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 Post subject: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 9:03 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
I just got back from Lake Powell. Herping was tough but I managed a couple things. I also think I am getting the hang of the the rattlesnakes in the area. I will post pics of rattlesnakes I have seen in southern Utah you tell me what you think they are. I will give out general locals when I do a trip/summer report a bit later. I apologize for lack of pic quality before hand.

1.
Image

Image



2.
Image

Image

Image



3.
Image


4.
Image


5.
Image


Thanks,

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 3:47 pm 
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Posts: 406
Location: Arizona
#1 looks like abyssus.

#2 looks like a young lutosus.

#3 is obviously a lutosus.

#4 looks like a concolor but I'd like to see a better shot of it's head before I commit to that.

The last is a viridis.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 5:05 pm 
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Posts: 444
1. Looks like abyssus
2.Probably lutosus
3. lutosus
4. concolor
5.viridis

abyssus and some lutosus can be impossible to distiguish simply from photos with nio size reference or locality as abyssus is simply an extended lutosus (or maybe even invalid?) I have seen Brian Eager post lutosus from N.W. Utah that I couldn' t tell apart from an abyssus if I didin't know the locality. Nice stuff!

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 5:41 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
Do either of you have a reference to a good range map for abyssus?

*Just to clarify that request has nothing to do with where these individuals were found, they were all pretty clearly defined geographically.

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 8:30 pm 
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Location: Arizona
My book has a decent representation of abyssus up into Utah. It's not perfect yet but I don't think a valid understanding of their range exists yet.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 8:42 pm 
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Posts: 563
Location: Utah
Brendan what is the title? is it out yet or are you still working on it? I would be interested to know what the defining phenotypical characteristics for abyssus are as compared to light lutosus or concolor from the same areas are. Seems concolor and abyssus have a pretty difficult overlap in appearance and maybe a lighter lutosus could fool someone as well. Thomas you have a knack for finding DOR abyssus it seems to me. Hope your trip was really good.
1.abyssus?
2. young abyssus lunch for crows?
3. standard Utah lutosus
4. young concolor?
5. standard S.E. Utah viridis


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 8:54 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:26 pm
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Location: Arizona
A field guide to the rattlesnakes of the united states. Amazon may still carry it. We are done with the second edition but the publisher is having a bit of a log jam getting it to print.
The second will cover all venomous snakes of the USA and have many more updated photos.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 25th, 2011, 9:31 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
1. Abyssus
2. Lutosus looks too big and dark to be abyssus but could be.
3. Lutosus
4. Viridis - Guessing northeast or east of Lake Powel. San Juan County
5. Viridis - Guessing San Juan county

Good info about Abyssus in Utah will be published sometime in the future.
For now, maybe just look at different natural histories of the animals and habitats to set them apart within the same geographic areas. Viridis and Concolor make contact but I doubt concolor and Abyssus do. And Abyssus and Lutosus do but like Rich said....

Good idea Thomas.
Maybe I'll put up a quiz.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 26th, 2011, 7:41 am 
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Abyssus and concolor can be almost identical in appearance, but as Brian said, they don't make any contact. In fact, although they are very similar in appearance due to inhabiting similar niches, they aren't all that closely related. Concolor branched directly off of viridis, probably in the area of Page (as of yet unpublished) as we still see possible hybrids/intergrdes from the area. By the time it reached southeast Utah and came back into cotact with viridis, the two co-exist as separate species. As far as we know (Brian may have some new info), concolor and lutosus do not come into contact or interbreed anywhere. Abyssus came by the long route, oreganus branched off of viridis in teh far Northwest, then migrated south and east beggating helleri, lutosus and abyssus.

Lutosus needs LOTS of work, lol. Four clades were identified by Douglas et al, L1, L2, L3 and abyssus. L3 is the mother/originator of the others. It is disappearing, being outcompeted by the newer forms it spawned, and exists only in isolated pockets througout the range. It still interbreeds with the others wherever they occur together. In the area of the western Grand Canyon, north of the rim, lutosus and abyssus interbreed acting like subspecies. Abyssus migrated/dispersed east thru the Canyon and came back into contact with lutosus in the area of the Pariah Plateau and into Utah. Here they exist as completely separate species.
L3 lutosus in it's pure form is distinguishable from the others in that it is born with lots of dark coloring and becomes very pale and faded as an adult. The other lutosus forms are exactly the reverse, they are born light with little dark pigmentation and aquire dark pigment as they mature.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 26th, 2011, 8:17 am 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
Posts: 563
Location: Utah
Correcamino wrote:
Abyssus and concolor can be almost identical in appearance, but as Brian said, they don't make any contact. In fact, although they are very similar in appearance due to inhabiting similar niches, they aren't all that closely related. Concolor branched directly off of viridis, probably in the area of Page (as of yet unpublished) as we still see possible hybrids/intergrdes from the area. By the time it reached southeast Utah and came back into cotact with viridis, the two co-exist as separate species. As far as we know (Brian may have some new info), concolor and lutosus do not come into contact or interbreed anywhere. Abyssus came by the long route, oreganus branched off of viridis in teh far Northwest, then migrated south and east beggating helleri, lutosus and abyssus.
Rich


Very interesting... now my question is with the viridis/oreganus split with all Western rattlesnake forms, why in the world did Crotalus viridis concolor switch to Crotalus oreganus concolor instead of being the only still recognized valid subspecies of viridis since nuntius was downgraded? (Poor Pluto, Poor Hopis pesky science making you feel inferior, there, there.)

Are the kodachrome abyssus actually weird lutosus and "abyssus" appearing or are there abyssus that far over or are they hybrids/intergrades?


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 26th, 2011, 8:47 am 
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Location: Arizona
Last I heard the kodachrome snakes came back as pure abyssus. Lutosus is found in the same area or just to the west and as far as I know no hybrids have been found. This was what was known a few years ago so that may have changed with recent sampling.

I think there might still be some possibilities where concolor and lutosus come in contact but time will tell. Just a theory but if Sacred mountain does have a relict population of lutosus they could be close. Also I think concolor may span farther west in some areas than we think.

Bryan post up buddy!


