2014 in review

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Matt Cage
Posts: 127
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Location: Denver, CO

2014 in review

Post by Matt Cage » January 23rd, 2015, 10:56 am

Here’s my annual “best of” post. I had some great trips in the past year. 2014 brought me back to the Peruvian Amazon, herping all over the USA, a couple trips to Mexico, and all over the Caribbean. I was able to see some incredible herps and spend some great time with great friends.

We’ll start with Peru. I let a great group of herpers through M.T. Amazon Expeditions in January. We spent 2 weeks starting from Iquitos and heading down river to two field stations. Madre Selva was the first stop, then Santa Cruz. 2013 got me my first Bushmaster, I did not see one this year, but each trip has many surprises. We saw 100 species of heprs on this trip. Here is some highlights.

We found this great Bolitoglossa. It could be B. altamazonica, but I’m not positive on the ID. I have never seen one so large, this was 6 inches long and very robust. It was also much more agile then any B. altamazonic I have ever seen in this area. It jumped from leaf to leaf with ease. If anybody has any ideas, let me know.
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Bolitoglossa?


Here’s a standard B. altamazonica.
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Bolitoglossa altamazonica
Amazon Climbing Salamander







Always love finding these, they are extremely variable.
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Rhinella margaritifera
Crested Forest Toad




We have a very stable population of these and they are a highlight of every trip. Image
Atelopus spumarius
Amazon Harlequin Toad




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Dendropsophus miyatai
Jeweled Treefrog




Another highlight species. These are extremely variable and beautiful.
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Dendropsophus triangulum
Variable Clown Treefrog



And maybe even more impressive colors:
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Dendropsophus triangulum
Variable Clown Treefrog




This was a highlight for me. This was my 9th trip to the Amazon region and I have always wanted to see one of the multiple members of Hemiphractus. Lifer and worth the wait!
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Hemiphractus proboscideus
Long Nosed Casque Headed Treefrog






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Hypsiboas geographicus
Map Treefrog





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Hypsiboas cinerascens
Rough Skinned Green Treefrog





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Hypsiboas calcaratus
Convict Treefrog




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Hypsiboas punctatus
Polkadot Treefrog




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Osteocephalus planiceps
Flat Headed Bromeliad Treefrog




On to the Monkey Frogs. They used to be a fairly uncommon find, I find many every trip. They are spectacular!
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Phyllomedusa bicolor
Giant Monkey Frog




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Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Barred Monkey Frog




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Trachycephalus resinifictrix
Amazon Milk Frog



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Scinax garbei
Fringe Lipped Treefrog






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Ameerega hahneli
Pale Striped Poison Frog





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Ranitomeya uakarii
Peruvian Amazon Poison Frog




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Hamptophryne boliviana
Amazon Sheep Frog




A dart frog mimic,
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Leptodactylus lineatus
Painted Antnest Frog






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Oreobates quixensis
Common Big Headed Rain Frog


On to some reptiles
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Caiman crocodilus
Spectacled caiman




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Paleosuchus trigonatus
Smooth Fronted Caiman



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Anolis transversalis
Banded Tree Anole (male)




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Anolis transversalis
Banded Tree Anole (female)





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Enyalioides laticeps
Amazon Forest Dragon





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Iguana iguana
Green Iguana




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Plica plica
Collared Tree Runner




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Plica umbra
Olive Tree Runner




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Stenocercus fimbriatus
Western Leaf Lizard





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Ameiva ameiva
Amazon Whiptail




This was a great spot by John Sullivan while on a kayak. Can you see it?
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Crocodilurus amazonicus
Crocodile Tegu
And……in the process, he leaned just a bit too far…….
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Kentropyx pelviceps
Forest Whiptail




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Copleoglossum nigropunctatum
Black Spotted Skink




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Gonatodes humeralis
Bridled Forest Gecko





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Thecadactylus solimoensis
Turnip Tailed Gecko




