tree over the Amazon River, instead of in Florida or New Jersey or some other exotic locale:
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Zoom shot:
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Forest Whiptail (Kentropyx pelviceps):
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I enjoyed watching a small crew of Ameivas on Bug Patrol around the perimeter of our camp – the ones I watched caught and ate an amazing amount of bugs in a short time period. Amazon Whiptail (Ameiva ameiva):
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Amazon Forest Dragon (Enyalioides laticeps):
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Anolis bombiceps:
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Female Amazon Green Anole, Anolis punctatus:
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Cocha Whiptail (Kentropyx altamazonica):
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Fringed Leaf Lizard (Sternocercus fimbriatus)
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We saw some awesome invertebrates – here’s a selection:
Peanut Bug (Fulgora laterneria)
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Carnivorous Katydid (Copiphora sp. Copiphorinae)
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Tropical Forest Flatworm:
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(don’t touch them, you can get planarial disease)

Very cool Bark Mantid:
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Leaf-tailed Mantid:
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Phoneutria fera, a big spider with a very nasty bite:
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Pamphobeteus cf antinous, these tarantulas reach about nine inches in length:
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Some snakes. Here’s a subadult Boa constrictor constrictor:
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Juvenile Amazon Tree Boa (Corallus hortulanus):
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(posed on heliconia for effect)

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Adult hortulanus:
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This is one of two adult Peruvian Rainbow Boas (Epicrates cenchria gaigeae) that Karl found on a trail near our camp one morning:
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The iridescence is simply amazing.
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And a balled-up juvie:
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Another somewhat iridescent species, the Common Swamp Snake (Liophis reginae semilineatus):
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We found a semilineatus one night, uncharacteristically high in a tree:
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A good-sized example of the Common Forest Whipsnake (Chironius exoletus):
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One of the critters I wish I had better pictures of - Cateye Snake, Leptodeira annulata:
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A short break from snakes. I’m into leps as well and there was no shortage of cool butterflies and moths. Here’s one of the Blue Morpho species:
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Owl Butterfly (Caligo teucer) (Nymphalidae)
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I caught this in our cookhouse and set it free. Tomato Butterfly (Temenis laothoe) (Nymphalidae)
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Mira Doctor (Ancyluris mira) (Riodinidae)
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Emerald Moth (Racheospila ecuadoriata) (Geometridae)
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Green-banded Urania Moths (Urania leilus) (Uraniidae):
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More snakes. I love this Short-nosed Leaf Litter Snake (Taeniophallus brevirostris), which reminds me of Storeria occipitomaculata:
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Common Bird Snake (Pseustes poecilonotus polylepis)
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Here she is again, puffed up a little:
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Pseustes can give a good bite (that’s my finger):
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Slender Coral Snake (Micrurus filiformis)
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Aquatic Coral Snake (Micrurus surinamensis surinamensis):
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These surinamensis hang out in shallow creeks and eat fish.
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Subadult Bothrops atrox:
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Here’s a Fer de Lance that crawled through our camp one evening:
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The beautiful Liana Snake (Siphlophus cervinus):
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Amazon Scarlet Snake (Pseudoboa coronata). Doug found this snake descending a tree during one of our night hikes:
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On our last night in the forest this snake was spotted up in the canopy:
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One of our guides shinnied up the tree and brought it down (glad it wasn’t me, I’m built for comfort, not arboreal acrobatics). It was a Big-headed Snail Eater (Dipsas indica indica), trying its best to look like a nasty little viper:
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Also seen was this Blunt-headed Tree Snake (Imantodes cenchoa). One of my favorite serpents from my time in Peru. We saw a half-dozen or more of these, and most were high in the canopy, so I was happy to photograph this one down low and in situ:
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Here is an opaque specimen up in the trees:
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Here are three more snakes from our last night in the forest:
Black-headed Calico Snake (Oxyrhopus melanogenys melanogenys)
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Yellow-headed Calico Snake (Oxyrhopus formosus)
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Amazon Egg-eating Snake (Drepanoides anomalus)
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There were so many stunning creatures and so many highlights on this expedition, but what could top this? The loro machaca, AKA the Western Striped Forest Pit Viper AKA Bothriopsis bilineata smaragdina:
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Winding it down now. A trip to the zoo in Iquitos on our last day gave me the chance to see one of the really awesome lizards on this planet - Dracaena guianensis, the Caiman Lizard:
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What a beast!
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For a couple bucks I was also able to photograph a Eunectes murinus:
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We looked for a Bushmaster during our stay, without success. However, on our last day we did have the opportunity to photograph a wild-caught Lachesis muta muta:
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Getting to this Bushmaster was an adventure in itself and deserves its own book chapter.
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That’s it – not everything, but enough, I hope. My total for 14 days on the ground was 106 species and subspecies of herps. I can’t say enough about MT Amazon Expeditions. Everyone on the staff made it possible for me and the other participants to spend as much time as we wanted herping or taking pictures – incredible bang for my buck. It was a truly amazing experience and i have to go back!
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-Mike

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monklet
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by monklet » March 4th, 2011, 8:17 pm

Too much ...I'm overwhelmed! :shock: :shock: :shock:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by justinm » March 4th, 2011, 8:54 pm

Greatest post ever, and I mean that. I'm absolutely stunned and lost for words. Makes looking for Salamanders seem lame now, or not?