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 26th, 2011, 8:51 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
Posts: 857
Location: Colorado
1- Abyssus
2- Lutosus
3- Lutosus
4- Concolor
5- Viridis


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 26th, 2011, 1:16 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
A very interesting discussion, a topic close to my heart. Stepping back a little though, the unsatisfying current reality is pretty obvious - people who want to know a) what they're looking at, or b) what they are tasked with managing, are reduced to playing "guess this" games on the internet. When you're ***really into this stuff*** like all of us it's easy to overlook the fact that our situation is rather pathetic. Vox populi is standing in for objective reality. We can do better, surely.

Couple questions Rich -
1) What's the status of the (presumptive...) manuscript from Schuett/Porras/Douglas/etc? The follow-on (with 10x the sample size) from the 2002 pub?
2) We here in Utah are on the cusp of cracking the door for (limited...managed...cautious...revokable) citizen-science participation in salvage of DOR rattlesnakes. Our job would be facilitated with publication of the MS mentioned above! Looking ahead to the blessed day, where are the holes in the sampled area? Can you ID areas from which DORs would be especially useful? From what you've said, I'm now thinking there's a need for salvaged lutosus all over the range.

Regarding item 2 above, assuming they even begin to, "the powers that be" here in Utah are unlikely to continue allowing citizen-scientists to collect DORs for museum accession, if the academic product-development loop is broken. And, the citizen scientists aren't going to lag far behind - if their efforts are a waste of time they'll quit bringing in specimens too. If that happened, academia would lose, managers would lose, and most importantly, wildlife would lose. [It has happened here - some folks are no longer very interested in sharing data with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, because they perceive their data is going into a rat hole. (If this charge once had an element of truth, it no longer does, I assure you all. I - and others - use your data. We thank you for it, and ask you to please bring more!)]

Finally, money for esoteric research topics such as rattlesnake phylogeny is probably drying up, as we speak, for the foreseeable future. We in government and academia are going to be TOTALLY RELIANT on private citizens spending their own gas money to salvage specimens for us to work on.

So, we have people who find lots of dead rattlesnakes on the roads. I myself have given BYU 10 or 12 concolor (I think...) in the last year or so. These came from "pleasure herping", not my job. (Herps for the most part are not my job.) The small but diligent Utah herper community of which I am part could multiply that 20-fold or more, easily. So I repeat my 2 questions, in reverse order - from where are specimens needed, and what is Gordon (et al) doing with all those samples6?

My concern is that if nothing comes of the permits issued here for that research, then future scientific collection permits are in jeopardy. Citizen science would be done under a scientific collecting permit issued to BYU.

Thanks,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 27th, 2011, 7:26 am 
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Quote:
I think there might still be some possibilities where concolor and lutosus come in contact but time will tell. Just a theory but if Sacred mountain does have a relict population of lutosus they could be close. Also I think concolor may span farther west in some areas than we think.


Actually Brendan is refering to Navajo Mtn. just north of the Utah / Az. border. A Navajo guide showed James Hall what looks like a lutosus that he had seen for years, James got some photos. If it is indeed a lutosus (which I am sure it would pan out to be) it represents a slightly disjunct population existing in what is basically a sky island surrounded by a sea of concolor. The other possibility (albeit remote) is that is is a montane population of concolor that reaches a much larger size and and different appearance than it's desert cousins. We have learned that appearance really means nothing with this group, for example, populatiosn of black snakes that were always thought to be cerbs but we now know are abyssus.

Jeremy,

concolor is simply lumped in oreganus for the time as were all non "viridis" snakes when the split occured.

Jimi,

Unfortunately, I don't think the continued work by Douglas et. al will ever be published. Mike Douglas took a new job and I hear he has absolutely no interest in continueing the work or even discussing it. We will probbaly see something published by Louie on concolor in the future, with a lot more detail on origins and such, that is his baby. But, his plate is very full so it may be a while.

There is work bein done on teh California populations, but I don't know of anybody currently working on the Colorado Plateau. Kenny Wray once mentioned an interest in this (if he could ever drag his butt away from Gummy Lizards) I would still continue to stockpile DOR's though, especially anything from along the Colorado, the Escalante, Kaiparowitz and regions just north.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 27th, 2011, 10:08 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Thanks Rich,

"Unfortunately, I don't think the continued work by Douglas et. al will ever be published."

Well crap. Next time I run into Mike or Marlis I'll ask what's up. Or perhaps the Peterson lab would take an interest? Or as you suggest, KW (this may not be popular, but I truly lament his recent absence from this forum). And what about Schuett? Crap. I have to admit this pisses me off, to no end. I do not like undelivered deliverables, and lack of accountability. There were many permits issued, much money expended. Not their money. Was there any live-animal sacrifice? Or did they work exclusively with salvaged animals? Crap.

Irresistible intrusive thought - melanistic abyssus - how cool is that?!?!?! Ha ha. Got any photos???

There's a guy here that swears he saw a (phenotypic...) abyssus up near Hovenweep. But as you say appearance means nothing with these animals. Which is why our little "guess this" games on the internet are so unsatisfying. And why we need the genetic results. Crap.

Navajo Mtn is a neat area biogeographically (by no means just herps-wise). But I would have thought it was surrounded by a sea of viridis, not concolor. Speaking of disjunct populations, do you know if the animals on the Burr Trail (up the hill from Capitol Reef, in the Monument) are a disjunct population of viridis, or what? They sure look like viridis...at the edge of a sea of concolor. Or would that be abyssus down in the lower Escalante drainage? Crap. Anyway, I spend a bit of time down by Escalante town. I'll salvage whatever I find. It all goes to BYU's herp collection. There's a whole lot of unroaded country down there. If there was hope for a publication someone could probably get permits to take blood or skin samples from live, field-herped animals. Crap.

By "California work" do you mean Carrizo Plain, or what? I used to find some weird-looking animals, in good numbers, way up in & around the Modoc lava beds - I always thought they were lutosus-oreganus intergrades (but prettier than either "parent").

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 27th, 2011, 11:43 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
I've also heard of Lutosus on Navajo mountain. I thought there was perhaps a specimen at BYU even.
I agree with Jimmy that I would expect them to be surrounded by a sea of viridis on the East and Abyssus on the north and west not concolor. Though I suppose concolor do make it to the northern part of Lake powel in the lowland areas along the Colorado.