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Cercosaura ocellata bassleri.
Black-striped Forest Lizard




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Corallus hortulanus
Amazon Tree Boa







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Epicrates cenchria
Peruvian Rainbow Boa




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Eunectes murinus
Anaconda



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Atractus major
Earth Snake





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Chironius exoletus
Common Whipsnake




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Chironius fuscus
Olive Whipsnake




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Dendrophidion dendrophis
Tawny Forest Racer



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Dipsas catesbyi
Ornate Snail Eating Snake




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Dipsas indica
Snail Eating Snake




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Drymoluber dichrous
Common Glossy Racer




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Helicops angulatus
South American Banded Water Snake






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Imantodes cenchoa
Blunt Headed Tree Snake



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Oxyrhopus occipitalis
Yellow Headed Calico Snake





These usually have some red in them, even the juveniles such as this one. This was the only O. petola seen this trip.
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Oxyrhopus petola
Banded Calico Snake






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Oxyrhopus vanidicus
Black Headed Calico Snake



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Pseudoboa coronata
Amazon Scarlet Snake




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Pseustes poecilonotus
Common Bird Snake





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Siphlophis compressus
Red Vine Snake



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Taeniophallus brevirostris
Short-nosed Leaf Litter Snake




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Xenoxybelis argenteus
Striped Green Vine Snake


And the highlight of the trip! I could not stop taking photos of it.
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Micrurus langsdorffi
Langsdorff's Coral Snake



And just because there is no red touching yellow or no red at all does not mean it’s safe to touch!
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Micrurus lemniscatus
Western Ribbon Coral Snake




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Micrurus putumayensis
Sooty Coral Snake




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Micrurus surinamensis
Aquatic Coral Snake



Watch where you step!
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Bothrops atrox
South American Lancehead



Not many turtles seen on this trip. This one was in along the Amazon outside of Iquitos
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Podocnemis unifilis
Yellow Spotted River Turtle



Madre Selva accommodations.
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I’ll throw in a bird. I watched this guy for a couple of hours as it did not move.
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White Tailed Trogon


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Here is the group including our crew. There are some familiar faces here!



Back to the states, spent a day in south Florida and was able to see a few things despite the rain.
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Crocodylus acutus
American Crocodile



Spring in S. Texas was a Blast. Got to spend some quality time with good friends. I really enjoyed my time with Shaun, Tim, Erik, Gus, Kyle, Blake, John, and Aaron. We had a blast and found most of our targets despite the experience with Africanized bees.

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Incilius nebulifer
Gulf Coast Toad




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Syrrhophus marnockii
Cliff Chirping Frog



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Phrynosoma cornutum
Texas Horned Lizard



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Sceloporus olivaceus
Texas Spiny Lizard





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Plestiodon tetragrammus tetragrammus
Four Lined Skink




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Ophisaurus attenuatus attenuatus
Western Slender Glass Lizard




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Rena dulces
Texas Blind Snake



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Arizona elegans arenicola
Texas Glossy Snake



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Coluber constrictor oaxaca
Mexican Racer



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Coluber flagellum testaceus
Western Coachwhip




Gus managed to find this while we were walking around.
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Coluber schotti ruthveni
Ruthven's Whipsnake




This was the nicest whipsnake I’ve ever come across.
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Coluber schotti schotti
Schott's Whipsnake




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Drymobius margaritiferus
Speckled Racer




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Coniophanes imperialis
Regal Black Striped Snake



I was very happy to find this!
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Drymarchon melanurus erebennus
Texas Indigo Snake



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Hypsiglena jani texana
Chihuahuan Night Snake




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Lampropeltis calligaster calligaster
Prairie Kingsnake




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Lampropeltis getula splendida
Desert Kingsnake



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Pantherophis emoryi meahlllmorum
Southwestern Rat Snake





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Pantherophis obsoleta lindheimeri
Texas Ratsnake


