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News & Events: Western chicken turtles. . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Rattlesnake Friday! . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiDay Fort Myers - June 25, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Baton Rouge - June 25-26, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  New England Reptile Expo - June 26, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Chicago Herpetological Society Meeting - June 29, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Minnesota Herp Society Meeting - July 01, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Raleigh - July 02-03, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  ReptiCon Jacksonville - July 02-03, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Jacksonville Herp Society Meeting - July 02, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  SHS Los Angeles Meeting - July 06, 2016 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - July 06, 2016 . . . . . . . . . . - Friday, Jun 24, 2016

Happy Rattlesnake Friday! To end the week, a whole lotta squee for these baby Death Adders for our Herp Photo of the day, uploaded by user Oxyrhopus ! Be sure to tell them you liked it here! As always on Friday, we celebrate all of our venomous reptiles for their contribution to the world.

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Featured Contributors

Western chicken turtles.
Richard Bartlett - Friday, Jun 24, 2016

Hatchling western chicken turtles.

Chicken turtles, the 3 subspecies of Deirochelys reticularia are wanderers. Between periods of aestivation or brumation chicken turtles wander from ephemeral pond to equally ephemeral roadside ditch where they hunt crayfish, dragonfly larvae, and occasional small fish, or other turtle fare, and then wander on again. I usually see, more by accident than intent, the eastern and the Florida subspecies every year, but the western is far less of a certainty. In fact, I have seen the western chicken turtle, D. r. miaria, only twice in the wild.

The most recent sighting, now several years ago, was in a shallow, woodland surrounded, brushy pond in a city park in Houston, TX. Brandon had led Kenny and me to this pond. He had earlier seen the turtle on several occasions and felt that on this sunny day the turtle would be up and basking. He was right. It was an adult and we found it lying quietly on a slender fallen tree, easily visible, but difficult to photograph.

We tried but got only voucher shots and our manipulations alerted the creature. It dropped the several inches from the limb to the safety of the water. Our visit was concluded. Next stop, the Grasslands.
Continue reading "Western chicken turtles."

Five Timber Rattlesnakes At Once
Will Bird - Thursday, Jun 23, 2016

5 Timber Rattlenakes, Crotalus horridus, found under the same tin

I wish I could share a picture of my face and a recording of the words coming out of my mouth when Phil Peak and I lifted up a piece of our artificial cover and bore witness to the sight in this photograph! Moments before we had found 1 Timber Rattlesnake beneath a sheet of metal and were feeling really happy about that, so you can imagine how cool it was to find 5 more under a single piece just a short distance away. This particular piece of cover was set out between 2 and 3 years ago. We have had some warm weather this spring, but the 5-7 days leading up to the day we made this flip were unseasonably cool with a lot of rain. On the day we arrived conditions had changed and the sun had finally broken through the clouds. These 5 snakes had emerged weeks earlier but after many days of cold temperatures they all congregated at a place where they knew the heat would arrive once the weather broke.

Phil and I were at the right place at the right time.

Several hours later the blazing sun scorched this same piece of metal and caused it to reach temperatures well over 100 degrees and the snake most certainly found a new place to hide…but only after we were able to capture the moment with our cameras! Spring is turning to summer in our area and it appears that mild days are behind us and the real heat of summer lies ahead. We will continue to check our materials, but the real climax of flipping season is probably over for the year. That is kind of depressing, but at least it was good while it lasted and we had the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time after making some effort to set our table.
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