I have a picture I'll be putting up that shows where 50 mile mountain and Navajo Mountain are in proximety. Currently Lake powel sits between them but it wasn't always so.
I can certainly see that as a pathway for Lutosus to migrate from the NW.

I had some good success in the Escalante region this summer. I'll post some of those pics in the next week or so in conjunction with what I believe is an abyssus from the South of Capital reef rocky region that Jimi is talking about that I found last year.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 27th, 2011, 2:38 pm 
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Location: Arizona
Brian quit teasing us like that and post those photos. I can't wait another day!!


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 30th, 2011, 12:16 pm 
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Jimi, here's a dark abyssus....

Image

This one is from the edge of teh canyon, but one can find snakes this color even in the bottom of the canyon.

Not sure what is on teh Burr trail, but I would guess it is viridis. Viridis and concolor are mosaiced all throughout the southeast corner, sympatric in many places.

As for Navajo mountain it could very easily be lutosus that was isolated from an earlier time when the range was continuous. Concolor ranges down the east side of the Colorado/Lake Powell all the way to Northern Az. The snakes immediately east of Page appear to do some intergrading with viridis (Which is why I think this is the point of divergence)...

Image

Brendan and I have found some very odd snakes southeast of Page that we couldn't tell if they were viridis or concolor or something from mars. We never heard back on any of the DNA results (one practically has to break some arms to hear any results from samples you have collected/donated)

Just east of Page they appear to be pure classic concolor and they range east at least to Mexican Water, perhaps further. Sorry, don't personally have any pics of these (yet) These also occur sympatrically with viridis. It appears so far they just barely cross the Arizona border.

Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 31st, 2011, 5:34 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Hey, thanks for the pic of that dark animal. Very weird, very cool. I've never actually herped the bottom of the canyon, in the park. I'm not sure what I'd have done if I'd have found one of those blackies in there, before your photo. Prob would have thought a helleri got in there somehow, ha ha.

Quote:
The snakes immediately east of Page appear to do some intergrading with viridis

Quote:
Just east of Page they appear to be pure classic concolor (...) These also occur sympatrically with viridis.


Um...I'm confused. I have very little experience right around Page but all I ever saw (just a couple - slow herping there...) I thought "concolor". Have also seen a single captive from there (from right by Jack in the Box, prob collected around 2001???) who was the prettiest little pumpkin you ever saw. Also seemed "concolor". But there's that vox populi thing again - surely we can do better.

Quote:
We never heard back on any of the DNA results (one practically has to break some arms to hear any results from samples you have collected/donated)


Well that blows. Things won't get better that way. Sounds like the core academic interest has sort of fallen apart. Or probably they're just as beset by money woes as the rest of us, and are doing what pays as opposed to what they like. Anyway, what do you think of the center of gravity shifting elsewhere? There may be options.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: July 31st, 2011, 9:13 am 
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Yeah, I guess that was confusing, lol. Immediately east of Page and in Page itself, you have snakes that look mostly like concolor, yet a few oddballs pop up. Immediately to the southeast you run into viridis. You also see a few that look like both. Douglas et. al could be a bit decieving n what they verbally told people, probably so as not to let the cat out of the bag before it's time. But over the years I came to figure some of this out. For example, they would say "Page animals exhibit concolor haplotypes". Everyone ran away with their arms in the air screaming "concolor are in Az.!" (this was before we knew of anything further east) What Douglas et. al. left out was that they may also exhibit viridis haplotypes. These odd snakes appear to be in a small area for just a couple of miles east of Page. Beyond that, to the east, it appears they are pure concolor or pure viridis.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 4:24 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
Posts: 563
Location: Utah
Here are some Colorado Plateau Utah Buzz-tails for you to guess at in another Tom style quiz.

There are a few obvious ringers in there to try and screw you up.

I will provide locations when the major players have weighed in...


JER1.
Image


JER2.
Image


JER3.
Image


JER4.
Image


JER5.
Image


JER6.
Image


JER7.
Image


JER8.
Image


JER9.
Image


JER10.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/udink/5117952276/

JER11.
Image


JER12.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/udink/453085555/

JER13.
Image


JER14.
Image


JER15.
Image


JER16.
Image
Image


JER17.
Image


JER18.
Image


JER19.
Image


JER20.
Image


JER21.
Image


JER22.
Image


JER23.
Image


JER24.
Image


JER25.
Image
Image


JER26.
Image
Image


Last edited by Jeremy Westerman on May 3rd, 2012, 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 4:57 pm 
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Posts: 444
1. lut
2. concolor
3. lut
4. concolor
5. concolor
6. lut
7. concolor
8. lut
9. abyssus or young lut
10 concolor
11. lut or young abyssus
12. concolor
13. lut
14. scutulatus
15.lut
16. viridis
17.viridis
18-23. viridis
24. concolor
25.viridis
26.viridis

So many! I hope I got my answere3s in the right spaces, lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 5:12 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
Nice selection.
What are you considering the western boundary of the Colorado Plateu in this assortment?


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 7:15 pm 
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Location: Utah
Brian Eagar wrote:
Nice selection.
What are you considering the western boundary of the Colorado Plateu in this assortment?

None are from farther West than the San Rafael Swell area and Grand Staircase Escalante NM in S.E. Utah, one is from Zions in Southern Utah.

Except of course the obvious Mojave Rattlesnake that isn't from the Colorado Plateau more of a "one of these ducks is not like the others, one of these ducks is not quite the same" joke, and one obvious Great Basin lutosus that is from wrong side of Utah and much further North.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 7:46 pm 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
Correcamino wrote:
1. lut
2. concolor
3. lut
4. concolor
5. concolor
6. lut
7. concolor
8. lut
9. abyssus or young lut
10 concolor
11. lut or young abyssus
12. concolor
13. lut
14. scutulatus
15.lut
16. viridis
17.viridis
18-23. viridis
24. concolor
25.viridis
26.viridis

So many! I hope I got my answere3s in the right spaces, lol.


I am with you Rich apart from 15. It looks like viridis to me, of course it helps to have been there when that particular pic was taken and know the local.