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Pituophis catenifer sayi
Bullsnake




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Rhinocheilus lecontei tessellatus
Texas Long Nosed Snake



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Salvadora grahamiae
Texas Patch Nosed Snake



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Tantilla gracilis
Flat Headed Snake



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Thamnophis cyrtopsis ocellatus
Eastern Black Necked Garter Snake



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Thamnophis marcianus
Checkered Gartersnake


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Thamnophis proximus oranius
Gulf Coast Ribbonsnake



Big game!
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Virginia striatula
Rough Earth Snake



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Micrurus tener
Texas Coral Snake




A couple of the many atrox seen. The second one was from some thick forest in the Hill Country.
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Crotalus atrox
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake


This was an unexpected find in S. Texas!
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Sistrurus catenatus edwardsi
Desert Massasauga




From my home state of Colorado.
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Lampropeltis triangulum gentilis
Central Plains Milk Snake



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Heterdon nasicus nasicus
Plains Hognose Snake


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Crotalus viridis
Prairie Rattlesnake


From Western CO
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Inspired by Joe!
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Crotaphytus collaris
Eastern Collard Lizard



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Coluber taeniatus taeniatus
Desert Striped Whipsnake




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Crotalus Concolor
Midget Faded Rattlesnake


Wyoming:
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Aspidoscelis sexlineata viridis
Prairie Racerunner


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Coluber constrictor flaviventris
Eastern Yellow Bellied Racer



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Lampropeltis triangulum multistriata
Pale Milk Snake




I took a quick trip to Baja in May and was able to find a few things.



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Petrosaurus thalassinus
San Lucan Rock Lizard



I never tire of finding these:
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Lichanura trivirgata trivirgata
Mexican Rosy Boa


This is as far south as I’ve ever found a Slevin’s!
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Hypsiglena slevini (Eridiphas)
Slevin’s Night Snake



I night hiked this gem.
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Trimorphodon biscutatus
Lyre Snake



Then, late in the Summer, a group of us went to Sonora. It was a fun and very productive trip. Here is some highlights.
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Pachymedusa dacnicolor
Mexican Leaf Frog





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Do you see it?
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Smilisca baudinii
Mexican Treefrog




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Smilisca fodiens
Lowland Burrowing Treefrog





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Leptodactylus melanonotus
Sabinal Frog





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Scaphiopus couchii
Couch's Spadefoot



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Ctenosaura macrolopha
Mexican Spiny Tailed Iquana





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Callisaurus draconoidese inusitanus
Sonoran Zebra Tailed Lizard


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Phrynosoma solare
Regal Horned Lizard

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Sceloporus nelsoni
Nelson's Spiny Lizard



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Urosaurus ornatus
Ornate Tree Lizard

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Aspidoscelis costata
Western Mexico Whiptail



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Coleonyx variegatus sonoriensis
Sonoran Banded Gecko



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Phyllodactylus tuberculosus
Yellowbelly Gecko



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Heloderma horridum
Mexican Beaded Lizard




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Boa constictor




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Coluber bilineatus
Sonoran Whipsnake



Maybe my favorite Coluber??
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Coluber mentovarius
Tropical Whipsnake



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Coluber flageellum cingulum
Sonoran Coachwhip



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Hypsiglena chlorophaea
Desert Nightsnake

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Lampropeltis getula nigrita
Mexican Black Kingsnake



I found this Sinaloan Milk Snake off to the side of a highway, off the road. As I approached, it was moving but appeared to have been hit. It went limp, but I could not find any injury. There was some debate in the car if the snake was dead. Later that night at a photo shoot, it appeared to have come back to life, only to “die” again, this time with blood out the mouth. This is a new behavior for me with milk snakes. It eventually was fine and was released.
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Lampropeltis triangulum sinaloae
Sinaloan Milk Snake



