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kingsnake.com - Tuesday, Jul 23, 2019

What a beautiful boa constrictor in our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by kingsnake.com user biophiliacs . Be sure to tell them you liked it here!


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News Briefs

Arrests made with stolen vehicle, uranium and a rattlesnake
kingsnake.com - Friday, Jul 12, 2019

An Oklahoma couple were arrested while in possession of a stolen vehicle, weapons, whiskey and a rattlesnake, oh yeah and a container of radioactive uranium?! Trust me, we checked, this isn't The Onion! It is real life.

From Oklahoma's New 4:

The traffic stop was made at 11 a.m. in a Guthrie neighborhood because the tag was expired. Jennings was in the driver's seat, Rivera in the passenger seat, and in the backseat, a pet Timber rattlesnake in a terrarium.
At about the same time Jennings told officers he had a gun in console, police learned the Ford they were driving was reported stolen.
"So now he's got a rattlesnake, a stolen vehicle, firearm, and somebody under arrest," said Guthrie Police Sgt. Anthony Gibbs.


Oddly enough, the rattlesnake was legal as Jennings had a valid fishing license at the time. No charges as of yet on the uranium.

To read the full story, click here.

lead photo of timber rattlesnake. credit and thanks to John Kirinovic.
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Featured Contributors

Reds, Winders, and Geckos
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Jul 22, 2019


The first herp of the night, a young red diamond rattler.

Home was now about 2500 miles behind me and I was headed for a mountain grade that I had found on previous trips to be a wonderfully productive herping venue as well as incredibly scenic. And did I mention that because of typically high speed California traffic on a 2 lane roadway typified by many tight hairpin curves, it was also just a bit on the dangerous side, AND, and this was the most important part, along those dangerous curves, edged tightly by towering cliff-faces this road became the home of the coveted Coleonyx switaki, the Peninsula banded or Switak’s banded gecko. It was almost dusk now, but finally after my cross-country speedathon, my destination was less than an hour away.

And then I was making the final righthand turn…

Once on the mountain grade, one of the first reptiles seen was a juvenile red diamond rattlesnake, Crotalus r.ruber. At this inland location these snakes are not as brightly colored as many coastal populations, but they are nonetheless an impressive and welcome find. Although adults may exceed a heavy-bodied 5-feet in length, the one now before me was only about 2-feet long. I stopped, moved the snake to the side of the road, took a few pictures, and continued on.

Still on the descent I saw a California lyre snake, Trimorphodon lyrophanes, a California night snake, Hypsiglena o. nuchalata. Desert banded geckos, Coleonyx v. variegatus, and Peninsula leaf-toed geckos, Phyllodactylus nocticolus. It was already a banner night.

At the bottom, at the far side of the town, the moving sands on roadside produced several very active Colorado Desert shovel-nosed snakes, Chionactis occipitalis annulata, as well as an adult female Colorado Desert sidewinder, Crotalus cerastes laterorepens, the latter basking quietly on the still-warm pavement. It was a large, obviously gravid, and very feisty female. She struck several times in displeasure as I moved her onto the sand. Once on the move she looped across several yards of sand then stopped and coiled against the base of a creosote bush.

Back to the top then down to the bottom seeing zero herps. But then things picked up again. Up and down, up and down. Every banded gecko caused an abrupt slowing. Could it be, I wondered—could it be? I glanced at the clock. It was 0310 in the morning. The moon had disappeared from sight behind the towering cliff almost an hour ago. I decided to make one more run then head for the motel (that was still more than an hour’s drive away).

I drove down to a pulloff, turned around and headed up-grade for the last time. Whoops! Was that a lizard that I had just driven by? It was 0317 AM.There was no traffic so I backed up a bit and—yes it was a lizard. I parked, hopped out, crossed the road, and stared in disbelief at the lizard in my light.

After a decade of looking and more than 10s of thousands miles of driving, I had finally found the coveted Baja gecko. Fatigue was forgotten as I took picture after picture of the lizard. Knowing full well that I may never see another I bracketed, availed myself of several lenses, and went through a full set of batteries in the flash unit. Certainly I thought, as I walked to the car, some of those pictures should be satisfactory. Dawn was breaking as I drove into the motel. A full day’s sleep would be welcome.
Continue reading "Reds, Winders, and Geckos"


Where Have All the Sand Dwellers Gone.
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Jul 15, 2019



What it all boiled down to was the fact that I needed a photo of a Tucson shovel-nosed snake, Chionactis occipitalis klauberi. But boiled down even further was the fact that aftter failing on several lengthy trips to find one it was time to seek expert help. So I dialed up Arizona herp Guru, Randy Babb. And Lady Luck was with me, Randy agreed to take me afield in search of my elusive and increasingly enigmatic goal.

For reasons not yet fully determined this, the Tucson shovel-nosed snake, the southeasternmost subspecies of the genus, had become difficult to find over the years. Since comparatively few people have much interest in the small burrowing snakes, few people seemed aware of the population reductions. And of those that were aware, no one could venture a reason, But where you could once find two or three examples on a good night, you were now lucky to be able to see one a year and often saw none. Randy hadn’t returned to his study site, hundreds of acres in a wildlife management area and the paved road that bisected this expanse, in several years, but the weather seemed perfect so we began our search. Randy. Andy Holycross and Charlie Painter came by Randy’s to visit and photograph herps, and got recruited into the search. Since Andy happened to be looking at the genetics of the genus, recruitment wasn’t too difficult.

We elected to only roadhunt, and drove for hours on each of three nights. For our efforts the combined number of shovel-noses found was 2 thoroughly crushed DORs and 1 that had seemingly been hit but that was still alive and was very photographable. It wasn’t what I had hoped for, but it at least filled a photograph gap. Interestingly, we saw no variable sand snakes, Chilomeniscus stramineus (those north of the border are not too variable, being off-white below, pinkish-orange above, and having a regular series of prominent black dorsal saddles), while roadhunting Randy’s site. Randy was a little perplexed by this lack, for sand snakes, once as common as the shovel-noses, now seemed equally uncommon. Whether it is just our sampling technique (we might have been a month to late for the peak movement of these snakes) or whether there is an actual downturn in the populations of these two snakes remains to be seen.
Continue reading "Where Have All the Sand Dwellers Gone."
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