My First Southern Illinois Excursion

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iwo gross
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Joined: June 30th, 2010, 9:25 pm
Location: Dupage County, IL
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My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by iwo gross »

Hey everyone,

I am a new user native to Dupage County. However, I am attending Eastern Illinois University, and was very lucky to become a part of the Herpetology Lab. These photos (hopefully they'll be visible) were taken at Snake Road, Shawnee National Park, and other preserves in Illinois's Southern Counties, where EIU's Herp Lab tries to travel to as much as possible. This was my first time joining them.

First catch of the trip, a little Cave Salamander.
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Long-tailed Salamander
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We almost stepped on this Brown Snake as he was crossing Snake Road.
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Eastern Kingsnake
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Pretty belly
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Ring-neck Snake
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Broad-headed Skink.... Right?
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Ha ha
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Smooth Earth Snake
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Finally! A Cottonmouth.
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And it's still pretty, too.
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Over the next 15 minutes of the photoshoot, everyone slowly got closer to it.
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My personal favorite, Black Ratsnake! I love that muzzle.
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Why did the Mudsnake cross the road??
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To get to the other Siren! Thanks for that one, Jaymie.

Eastern Musk Turtle
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This was awesome! We found this Cottonmouth just chilling while invenomating an unlucky Plainbelly Watersnake.
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Diamondback Watersnake, with my blood on his labial scales.
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Back to the Cottonmouth and Watersnake. The Cottonmouth ran off when we harassed it to much, so we left the two to be alone. Ten minutes later, the Cottonmouth came back and bit the Plainbelly in the face. It was the coolest thing I've ever seen.
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Red-belly Snake
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Anybody a bat expert??
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Marbled Sally. (I apologize for the below par photography in these last photos, My camera is crap and it was getting dark.)
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This Blue Racer wouldn't stand still, so I took a video instead. It's on my facebook page, and it shows the Racer rattling his tail on dry leaves.
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Bird-Voice Tree Frog.
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We almost stepped on this guy, too. Whew...
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It was my first Copperhead, so I was a little hysterical...
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We actually found a few herps on the road driving back. This juvenile Ratsnake was one of the luckier ones we happened upon..
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I think our total for the trip was 39 species, including some other herps I didn't photo for one reason or another. I have a few more photos from other herping excursions I went on this summer, so I'll try and get those up ASAP.

Thanks for looking through these if you did.

Iwo Gross

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justinm
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
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Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by justinm »

You're likely hooked on Southern Illinois now. I think it's one of the top herping locations in the country personally. 39 species is a good days work down that way. Believe it or not you can get even luckier and break 40!

iwo gross
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Joined: June 30th, 2010, 9:25 pm
Location: Dupage County, IL
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Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by iwo gross »

That's what I heard from the Grad students I was with. They were a little peeved we didn't find some more species, but I really had no room to complain. Who knew this was all in Illinois, anyway!

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MarcLinsalata
Posts: 562
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:50 pm
Location: Los Angeles / New Jersey

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by MarcLinsalata »

That copper is clean as could be...nice find!!

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peterknuteberg
Posts: 191
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 4:51 am
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by peterknuteberg »

I really enjoyed this post. 39 species is awesome. That copperhead is one of the most beautiful I have seen. I am sure that you were awed by S. IL. as I am every time I go. Lovely! Peter B.

ChadHarrison
Posts: 139
Joined: June 29th, 2012, 12:45 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by ChadHarrison »

Great finds man! The kingsnake you photographed was actually (What Mike Pingleton refers to as) a Shawnee Kingsnake. An intergrade between the Speckled and Black kingsnake. The eastern Kingsnake does not reach this part of the country.

corey.raimond
Posts: 240
Joined: July 20th, 2010, 8:43 pm

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by corey.raimond »

Nice finds

That bat resembles rafinesque's big-eared bat. Not sure if anything else has ears that big.

Also the picture before the bat looks like a wormsnake, but it might just because of the angle the photo was taken. Hard to tell from the picture.
-Corey

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muskiemagnet
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Joined: June 11th, 2010, 7:43 am
Location: kaukauna, wi

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by muskiemagnet »

something seemed off with the red-belly to me as well. i could be wrong though. if the snake was in shed, possibly red-belly. the scales seemed too smooth though. any head shots?

-ben

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roosters977
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Joined: April 5th, 2012, 2:25 pm
Location: Pennsylvannia

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by roosters977 »

I think the red bellied is a worm snake.

ChadHarrison
Posts: 139
Joined: June 29th, 2012, 12:45 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by ChadHarrison »

muskiemagnet wrote:something seemed off with the red-belly to me as well. i could be wrong though. if the snake was in shed, possibly red-belly. the scales seemed too smooth though. any head shots?

-ben

Now, it may be because I'm intoxicated, but I feel as though the animal photographed is totally consistent with occiptimaculata. The dorsal scales would be darker(assuming it was an illinois specimen) and the scales would not be so overlapped.

But again, do not take my word for this. Theres no reason for me to be currently posting this statement, in that I'm probably wrong at the moment. Whatever it is I'm talking about.

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Brandon D
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Location: Belton, Mo
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Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by Brandon D »

I was thinkin carphophis as well, and Im glad Im not the only one that posts while intoxicated at times lol
:beer:
Brandon DeCavele
Nice post btw some nice shots in there

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AndyO'Connor
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by AndyO'Connor »

Looks like a redbelly snake to me. Great post, good to see you can still find a decent amount of animals out there in November.

herpmajor
Posts: 13
Joined: September 12th, 2010, 2:02 pm

Re: My First Southern Illinois Excursion

Post by herpmajor »

That bat is Corynorhinus rafinesquii.

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