Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

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Andrew G
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Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 13th, 2011, 6:54 am

I figured I'd show a few of my local finds recently, and end this off with a couple things from a Flint Hills trip yesterday.


My wife and I found this bullsnake while jogging one morning. I had our old crappy camera in my pocket and we managed a poor quality voucher shot. A couple weeks later we found another bullsnake while rollerblading, (no camera at all this time). Apparently exercising is a good way to find these guys!
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Ornate box turtle as found on a different day within 1/2 mile of the bullsnake.
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Prairie six-line racerunners can also frequently be found within a couple miles of my house. First one in-situ in a small area of trees.
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This one was flipped under a small couple foot section of plywood.
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A couple nearby spots can produce Ringneck snakes
Looks like this one has an all yellow belly..
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There is some of that nice deep orange coloration. I find this common little snakes to be quite attractive.
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These finds were a bit further away but also within the county.
Red Sided Garter Snake
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Northern Painted Turtle
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Now it is time for the Flint Hills.... here's is a habitat shot. It has been very dry in this area, although there had been a little rain in the morning which I hoped would bring more herps to the surface.
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One and a half hours of flipping brought only two of these. The first got away so I was quick to grab the second one and my wife snapped a picture. I believe this is a Prairie Skink.
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After a poor result in flipping, we decided to go to the shore of the nearby lake and search around there for a little while. I spotted a water snake crawling up a tree but there was no way to get a good picture from shore. So, what choice did I have but to go in after it! Picture of my getting a picture of the snake!
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Now for the snake.... Northern Water Snake
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I tried for some better pictures but lost my balance and had to steady myself on the tree. This spooked the snake who quickly turned and gracefully slid into the water. After this we headed to a nearby area to walk a trail on the prairie. One more herp was seen in this area, one of my favorite lizards the collared lizard:
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Not the most exciting herps ever but hope you enjoyed.

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KingCam
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by KingCam » June 13th, 2011, 6:56 am

I really like that nerodia. Very bright red markings!!

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Josh Holbrook
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Josh Holbrook » June 13th, 2011, 7:05 am

Cool finds. The pituophis is nice.

-Josh

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Andrew G
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 13th, 2011, 7:39 am

KingCam wrote:I really like that nerodia. Very bright red markings!!
Thanks... I thought it was worth getting wet for! :lol: I wasn't able to get a picture of it, but he had also had a nice meal recently, there was a pretty decent bump.

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Andrew G
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 13th, 2011, 7:41 am

Josh Holbrook wrote:Cool finds. The pituophis is nice.

-Josh
I think the pits from my county are always quite nice. Now one of these days I'll get some good pictures of one....

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 13th, 2011, 4:09 pm

I believe this is a Prairie Skink.
Well, _I_ believe it's a Great Plains Skink (Plestiodon obsoletus). 8-)

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Andrew G
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 13th, 2011, 5:14 pm

chris_mcmartin wrote:
I believe this is a Prairie Skink.
Well, _I_ believe it's a Great Plains Skink (Plestiodon obsoletus). 8-)
I looked at the two species online and couldn't decide for sure, but I am sure you know more than I do on these.

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justinm
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by justinm » June 13th, 2011, 6:08 pm

I miss the Flint Hills and the prairie Tegus aka Prairie Skinks. Nice finds.

Wayne_MO
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Wayne_MO » June 14th, 2011, 6:03 am

Seconding Chris that your skink is a Great Plains Skink. Nice report and pictures.

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Andrew G
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 14th, 2011, 6:39 am

justinm wrote:I miss the Flint Hills and the prairie Tegus aka Prairie Skinks. Nice finds.
The Flint Hills are cool, I was just disappointed not to flip any snakes. I thought the area looked good... Oh well, there is always next time!

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Andrew G
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by Andrew G » June 14th, 2011, 6:40 am

Wayne_MO wrote:Seconding Chris that your skink is a Great Plains Skink. Nice report and pictures.
Any advice on telling the two species apart?

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chris_mcmartin
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by chris_mcmartin » June 14th, 2011, 1:43 pm

Andrew G wrote:
Wayne_MO wrote:Seconding Chris that your skink is a Great Plains Skink. Nice report and pictures.
Any advice on telling the two species apart?
The Great Plains Skinks are the ones that are, to use the scientific term, "frickin' HUGE;" they have been known to eat dogs and small children. :lol:

But seriously, prairie skinks are very small compared to GPs; and prairie skinks have stripes whereas GPs have a more diffuse pattern, basically black-tipped scales not really organized into stripes.

ssssnakeluvr
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Re: Herps Near Home + A bit of Flint Hills

Post by ssssnakeluvr » June 15th, 2011, 5:38 pm

nice pics!! Love the red sided garter!! I love herping in Kansas when I can get out there :D

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