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 8:06 pm 
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Location: Utah
Jimi wrote:
Hey, thanks for the pic of that dark animal. Very weird, very cool. I've never actually herped the bottom of the canyon, in the park. I'm not sure what I'd have done if I'd have found one of those blackies in there, before your photo. Prob would have thought a helleri got in there somehow, ha ha.

Cheers,
Jimi


I Had no idea that abyssus had a dark form. weird that it doesn't seem to match substrate (or maybe I don't know of any dark soils in the bottom of the canyon.) Does it come into Utah or are all Utah abyssus of the cream/tan/pink variety?


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 1st, 2011, 9:06 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
1. lut
2. concolor
3. lut
4. concolor
5. concolor
6. lut
7. concolor
8. lut
9. abyssus or young lut
10 concolor
11. abyssus
12. concolor
13. lut
14. scutulatus
15.viridis
16. viridis
17.viridis
18-23. viridis
24. viridis
25.viridis
26.viridis


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 6:55 am 
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I agree Thom,
Before I even got this far down I was again going thru the pics and comparing my answers as last night when I posted I was hurridly eating dinner and typing at the same time, late for work lol. I noticed the inccorect answer for # 15 right away. So, for the record, I will change # 15 to viridis, and I also would change # 1 to abyssus. I'm also gonna settle with abyssus for # 11.

I would also like to buy another vowell and guess Valley of the Gods for number 16 :P


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 7:18 am 
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Jeremy,
Ialways say that abyssus is just as vaiable as mitchellii, lol. I don't know if there are any quite that dark in Utah, but I do know that the Kaiparowitz has some rally variable abyssus, some of which are overall fairly dark.

BTW Thom,

you never gave us any answers on your quiz.
Inquiring minds want to know! lol.
Rich


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 7:46 am 
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Location: Utah
Correcamino wrote:
concolor is simply lumped in oreganus for the time as were all non "viridis" snakes when the split occured.


I dislike this immensely. If the genetic results so far show that it doesn't belong in the viridis clade and it didn't come from the oreganus/lutosus/abyssus lineage then it either deserves its own specific epithet Crotalus concolor as a new seperate species like C. cerberus because it directly descended from viridis and is genetically distinct or if it is not sufficiently genetically speciated from its host viridis ancestor and still interbreeding with the host population of viridis then it is still Crotalus viridis concolor as a valid regional subspecies that may well be on its way to species status.
If the Page area concolor exhibit both viridis and concolor haplotypes does that make them subspecies intergrades, or species hybrids Crotalus concolorXviridis? Are there any other known areas where adjacent viridis in Utah or Colorado exhibit intergrade specimens with concolor? Are there any other known intergrade zones with lutosus or abyssus?

Also I still think the Hopi variant is a valid regional phenotype even though the clades for viridis show "Hopi" markers in big mean and green viridis types. Are there larger green or tan type viridis sympatric with small reddish brown Hopis anywhere? If Hopis are localized in a specific region due to environmental conditions and are a readily identifiable morph, isn't that the very definition of a subspecies? a sub-population that can still interbreed with host population but is regionally and morphologically distinct?

Can the Hopi variant pop up in any viridis population? can standard green and reddish brown Hopi be seen in the same brood? :?
Hopi (the reddish brown runts) are found in a specific area sub-population of viridis and have different morphological characteristics (size and color) so to me that is still a valid subspecies even though they are not genetically distinct enough for their own major clade in viridis, they are distinct enough by location and appearance. That is why Klauber nominated the race in the first place because they were visually and regionally distinguishable from the host Prairie viridis population.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 7:48 am 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
Posts: 563
Location: Utah
Correcamino wrote:
you never gave us any answers on your quiz.
Inquiring minds want to know! lol.
Rich


Like Jimi said without the genetic data it is just a guessing game vox populi style majority wins. The only data Thom could provide is location then we can come to a reasonable consensus that is still genetically unproven


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 8:22 am 
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Location: Utah
While I know the locations of the pics I don't know the abyssus range in Utah or any characteristics to tell them from concolor or light weird colored lutosus so mine are still crazy guesses... soon as Brendan and Tim chime in I will give localities...
JER1 abyssus
JER2 concolor but could this be abyssus based on range?
JER3 lutosus
JER4 concolor but could this be abyssus based on range?
JER5 concolor but could this be abyssus based on range?
JER6 lutosus
JER7 concolor
JER8 lutosus
JER9 abyssus
JER10 concolor but could this be abyssus based on range?
JER11 abyssus
JER12 concolor but could this be abyssus based on range?
JER13 lutosus
JER14 scutulatus ringer that fooled no one from the Mojave desert ecoregion, Beaver Dam wash, Washington County, Utah (some maps include this area in the Colorado Plateau geological province)
JER15 viridis
JER16 viridis nuntius
JER17 viridis
JER18 viridis
JER19 young viridis or could this be a young concolor?
JER20 young viridis or could this be a young concolor?
JER21 viridis
JER22 young viridis or could this be a young concolor?
JER23 viridis
JER24 concolor
JER25 young viridis but could this be an intergrade with concolor?
JER26 young viridis or could this be a young concolor?


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 8:26 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
Correcamino wrote:
I would also like to buy another vowell and guess Valley of the Gods for number 16 :P


Not too far off! Very close in fact.

Correcamino wrote:
BTW Thom,

you never gave us any answers on your quiz.
Inquiring minds want to know! lol.
Rich


Jeremy Westerman wrote:
Like Jimi said without the genetic data it is just a guessing game vox populi style majority wins. The only data Thom could provide is location then we can come to a reasonable consensus that is still genetically unproven


I believe the 5 I posted to be pretty clear cut as far as looks and location go. #1 is an Abyssus found just north of the lake in Kane Co, UT I took special care in examining the differences between this one and #2. #2 I labeled lutosus based on location more than anything but it was also a lot darker than the abyssus I have been seeing, it was found on hwy 89 in Garfield Co, UT. I know this isn't a hard set rule but I have noticed that abyssus saddles are rounder and generally smaller than lutosus which from my experience tend to appear more like bands than those of abyssus. #3 is classic lutosus from Fillmore area. #4 and #5 were both from the 4 corners survey this spring. #4 was found between Monticello and Moab, from what I could tell it was a young red concolor but Jimi, Tim, or Jeremy will have to confirm that (it is the same snake as #24 in Jeremy's set of pics). #5 was a viridis found between Monticello and Blanding.

