Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

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Jeremy Westerman
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Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Jeremy Westerman » April 11th, 2016, 8:40 pm

three miserable-sleepless-cold-rain-storm nights battered by the wind and sheets of rain in the tent, and my phone got ruined in a puddle mid-tent but...perseverance equals results
I found a gila monster, two speckled rattlesnakes, a nightsnake, four ground snakes, four blackheaded snakes, some woodhouse's toads, lots of pacific treefrogs, eight desert tortoises, three Utah banded geckos, a desert collared lizard, a desert horned lizard, several spiny lizards, and lots of whiptails and side blotched lizards.

Banded Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)
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I know that the banded subspecies H. s. cinctum was sunk and synonymized with H.s. suspectum in
Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 7(1): 74–96.
Taxonomic reassessment and conservation status
of the beaded lizard, Heloderma horridum
(Squamata: Helodermatidae)
Randall S. Reiserer,Gordon W. Schuett, and
Daniel D. Beck
but the database still doesn't reflect that. I think they are waiting on SSAR to adopt the new nomenclature status.

Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnake (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus)
Two adults found within ten feet of each other. Hard Rain and wind all night, then passing showers with small breaks next morning/afternoon. found during intermittent showers/sun briefly peeking through. Snakes were very cold and sluggish, one retreated on my approach in slow motion unable to rattle, the other stayed coiled and never moved.
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Snake #2
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Again, the subspecies C. m. pyrrhus has changed, it was elevated to a full species C. pyrrhus in
Meik, J.M., J.W. Streicher, A.M. Lawing, O. Flores-Villela, and M.K. Fujita. 2015. Limitations of climatic data for inferring species boundaries: insights from Speckled Rattlesnakes. PLOS/One DOI:10.1371:1-19.

Desert Nightsnake (Hypsiglena chlorophaea deserticola)
found under loose bark on an old stump
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Variable Groundsnake (Sonora semiannulata semiannulata)
Found four Ground snakes by flipping
Snake#1
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Snakes#2&3 double flip under a basalt lava rock
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snake#4 in shed
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Smith's Black-headed Snake (Tantilla hobartsmithi)
Found four of these, a lifer for me. Sweet.
Snake#1 my lifer, what a beauty
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Snake#2
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Snake#3&4 double flip
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Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)
found eight including several hatchlings
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Utah Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus utahensis)
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Pacific Treefrog (Pseudacris regilla)
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Woodhouse's Toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii woodhousii)
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Southern Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos calidiarum)
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Great Basin Collared Lizard (Crotaphytus bicinctores)
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Yellow-backed Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus uniformis)
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Northern Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris septentrionalis)
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Western Side-blotched Lizard (Uta stansburiana elegans)
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some finds earlier this year
Wandering Gartersnake (Thamnophis elegans vagrans)
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Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
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I'm not off to a bad start so far this year

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Bryan Hamilton
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Bryan Hamilton » April 12th, 2016, 9:05 am

Damnn son! That's how we do it!

Nice work Jeremy. That's an incredible pay-off.

TimCO
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by TimCO » April 12th, 2016, 9:24 am

He shoots! He scores!!!

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Rancorrye
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Rancorrye » April 12th, 2016, 10:07 am

What's the matter, couldn't find a leafnose or lyre? Nice work!

Jimi
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Jimi » April 12th, 2016, 10:50 am

Hey now. What's the deal? No lutosus? WTF?!?!?!

Ha ha ha, kidding man, you rocked it. It's funny, St George is kind of "flyover country" for me, I'm always blasting through on I-15, sometimes I have a work trip actually right there, but I never just go there to herp, I always push farther south. You're giving me reasons to pull off the freeway before I've actually left Utah yet...

So, changing gears a tad, humor me please. I've got a guy (I think it's a contract job for BLM; I think for some reason they think they're riparian-associated???) asking about Utah Tantilla. Got anything to share about the circumstances of your finds? Surrounding habitat, cover objects, temps-under-cover, whatever? I've told him to my knowledge they can be found in many circumstances but sure, riparian-transition or even plain old riparian is not a bad bet if you really really need to find one. The context is riparian & transition-zone shrub restoration - taking out tamarisk and replacing with natives (some phreatophytic, others not). I've heard of plenty of singles, a couple of doubles, but...four? That's a good haul. Enlighten us.