I’ve found various Leptophis species in Central and South America. In previous years, I’ve seen 5 L diplotropis in Sonora, but I have zero photos to show for them. I was quite excited to see a 5 foot specimen in the foliage along side a creek while hiking with Kevin and Joseph. Well, I quickly grabbed it and it quickly grabbed me, hanging onto my thumb. There was a time when Kevin and Joseph was unsure who had who. Anyway about 2 minutes later and me being minus a pint of blood, I had full control of this beauty. Here is a photo where the snake has my DNA all over it.
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And after we cleaned up.
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They are all mouth!
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The bite bled like an open faucet. I had shooting pains that went up to my elbow and lasted for a couple of hours. Later, Shaun found a second specimen and had a similar experience. Beautiful snakes and totally worth it! Here’s the second specimen.
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Leptophis diplotropis
Pacific Coast Parrot Snake


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Oxybelis aeneus
Brown Vine Snake


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Phyllorhynchus browni
Saddled Leaf Nosed Snake




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Phyllorhynchus decurtatus
Spotted Leaf Nosed Snake




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Rhinocheilus lecontei
Long Nosed Snake






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Senticolis triaspis intermedia
Green Rat Snake




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Thamnophis cyrtopsis
Black Necked Garter Snake



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Trimorphodon tau
Mexican Lyresnake



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Micrurus distans distans
Mexican West Coast Coral Snake




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Crotalus atrox
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake





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Crotalus basiliscus
Mexican West Coast Rattlesnake


I found the first one in situ:
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Crotalus cerastes cercobombus
Sonoran Sidewinder


Then in November, I found my self in the Caribbean. I spent a few days in Puerto Rico then meandered to Florida for a week and a half. I was not herping the whole time, but I was able to see some stuff.


I always enjoy time on Puerto Rico. In my experience, this is the most common and an extremely variable anole.
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Anolis cristatellus
Puerto Rican Crested Anole



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Anolis evermanni
Puerto Rican Emerald Anole






One of my favorite PR Anoles, Love the blue eyes.
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Anolis gundlachi
Yellow-chinned Anole



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Anolis krugi
Olive Bush Anole


And the ever present….
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Iguana iguana
Green Iguana

This is from St. Croix, USVI
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Anolis acutus
St. Croix Anole








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Anolis roquet
Martinique Anole



I really enjoyed these
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Anolis richardi
Grenada Tree Anole


Overall, it was a great year. I enjoyed spending time with everybody! Shaun V., Tim W., John S., Mike P., Kris H., Sky S., Lorrie S., Erik M., CJ, V. Joseph E., Kevin C., Jason and everyone else, lets do it again! 2015 brings more Peru. Please let me know if you want to join. Trips are scheduled for April and June.

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The Real Snake Man
Posts: 405
Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX

Re: 2014 in review

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 23rd, 2015, 12:41 pm

Wow. The Micrurus langsdorffi and the other South American herps are just amazing. The Baja and Sonora stuff was fantastic, and to see the South Texas herps was incredibly nostalgic for me, now that I'm 1600 miles away from home. Strangely enough, your Coluber schotti schotti, with all that red on it, may be the most striking creature in the whole post, at least for me. To top it all off, your photography was as great as your subjects. I'd love to hear more about that South Texas massasauga, those are the holy grail for a lot of herpers down there. Blake Tyler would be jealous for sure. Thanks for sharing.

-Gene

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DracoRJC
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Joined: May 5th, 2011, 2:15 pm
Location: The beautiful Texas Hill Country

Re: 2014 in review

Post by DracoRJC » January 23rd, 2015, 5:41 pm

Well, I'll just stop herping now.

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Ameron
Posts: 57
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 4:57 pm
Location: Portland/Vancouver

Oh What a Year!

Post by Ameron » January 24th, 2015, 11:03 am

I can only dream of visiting the Amazon and nearby regions of South America. Maybe one day...

Gawd, what a visual feast - and such variety.