Here are a couple that you may recognize from past years.

Image

Image

Image

Image

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 9:11 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Quote:
#4 was found between Monticello and Moab, from what I could tell it was a young red concolor but Jimi, Tim, or Jeremy will have to confirm that (it is the same snake as #24 in Jeremy's set of pics).


Latitudinally speaking, an accurate statement, but possibly misleading if folks thought "US 191 corridor" and got freaked out. ("Whoa, all I ever saw along there were mean & green viridis!") Don't freak, that little sucker was down low, just a little east of the Canyonlands NP property line. Probably 30 miles west of US 191.

For the record, I have no idea what it was. I thought "just another blah concolor" but my $.02 is worth about that much.

I'm not strictly observing the taboos on location, because on the one hand these snakes are "everywhere out there" and on the other hand you can't exactly just go find a bunch, even if told exactly where to go. I'm not too worried we're going to spark a collection craze. If anything, we're probably demoralizing those very few people people who would personally come collect, or buy, a "poached" (closed-season, zero-limit) dirt-colored Utah rattlesnake by highlighting the identity uncertainties. How could someone trust they were actually bagging or paying for an abyssus or a concolor, if you can't hardly tell squat from either what it looks like or where it came from!!! You could just be looking at a fancy (or not so much...) viridis, ha ha!!!

Nice pics, folks. I've seen #10's virtual littermates being run over with boat trailers...now that's a buzz-kill.

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 11:19 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
Jimi wrote:
Quote:
#4 was found between Monticello and Moab, from what I could tell it was a young red concolor but Jimi, Tim, or Jeremy will have to confirm that (it is the same snake as #24 in Jeremy's set of pics).


Latitudinally speaking, an accurate statement, but possibly misleading if folks thought "US 191 corridor" and got freaked out. ("Whoa, all I ever saw along there were mean & green viridis!") Don't freak, that little sucker was down low, just a little east of the Canyonlands NP property line. Probably 30 miles west of US 191.

Cheers,
Jimi


I didn't mean to confuse anyone, just didn't want to give out any info that wasn't mine to give.

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 2nd, 2011, 1:17 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Oh I didn't mean to imply that - just trying to be open and clear, within reason. Perhaps I read too literally sometimes. Thanks for you discretion and probity.

I guess because I work for a state wildlife agency, and part of our mission is to ensure the people's access to their wildlife, I'm more disposed to share info that will - within reason - help people encounter and observe that wildlife. I wouldn't give out den coordinates, but I'm happy to name the general area.

Thomas - your "oldie but goodie" #3 somewhat resembles (to my eye) the Alvey Wash specimen portrayed in Biology of the Rattlesnakes (and also Venomous Reptiles of the Western Hemisphere). Was that one you also walked "off the boat"? (I love the very idea of what you do every year - I still haven't boated Powell, let alone herped off the boat.)

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2011, 7:57 am 

Joined: June 11th, 2010, 9:42 am
Posts: 310
Location: Utah
Jimi wrote:
Oh I didn't mean to imply that - just trying to be open and clear, within reason.


I know you meant no harm in your comment, just adding the disclaimer.

Jimi wrote:
Was that one you also walked "off the boat"? (I love the very idea of what you do every year - I still haven't boated Powell, let alone herped off the boat.)

Cheers,
Jimi


That it was. I am not a boater, I don't ski or wakeboard, I just tag along to get to herping spots that have possibly never been herped before. There is an old 4WD county rd that gets within a few miles from the general area I am usually in but there are so many sheer rock cliffs that it would add miles to the trip just to get through the labyrinth, if they connect at all that is. That is what keeps me going back.

*It would be really cool if some samples could be taken from some of the specimens I run into.* ;)

-Thomas


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2011, 8:15 am 
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Quote:
Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail QuizPosted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 7:46 am



Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:05 am
Posts: 187
Location: Utah Correcamino wrote:
concolor is simply lumped in oreganus for the time as were all non "viridis" snakes when the split occured.



I dislike this immensely. If the genetic results so far show that it doesn't belong in the viridis clade and it didn't come from the oreganus/lutosus/abyssus lineage then it either deserves its own specific epithet Crotalus concolor as a new seperate species like C. cerberus because it directly descended from viridis and is genetically distinct or if it is not sufficiently genetically speciated from its host viridis ancestor and still interbreeding with the host population of viridis then it is still Crotalus viridis concolor as a valid regional subspecies that may well be on its way to species status.
If the Page area concolor exhibit both viridis and concolor haplotypes does that make them subspecies intergrades, or species hybrids Crotalus concolorXviridis? Are there any other known areas where adjacent viridis in Utah or Colorado exhibit intergrade specimens with concolor? Are there any other known intergrade zones with lutosus or abyssus?

Also I still think the Hopi variant is a valid regional phenotype even though the clades for viridis show "Hopi" markers in big mean and green viridis types. Are there larger green or tan type viridis sympatric with small reddish brown Hopis anywhere? If Hopis are localized in a specific region due to environmental conditions and are a readily identifiable morph, isn't that the very definition of a subspecies? a sub-population that can still interbreed with host population but is regionally and morphologically distinct?

Can the Hopi variant pop up in any viridis population? can standard green and reddish brown Hopi be seen in the same brood?
Hopi (the reddish brown runts) are found in a specific area sub-population of viridis and have different morphological characteristics (size and color) so to me that is still a valid subspecies even though they are not genetically distinct enough for their own major clade in viridis, they are distinct enough by location and appearance. That is why Klauber nominated the race in the first place because they were visually and regionally distinguishable from the host Prairie viridis population.


Jeremy,

You can blame SSAR for this. Douglas et. all proposed elevating concolor, abyssus, lutosus and helleri to full species, and sinking nuntius and caliginus. SSAR accepted the split of the western forms from viridis but stayed coservative otherwise, leaving them all in oreganus.

