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kingsnake.com - Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018

Happy Wednesday from this gorgeous pair of Blue Tree Monitors in our herp photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user roadspawn ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here!



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Featured Contributors

Eastern fox Snakes
Richard Bartlett - Wednesday, Jan 17, 2018


Eastern fox Snake waiting for a warbler meal on a cool morning.

From a distance we could see that 9 feet above the ground in a sapling there was a brown ball. Why? What was it? We were on a noted wildlife sanctuary. We neared the “ball” and…Uh oh! Trouble! Not for us but for the warblers that seemed to be using this sapling-top corridor. For just one branch over on this cool morning, coiled tightly around the waving upright trunk, was a beautiful eastern fox snake, Pantherophis vulpinus,(formerly Elaphe vulpina gloydi). We photographed the coiled snake and moved onward, leaving the migrating warblers to fend for themselves. This snake proved to be the first of many, the others being seen along the many dikes. The range of this this pretty northern rat snake closely follows the shorelines of western and northern Lake Erie, eastern Lake Huron, and the region between these two Great Lakes.
Continue reading "Eastern fox Snakes"


Common Map Turtles
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Jan 15, 2018


The aberrant carapacial scalation of this wild hatchling common map turtle was probably caused by overly warm incubation temperatures.

Common map turtles, Graptemys geographica. First we saw one. A few moments later it was joined by 2 others, and 5 minutes later there were at least a dozen of these pretty turtles on the large snag we were watching from the car. Knowing how “skittery” this (and other map turtle species) can be, we sat quietly in the car. But there came a moment when we had to position the cameras and as we extended the telephoto lenses from the window of the car, as one the turtles scrambled, dove, and disappeared. Well, we’d try again later, next time from a greater distance.

And so we did. Two times more, in fact, before succeeding. But seeing the many turtles alive, well, and very alert was worth our efforts.

At 10. ½ inches, big-headed adult females of G. geographica, are about twice the size of the 5 inch males. In the western Ohio canal we were now checking, the females seemed to greatly outnumber the males. Here, as in other silted waters, the carapacial pattern tends to be muted by accumulations of water-borne debris. Population and parasite research of the map turtles on the preserve continues.
Continue reading "Common Map Turtles"
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