One correction however:

Lampropeltis getula splendida is not a Speckled Kingsnake, but rather a Desert Kingsnake. (Small oversight.)

Your specimen was likely photographed in the American Southwest. Speckleds are found farther northeast around the Mississippi River Valley.

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The Real Snake Man
Posts: 405
Joined: June 12th, 2010, 3:08 pm
Location: Pasadena, CA or Mission, TX

Re: 2014 in review

Post by The Real Snake Man » January 24th, 2015, 12:02 pm

Ameron wrote:Lampropeltis getula splendida is not a Speckled Kingsnake, but rather a Desert Kingsnake. (Small oversight.)

Your specimen was likely photographed in the American Southwest. Speckleds are found farther northeast around the Mississippi River Valley.
I think the specimen referred to is a South Texas specimen, which have not been genetically tested and thus may be either splendida or holbrooki. I am of the opinion, as is Matt Cage, apparently, that the animal is a splendida (desert kingsnake). The scientific name is most important, and it is correct; the common name hardly matters, but still a good catch.

-Gene

Matt Cage
Posts: 127
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: 2014 in review

Post by Matt Cage » January 25th, 2015, 7:43 pm

Gene, thanks for the comments! I also love the schotti. We photographed that thing for an hour.

Ameron, you are correct as I had the common name wrong it is a S. Texas Desert Kingsnake.

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walk-about
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Re: 2014 in review

Post by walk-about » January 26th, 2015, 5:38 am

Matt - WoW!! Just so much here to look at, and know doubt I will be back for seconds and thirds on this one in the days to come. That Long-nosed Casque Headed Treefrog pretty amazing and something I don't think I have ever seen before. Just incredible that such things can exist. Makes me glad to be alive to see something as amazing as that. Thanks.

Rock ON!

Dave

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Ribbit
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Re: 2014 in review

Post by Ribbit » January 26th, 2015, 6:17 am

Wow, what a year! Swimming in the Amazon was fun, if unintentional. I recommend it to everyone.

John

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Muchobirdnerd
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Joined: March 1st, 2014, 7:11 pm

Re: 2014 in review

Post by Muchobirdnerd » January 28th, 2015, 7:06 am

Amazing especially Hemiphractus proboscideus!!

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Jeroen Speybroeck
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Re: 2014 in review

Post by Jeroen Speybroeck » January 28th, 2015, 12:22 pm

Great post, Matt!

The last Drymoluber is really cool. I guess it substantiates the species name (in Latin).

That vanidicus is so red (instead of orange)!

I am always/still envious about missing Siphlophis while I was there. And Xenoxybelis. And anaconda, of course. And, !OMG!, that langsdorffi!!!

Did Edvin guide you to where I found Hemiphractus or was it just a more random find? Gotta love 'em!

Also adored the beautiful long-nosed snakes you posted, I will never understand why they don't receive more love from you US herpers. That last Leptophis shot is outstanding. And the Heloderma horridum!!!

What a year!!!

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Soopaman
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Re: 2014 in review

Post by Soopaman » January 28th, 2015, 1:03 pm

Great post, and an amazing array of herps for 2014.

It was great to get out with you. You're welcome back in my part of the country, but this time we'll hold onto our hats and steer clear of the africanized bees!

There's plenty of lampro' lovin to do around here.

Matt Cage
Posts: 127
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: 2014 in review

Post by Matt Cage » February 3rd, 2015, 9:05 am

Dave, Thanks for the comments!!

John, It was great spending some time wtih you in 2014, looking forward to 2015!

Jeroen, yeah the Drymoluber took a little work to ID. It was different, but another similar one was seen again in Santa Cruz. I love the variety in O. vanidicus! This one was spectacular. Edvin did assist with the Hemiphractus and it was found near where you found yours. Thanks for your comments!!!!

Soopa, enjoyed your company, thanks for everything! Looking forward to getting down there again.

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