What is the region for a "Hopi Variant?" Klauber originally described them for the area between Flagstaff and Winslow, but that was before the rest of N. Az. was thoroughly sampled. THey are simply a result of enviroment. Northern Az. is a mosaic of habitats and elevations, rainfall, prey items and abundance. The snakes just change accordingly. No, you won't find two foot reddish snakes co-existing with three foot pluss green snakes. What you will find is two foot reddish snakes in a particular area. Three miles away and a thousand feet higher in elevation you will find large green snakes. And in between you will find a gradient from one to the next. And "Hopi Variants" appear throughout the range, even though the snakes in that area are nominate viridis. Utah for example was once thought to have nuntius clade snakes. We now know they are nominate viridis. I have even caught two foot red snakes in west Texas.

Hre in Az. we have places where atrox are no more than thrity inches and light silvery gray in color, In other areas, at higher elevation, they are dark brown and average four feet, with five footers being not uncommon and I have seen bigger. Should these be separate subspecies? They are geographically and morphologically distinct.

This has been a common theme in taxonomy, we find one population, call it one thing, them far away we find another that looks different and call it another. Later after finally seeing what is in between we realize they are the same thing. This is exactly what happened with molossus/basiliscus. Originally it was thought that they were likely the same species. Then nigrescens was discovered in Durango, far from the nearest known basiliscus locality very different in appearance. To Gloyd and Kauffeld, this was all that was needed to prove that molossus and basiliscus were distinct species. Nowdays, anyone who has herped Mexico knows that there is a gradual change as you move from the coast and up into the Sierra, and that they are all molossus. In fact from what I understand recent DNA shows Az. snakes and basiliscus to be the same, Texas snakes come back as totonacus These three are all basiliscus....

Coastal Colima..
Image

High elevation 7000 ft., Jalisco..
Image

mid elevation, Sonora...

Image

Image

It would be very easy to call these different species or subspecies based on appearance and geography, but we know better.

As for concolor, Page is the only area I know of with possible hybridization with viridis. Everywhere else they seem to kep their respective identities. They are like a Ford truck and a Chevy Truck, both painted the exact color, there is still no mistaking them.

Rich


Last edited by Correcamino on August 3rd, 2011, 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2011, 8:46 am 
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Posts: 444
Thom,

Thanks for the answers. Yeah, I recognize the one snake as being the same one despite who's picture it may be or the angle. There is no doubt in my mind it is a concolor (Ford Trucks and Chevy Trucks, lol)

I know I said "appearance means nothing with these snakes", yet I think it is being taken a bit too literally. It wasn't meant to be a blanket statement for everywhere, just saying that it is possible in some localities for a snake to look similar to one thing but be another. Yet, with both Thom's and Jeremy's quizes, I would say as a group we were more than 95% correct, with known localities and size reference for each snake added in, I would say that we would be 99.99999% correct in identifiying the snakes. With the work of Douglas et. al we have a very good handle on things. One could post a snake that could pass for a concolor or an abyssus. Yet we know that if it is from west of Lake Powell it is abyssus, east of Lake Powell it is a concolor. Once you get North of Lake Powell, concolor does occur west of the Colorado, but at this point abyssus has taken on a rather different appearance and they are still pretty recognizabel, concolor remains classic in appearance. With the exception of the Page area, viridis and concolor are Fords and Chevy's. Louie has even mis-IDed some photographs based on locality when it was obvious what it was, simply because he has only found viridis at that local not concolor, or abyssus and not viridis. I have made that mistake, lol. I remember taking Kerby Ross night driving and finding PD Glossies at one local. We went to another local and Kerby asked if we could find Glossies here. I replied "no, I had spent hundreds of hours roadcruising over the last 17 years and never found one". Guess what we found next, yep, a glossy.

Where they occur together, abyssus and viridis are basically Fords and Chevy's once you get to know them, despite the way viridis takes on a similar appearance. Brendan and I can even correctly ID them by the way they move across the road in the headlights. However, I must add, we have recently found a VERY tiny area where it appears they might hybridize.

Onc last comment (can't remember who asked) about the dark color of the abyssu I posted and soil / rock color. Sometimes soil and rock have absolutely no bearing on the color of teh snake. For example, that snake came from an area of white soil and very light gray Limestone. The snakes color is made to hide it in teh deep shadows of the local sagebrush, lol.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2011, 10:33 am 
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Location: Utah
Correcamino, Thanks for the detailed insight into taxonomic differences, the fuzzy picture is starting to clear up, I and most amateur field herpetologists can only go with the scientific material provided (usually a species description, type specimen or holotype and a few known localities coupled with a piss poor range map) to make any kinds of distinctions. I now understand the Hopi situation much better. Would it still be wrong to call that variant Hopi's even though there is no genetic distinction? "What did you find, well, a big mean and green viri and a runti hopi a few miles further." All range maps for the old nuntius taxon appear to be large distinct blobs adjacent to Prairie range. This coupled with Klauber's description led to the miss-impression that they are somehow isolated regionally rather than by specific habitat niche conditions.

As far as concolor goes I definitely don't like SSAR's "let's put it here for now" lumping conservatism, seems like very poor science. Especially when State and Federal laws are based on taxonomic designations, they need to be accurate as we can make them. I still find it curious that the default position taken was not to leave it in the same genus it has always has been in until we can designate the proper genera for all western rattlesnakes with further research. By moving it to a newly designated taxon they are directly implying that concolor stems from the oreganus lineage when all the scientific data that we do have so far shows that it doesn't.
Why was cerberus the only one to get specific status? is there really a no-contact buffer around cerberus populations with other Western Rattlesnake forms?
I am not surprised at the atrox gradient, any animal that spans such a large range must have ecological regional diversity, that is how subspecies and eventually species evolve.
As far as molossus/basiliscus goes it sort of reminds me of the Black backed gulls in Great Britain where there is a subtle circumpolar morphological change across Northern Europe and Russia that by the time they get back around to England they do not interbreed and behave and look like different species even though there is an interbreeding gradient all across the northern hemisphere. Would a Northern molussus be a different species than Southern basiliscus if it were shown that they no longer recognize behavior or whatever or perhaps there is some biological barrier to interbreeding even though they are both from the same species gradient? (I am sure the can and would interbreed) Species gradients and intergrade zones with other species and subspecies certainly muddy the picture especially around the point of origin for a new form as what appears to be happening in the Page area. Really makes one wonder what the distribution was like before Lake Powell.