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by withalligators » March 5th, 2011, 12:34 am

Oh god. I'm going to pass out I'm so jealous.

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moloch
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by moloch » March 5th, 2011, 1:37 am

Fantastic, Mike. You guys found so many interesting herps. I really enjoyed the selection of butterflies as well.

Regards,
David

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by pete » March 5th, 2011, 4:22 am

Looks like an amazing time!!

Thanks for putting these posts together :thumb:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » March 5th, 2011, 4:25 am

That’s it – not everything, but enough, I hope.
False hope, I'm afraid. With every installment, you gradually unleashed more fanboy frenzy, and this post has now finally pushed us over the brink. Hear that racket in your driveway? That's us, armed with torches and pitchforks, clamoring for more.

So, please let there be more.

Or else :lol:

[email protected]'t get no satisfaction

PS: How do the snail eaters "triangulate" their heads? The False Viper (Macropisthodon r. rudis) over here in Asia does the same, but I've never learned whether they do it through their bone structure, or by inflating something.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Dr. Dark » March 5th, 2011, 4:30 am

Killer post! LOVE the snakes; that S. cervinus is spectacular as is the B. bilineata! Envious in Ohio...

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by dickbartlett » March 5th, 2011, 4:54 am

#1=great
#2=greater
#3=greatest
Enjoyed these thoroughly Mike. Thanx for taking the time to put all together.
It'd be nice to do it again. There's always the possibility of one or more new taxa
waiting just over the next limb for the inquiring lens. dick

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by justinm » March 5th, 2011, 5:56 am

dickbartlett wrote:#1=great
#2=greater
#3=greatest
Enjoyed these thoroughly Mike. Thanx for taking the time to put all together.
It'd be nice to do it again. There's always the possibility of one or more new taxa
waiting just over the next limb for the inquiring lens. dick
Dick,

If Mike goes again I'm going! I've heard nothing but good things about you, this trip, the food the guides etc. I'm told you have an impressive knowledge of the natural history of the area. Something that is literally priceless on a trip like this. Maybe we could see some of your favorite shots Dick?

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by BillMcGighan » March 5th, 2011, 6:48 am

Without a doubt.... The best series.....
Diversity of nature, great photos, great animals....
.
.
:?: Here's a question for you guys. :?:
If you were to advise someone taking this trip, what item(s), besides the usual herping gear, would you recommend not to forget???
.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by KevColubrid » March 5th, 2011, 7:42 am

Very cool, Mike. You really cleaned up out there, and this post contained two of my favorite species from out that way, chronius, and pseustes. The only thing that would have made it cooler would have been pseustes sulfurus, or spilotes. Not sure if they have those where you guys were at though. :-) Thanks for all three posts, they really were fun to read. Might have inspired a trip out that way in the future. :-)

Kevin

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Dell Despain » March 5th, 2011, 12:30 pm

:cry: This is the last installment of Hot Stove Herping this year. :cry:

Mike I love both the Iguana shots but the second photo with the Iguana's claws wrapped around the tree branch, and dew lap hanging down with the spikes jutting off it in different directions is a very well done photo. Impressive animal.

Speaking of impressive animals, this Corallus is absolutely incredible looking, just beautiful.
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Mike Pingleton wrote:One of our guides shinnied up the tree and brought it down (glad it wasn’t me, I’m built for comfort, not arboreal acrobatics)
:lol: :lol: :lol: "I'm built for comfort". I hear ya brother, I hear ya.

Thanks for the post Mike.

-Dell

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Wayne_MO » March 5th, 2011, 12:44 pm

Awesome!! :thumb: :thumb: :beer:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by millside » March 5th, 2011, 1:21 pm

enjoyed the series, what an awesome trip of a lifetime.

thanks for posting it all.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by The Real Snake Man » March 5th, 2011, 2:22 pm

I wish I could go on a trip like that. The inverts, snakes, and the cayman lizards (not to mention everything else), it was almost too much awesomeness all at once.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Curtis Hart » March 5th, 2011, 2:26 pm

This has been an excellent series of posts. I'm glad this trip worked out so well for you. I really liked the frogs, and of course the one turtle.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Gary2sons » March 5th, 2011, 3:43 pm

What an awesome trip! :thumb:

These posts will be re-visited many times over the years! :D

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by dickbartlett » March 5th, 2011, 4:11 pm

Kevin--yes; both Pseustes sulphureus and Spilotes pullatus occur on our preserves.
Drymarchon, too.


dick

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by chad ks » March 5th, 2011, 6:00 pm

Outstanding series Mike, thank you...

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 5th, 2011, 6:04 pm

Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:

PS: How do the snail eaters "triangulate" their heads? The False Viper (Macropisthodon r. rudis) over here in Asia does the same, but I've never learned whether they do it through their bone structure, or by inflating something.