Anyway, doing my usual hijack thing (or is it just adult ADD?) again...nice trip report, well done, and what headlamps are you looking at as replacements for the recently-deceased? Jeroen & Hans have got me looking at LEDLenser...I've done Fenix, Black Diamond, Petzl...

cheers

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Jeremy Westerman » April 12th, 2016, 3:13 pm

Rancorrye wrote:What's the matter, couldn't find a leafnose or lyre? Nice work!
I was feeling that lucky. I only need Lyre, Utah Blind Snake, and the infamous-only-one-found-in-Utah-ever Leafnose as lifers taht can be found in that county. I'll Be Back! Get to the choppa! Actually I wish I had a chopper to take down there instead of racking up 900 miles in a trip.

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Jeremy Westerman » April 12th, 2016, 3:40 pm

Jimi wrote:Hey now. What's the deal? No lutosus? WTF?!?!?!

Ha ha ha, kidding man, you rocked it. It's funny, St George is kind of "flyover country" for me, I'm always blasting through on I-15, sometimes I have a work trip actually right there, but I never just go there to herp, I always push farther south. You're giving me reasons to pull off the freeway before I've actually left Utah yet...

So, changing gears a tad, humor me please. I've got a guy (I think it's a contract job for BLM; I think for some reason they think they're riparian-associated???) asking about Utah Tantilla. Got anything to share about the circumstances of your finds? Surrounding habitat, cover objects, temps-under-cover, whatever? I've told him to my knowledge they can be found in many circumstances but sure, riparian-transition or even plain old riparian is not a bad bet if you really really need to find one. The context is riparian & transition-zone shrub restoration - taking out tamarisk and replacing with natives (some phreatophytic, others not). I've heard of plenty of singles, a couple of doubles, but...four? That's a good haul. Enlighten us.

Anyway, doing my usual hijack thing (or is it just adult ADD?) again...nice trip report, well done, and what headlamps are you looking at as replacements for the recently-deceased? Jeroen & Hans have got me looking at LEDLenser...I've done Fenix, Black Diamond, Petzl...

cheers
Well, that's funny because they were all in riparian/old flood plain loose soils in a rocky riparian canyon, under artificial cover 9some old plywood board fragments) or basalt rock, all were found 30 yards or better from the water so no Tamarisk or fragmites association. two were in relatively barren ground, the second two were in a dense grass. Overcast just after passing rain sprinkles. I forgot to take the temp gun out of the vehicle on that hike so not a single ground or body temp. Air was in the mid 60'sF I think.

Nothing moving all weekend (except tortoises and the gila) so road cruising was a bust, I didn't spend any time targeting lutosus. I did manage to hit my objectives fairly nicely
#1 see ground snakes, get a lifer Black head snake and lifer Utah Blind. two out of three ain't bad. got down there around 4ish on Fri
#2 get amphibians in the rain. Two species found. Fri-night after road cruising sucked.
#3 Find more Utah Specks. Yessir that paid off in spades. Saturday
#4 road cruise some sidewinders, glossys, and mojaves. Failed on all accounts. Ok try to walk up/flip same and maybe a night lizard. Fail. rest of saturday and fri/sat night.
#5. explore new turf to find more secret epic spots. sunday morn...interesting
#6 find a gila. wham! Scored in under two hours. Sunday
#7 walk up a sidewinder. Ended tragically when I almost drowned in a rain squall. Sunday afternoon/evening off to Sizzler in Cedar City to celebrate!

phone was the casualty not the headlamp, but check this beast out:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/10 ... -180-illum

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Jeremy Westerman
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Jeremy Westerman » April 12th, 2016, 3:51 pm

Bryan Hamilton wrote:Damnn son! That's how we do it!

Nice work Jeremy. That's an incredible pay-off.
TimCO wrote:He shoots! He scores!!!
Thanks guys, it sure felt good. I almost don't want to erase the memory card.

Brian Eagar
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Re: Mojave Desert in the spring, St. George, Utah Apr 2016

Post by Brian Eagar » May 4th, 2016, 7:36 pm

Nice job Jeremy that is an epic trip.

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