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2011, 2:24 pm 
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OK time for some location answers, Most of these areas are very remote with little or no vehicle access and are difficult to herp in extreme semi-desert conditions so I am not giving away anything hush hush, especially since these are common species within their Utah ranges not to mention some are in protected federal or state lands and all rattlesnakes in Utah are protected.

JER1. Crotalus oreganus abyssus
Coyote Buttes, Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness area,
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Colorado Plateau, Kane County, Utah
Image


JER2. Crotalus concolor?? or Crotalus oreganus abyssus??
Robber's Roost area, San Rafael Desert,
Horseshoe Canyon South Wilderness study area,
Colorado Plateau, Wayne County, Utah
Image


JER3. Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Adams Canyon, Wasatch Cache National forest,
Wasatch range, Davis County, Utah
Image


JER4. , Crotalus concolor?? or Crotalus oreganus abyssus??
Poison Springs area, Dirty Devil River Drainage, BLM land,
Colorado Plateau, Garfield County, Utah
Image


JER5. Crotalus concolor?? or Crotalus oreganus abyssus??
Cedar Point area, Dirty Devil River Drainage,
Fiddler Butte Wilderness Study Area, Colorado Plateau, Garfield County, Utah
Image


JER6. Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Box Death Hollow Wilderness area, Dixie National Forest,
Aquarius Plateau, Colorado Plateau, Garfield County, Utah
Image


JER7. Crotalus concolor
Klondike Bluffs, Arches National Park,
Colorado Plateau, Grand County, Utah
Image

JER8. Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Red Cave area, Zions National Park,
Colorado Plateau, Washington County, Utah
Image


JER9. Crotalus oreganus abyssus
Hole in the Rock road area, Forty Mile Ridge, Escalante River Drainage,
Grand Staircase Escalante Nation Monument, Colorado Plateau, Kane County, Utah
Image


JER10. Crotalus concolor
South temple Wash, temple Mountain area,
San Rafael Swell, Colorado Plateau, Emery County, Utah
http://www.flickr.com/photos/udink/5117952276/



JER11. Crotalus oreganus abyssus ?? or concolor ??
Robber's Roost area, San Rafael Desert,
Horseshoe Canyon South Wilderness study area,
Colorado Plateau, Wayne County, Utah
Image


JER12. Crotalus concolor
Cedar Mountain area, San Rafael Swell, Colorado Plateau,
Emery County, Utah

http://www.flickr.com/photos/udink/453085555/

JER13. Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Boulder Mountain area, Dixie National Forest, Aquarius Plateau,
Colorado Plateau, Garfield County, Utah
Image


JER14. Crotalus scutulatus
Beaver Dam Wash, Mojave Desert ecoregion, Washington County, Utah
Image

JER15. Crotalus viridis
along hwy 95, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER16. Crotalus viridis "Hopi Nuntius type"
Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image
Image


JER17. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER18.Crotalus viridis
Abajo Mountains, Manti La Sal National Forest, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER19. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER20. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER21. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER22. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER23. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER24. Crotalus concolor
Near Canyonlands, Newspaper Rock area, BLM,
Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image


JER25. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image
Image


JER26. Crotalus viridis
East of Canyonlands, BLM, Colorado Plateau, San Juan County, Utah
Image
Imagehttp:


Last edited by Jeremy Westerman on May 3rd, 2012, 2:47 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 4th, 2011, 1:50 pm 
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Location: Arizona
Thanks for the run down on all the snakes Jeremy. You've covered some ground and seen some beautiful animals. I hope to get a chance to see a few from several of those locales at some point in the future.

B


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 4th, 2011, 2:16 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Quote:
You've covered some ground and seen some beautiful animals.

Hear hear.
Quote:
Most of these areas are very remote with little or no vehicle access and are difficult to herp in extreme semi-desert conditions so I am not giving away anything hush hush, especially since these are common species within their Utah ranges not to mention some are in protected federal or state lands and all rattlesnakes in Utah are protected.

Hear hear. You are not threatening these animals with this information. Thanks for sharing.

You've done well, very well. I expect these few images represent thousands of hours of walking and driving around. In particular the SR Swell, and the Robber's Roost/Dirty Devil country, provide amazing landscapes (worth going just for the scenery) but they can be pretty disappointing to field-herp. And as you say, the road situation sucks (or is great, depending on your perspective, ha ha), and it's, um, a bit dry, except when it's flashing. Crazy country, adventures all the time.

Hey, was that Cedar Mtn neonate down at the bottom, or up on top at 7000' or so? It all looks good, just curious. Never been on top myself, just scrambled the base.

Brendan - give a holler when you're thinking of coming up. If you like company (some folks don't, that's OK).

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 4th, 2011, 3:16 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2010, 10:05 am
Posts: 563
Location: Utah
Jimi wrote:
Quote:
You've done well, very well. I expect these few images represent thousands of hours of walking and driving around. In particular the SR Swell, and the Robber's Roost/Dirty Devil country, provide amazing landscapes (worth going just for the scenery) but they can be pretty disappointing to field-herp. And as you say, the road situation sucks (or is great, depending on your perspective, ha ha), and it's, um, a bit dry, except when it's flashing. Crazy country, adventures all the time.
Hey, was that Cedar Mtn neonate down at the bottom, or up on top at 7000' or so? It all looks good, just curious. Never been on top myself, just scrambled the base.
Cheers,
Jimi



I do a lot of rock climbing, canyoneering and backpacking, not to mention I worked on some movie locations down there this last year. I don't know about thousands of hours... ;) Snakes are real hit of miss that's for sure but lizard action is always good. I have heard that snake sightings go way up in flash flood areas but I don't know about that. Not a good time to be there because dirt roads become mud and sand traps and slots and canyons are very dangerous to be in. The Cedar area concolor was in a canyon near there down low. Here are some pics that either are the same snakes or were crappy shots and one I forgot


Crotalus oreganus abyssus?? or concolor?? in the Robber's Roost area
Image

Crotalus concolor San Rafael Swell
Image

Crotalus concolor San Rafael Swell
Image

Crotalus concolor Paria river area
Image

Crotalus oreganus abyssus?? or concolor??in the Robber's Roost area
Image

Crotalus oreganus abyssus?? or concolor?? Escalante area
Image
Crotalus oreganus lutosus in Zions
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 4th, 2011, 4:49 pm 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Quote:
I don't know about thousands of hours... ;)


Oh, when you add in all the driving I wouldn't doubt it. Lots of country out there, and some bad road. Some good, but plenty of bad. It sure eats gas and time.