Good question. I believe they can articulate each jaw independently to wrest snails from their shells - perhaps that aids in the head flattening.

-Mike

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 5th, 2011, 6:05 pm

dickbartlett wrote:Kevin--yes; both Pseustes sulphureus and Spilotes pullatus occur on our preserves.
Drymarchon, too.

dick
more reasons to go back :thumb:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Carl Koch » March 5th, 2011, 6:11 pm

Phenomenal Mike! Would love to see this and more in the form of a Herp Nation article and CHS presentation. You've definitely mastered that camera, and you got to herp with Dick Bartlett AND Karl Switak? Herpetological bliss!!! Thanks for a great report, every bit of it!

Carl

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » March 5th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Mike Pingleton wrote:
Hans Breuer (twoton) wrote:

PS: How do the snail eaters "triangulate" their heads? The False Viper (Macropisthodon r. rudis) over here in Asia does the same, but I've never learned whether they do it through their bone structure, or by inflating something.

Good question. I believe they can articulate each jaw independently to wrest snails from their shells - perhaps that aids in the head flattening.

-Mike
Like in M. r. rudis, the head morphs from an elliptical shape into a sharp-angled triangle. M. r. rudis is a toad eater and has no specially adapted jaws. I wonder if it's the jaw muscles? I've been told it's not the bones that change shape.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 5th, 2011, 6:33 pm

BillMcGighan wrote: :?: Here's a question for you guys. :?:
If you were to advise someone taking this trip, what item(s), besides the usual herping gear, would you recommend not to forget???
.
I gotta go with my rip-stop nylon, quick dry Columbia pants. The kind that zipper into shorts (I didn't feel the need to remove the legs). They kept my legs cool (it was freaking hot), dried quickly, and are pretty tough. Next time I'll bring 2-3 pairs. They don't take up much room in luggage either.

and....

Rubber boots. I brought along my cheap rubber boots and wore them every day. These are an essential item. Keeps your feet dry and they don't absorb water like fabric shoes or boots. They also keep ants (bullet ants in particular), spiders and other creepies off your legs, and provide some protection from small venomous. I have some foot issues that are exacerbated by hard floors, so I spent two weeks in the forest with no foot pain and that was nice. I wore thick cotton-wool socks with them and avoided any blisters.

-Mike

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by dwarfboakeeper » March 5th, 2011, 7:41 pm

Awesome pics Mike. Thanks for sharing.
Pat

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 5th, 2011, 8:52 pm

Thanks, Dell - I was happy to get that shot from a moving boat and using zoom. Take ten shots, get one or two that look good. That thing was a beast.

The Corallus, yeah, that was an amazing creature.

-Mike
Dell Despain wrote:
Mike I love both the Iguana shots but the second photo with the Iguana's claws wrapped around the tree branch, and dew lap hanging down with the spikes jutting off it in different directions is a very well done photo. Impressive animal.

Speaking of impressive animals, this Corallus is absolutely incredible looking, just beautiful.

-Dell

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Brian Willey » March 6th, 2011, 11:13 am

I'm so glad you got your chance to experience such an awesome place Mike!

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by kcmatt » March 7th, 2011, 12:02 pm

Great post, Mike. Definitely the best one of the 3 greats. Enjoyed everything except the arachnids.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by David O » March 7th, 2011, 1:08 pm

Just way too much to comment on. But that Corralus juvie is something special.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Ryan Thies » March 7th, 2011, 5:23 pm

Mike, you owe me a new computer. I ruined it drooling over these posts. Not only did you see some cool animals, but you caught great images as well. Stellar trip Mike!

Ryan

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Matt.O » March 8th, 2011, 8:27 am

I can't get enough Mike, spectacular!!!!! My home away from home, i miss the area and the people so much. Ive never been during the time frame you managed to go as i was always at the end of the dry season as I was mainly collecting fish species though we managed our fair share of herps. Too bad on the bushmaster, i was lucky enough to encounter one on my last trip there unexpectingly near Nauta. Look forward to hearing about the experiance in person, thanks for sharing.

Matt

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Joe Farah » March 8th, 2011, 8:40 am

These posts are just amazing, Mike. They're a bit tough on me, considering the snowy view out my office window right now, but i'm glad you had such a great time and so much success.

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by TravisK » March 8th, 2011, 9:09 am

Dracaena guianensis <----- I am in love with a lizard.


EPIC thread Mike.

:crazyeyes:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by heavenscloud » March 8th, 2011, 3:23 pm

Simply amazing. I agree this would make an excellent article for Herp Nation.... :thumb:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » March 8th, 2011, 5:18 pm

heavenscloud wrote:Simply amazing. I agree this would make an excellent article for Herp Nation.... :thumb:
Surely, you're jesting? This is enough stuff for a SPECIAL EDITION!

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by heavenscloud » March 8th, 2011, 5:58 pm

Indeed. :lol:

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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 3

Post by Mike Pingleton » March 9th, 2011, 9:17 am

thanks for all the responses, guys. Matt O, I recall talking with you about your trips to the area - little did I know at the time that I would visit the same places! I look forward to more conversations on the subject.

-Mike

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