I'm thinking the Paria animal is an abyssus, and the Roost & Swell animals are all concolor. Based on range, nothing else. Middle Paria country (above old Pareah) is a fun backpack. You been to Crack Spring? Best water on the planet, ha ha. Sweet campsites too.

Brian and I were talking a while back about Escalante drainage animals - high up (near pavement) I think "abyssus" but once you get closer to the lake at some point you must surely pick up concolor. So are they sympatric, is there a snake-free gap (hard to imagine), or do they somehow exclude each other (also hard to imagine). And then there are those Burr Trail animals I swear are viridis. We could sure use some more info from that country.

I wonder if anyone here has a sense for distinguishing juveniles of the various taxa? They seem worse than the adults...jeez-o.

I need me some rock-climbing skills. It would open up a lot of country you just can't see any other way. I too have heard (from recreationists, not herpers - sampling bias???) concolor associated with tight slots. Maybe because they're so nice and cool, when up top it's a furnace?

Cheers,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 5th, 2011, 7:10 am 

Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm
Posts: 1039
Rich-

Quote:
In fact from what I understand recent DNA shows Az. snakes and basiliscus to be the same, Texas snakes come back as totonacus


If the black abyssus was a mind-twister, this last quote explodes the head. Sure, the "weird zone" of apparent basiliscus/molossus hybridization is a well-known and easily-observed phenom, but...TX and AZ "molossus" being different, and like you say, whoa.

Guess now I can stop kicking myself for not succeeding finding totonacus back when Tamps wasn't a killing field. And with the TX road ban lifted, we can all go see as many totonacus as we want, ha ha.

Anyway, dish up if you have any more. Many here will probably have lots of questions (what's a NM molossus??? ha ha). I think maybe this topic deserves a new thread - I'm hijacking Thomas' original thread, but don't want to be so presumptuous with your material.

Thanks,
Jimi


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 5th, 2011, 3:57 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:26 pm
Posts: 406
Location: Arizona
The first Roost snake looks like a concolor for sure. The second looks more like an abyssus to me but it's a tough call. I agree that the Paria snake is probably an Abby. The Escalante snake is too hard for me to tell from that photo. Of course this is just opinion and based on nothing more. Cool stuff, keep the goods coming.

Jimi I am always up for company who enjoys the snakes as much as I do!!


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 5th, 2011, 10:24 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
Nice selection again Jeremy.
Did you find all these snakes yourself or are some pictures that people sent to you?
I'm just curious if you have any additional pics of 2 of them:

For the JER11 snake how big was it. Without seeing the tail its hard to make any judgement.
I have only seen lots of Concolor in that area. I personally don't believe Abyssus make it that far east and definately not past the reef over the sand but I do think they are in the reef. I think concolor and abyssus come in very close proximety here with concolor mostly in the sandy shrubland and abyssus in the rocky cliff areas.

Your JER6. Crotalus oreganus lutosus
Box Death Hollow Wilderness area, Dixie National Forest,
Aquarius Plateau, Colorado Plateau, Garfield County, Utah

I'd say by location was an Abyssus but I'm pretty curious if lutosus don't make it around the mountain in the mid elevations from the west. I haven't seen enough snakes from that area yet and without seeing the tail on this one it makes it hard. How high in elevation was it? I found one near there this summer that looks more abyssus than that one at just over 6000 feet. I'm curious how high they get on the south slope of the boulder mountains which are more forested than the north slope which has concolor pretty high.

For your Hole in the Rock road / 40 mile bench I'm curious whether it was out in the rocky outcrops in the flats near the road or actually in the rocky 40 mile / 50 mile bench. I've heard of them from the bench but not from the flats.


Last edited by Brian Eagar on August 6th, 2011, 8:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 5th, 2011, 10:58 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:59 am
Posts: 381
Jeremy Wrote:
Quote:
Can the Hopi variant pop up in any viridis population? can standard green and reddish brown Hopi be seen in the same brood? :?
Hopi (the reddish brown runts) are found in a specific area sub-population of viridis and have different morphological characteristics (size and color) so to me that is still a valid subspecies even though they are not genetically distinct enough for their own major clade in viridis, they are distinct enough by location and appearance. That is why Klauber nominated the race in the first place because they were visually and regionally distinguishable from the host Prairie viridis population.


My understanding is there are dens that have both dwarf and normal variants in Utah in the four corners area and the bigger animals seem to have some concolor traits as well. Hammerson (Amphibians and Reptiles of Colorado) believed there was some hybridization going on there with concolor and viridis.
The big viridis 4' + animals I have seen in the four corners area were pretty redish not greenish.
Image


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 Post subject: Re: Southern Utah Buzztail Quiz
PostPosted: August 6th, 2011, 10:58 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 11:50 am
Posts: 444
Jeremy,
Thanks for the info on teh pics. I would tend to agree with the others, the Pariah snake is an abyssus. Couple of the others you had question marks by are hard to say as I am not totally familiar with the localities. I can see some possibilities though, for example, with pic number 5, I went with concolor on it simply because we (Brendan and I anyway) haven't yet seen abyssus of that color range much beyond the rims of the Canyon and all the snakes and pics I have seen from Utah look more like Thoms Kane County snakes, and of course the weird snakes up in Garfield Co. If I were to just be shown the pic of snake # five with absolutely no locality data I would say it was an abyssus from the Grand Canyon based on the more enlongated form (especially the longer tail) and the blotched extend laterally to a more pointes shape (concolor tend to be more roundish or squared with the blotches retained higher on the back. The fact that abyssus are recorded from Garfield Co. makes it even more possible. Like Jimi says, there is lots to be done in that area.

Brian,

just wanted to point out that my response to Jeremy about viridis might lead one to think that the large viridis in Az. are always green. Actually they come in tan, pink and orange too. But, we have never found dwarfs and biggies in the same population. The photo you posted looks all viridis to me.

Rich


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