Pictures of Other Reptiles and Amphibians
I've decided to add a few non-Hudspeth reptiles and a few amphibians to my page, mainly for their photos. If you would like to use any of these photos or any of my other stock photos just let me know and I will be glad to give you permission provided they are not used for profit. I have recently divided this page into two categories, Reptiles and Amphibians I will be adding more pictures as they become available. Click on any of the thumbnails to view the enlarged version.
Reptiles - Lizards
Desert Iguana (Dispsosaurus dorsalis) - The Desert Iguana is a herbivorous lizard found in southern California across into southern Nevada and into western Arizona. They are a fairly large lizard reaching up to 16 inches in length. Although fairly common in Arizona, I found these very difficult to photograph. They are very wary and are fast runners. This one was photographed near Sells, AZ on the Tohono O'Odaham Reservation.
Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum) - The Gila Monster is one of only two venomous lizards in the world! Although slow moving, they can turn quickly, bite and latch on like a bulldog. They are found from southern Utah through California to western Arizona and into Mexico. Their diet consists of small mammals, insects, birds and their eggs. Gila's can grow up to two feet in length. Although their bite is rarely fatal, it can be VERY serious. The Gila is protected species. on Arizona which makes it against the law to possess, harass, or collect them. This one was found south of Tucson, Arizona.
Regal Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma solare) - The Regal Horned lizard is found in Southern Arizona. Named for the "crown" of horns around it's head as seen in the second thumbnail. Like the Texas Horned lizard, it it's ants and thus does not make a good captive (pet). This one was found on the Tohono O'Odaham Reservation.
Mediterranean Gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus) - An introduced species from India and the Middle East. They have spread rapidly across the Southern US since their introduction and are a common sight around homes at night. They grow a total of 5-6 inches long, appear somewhat pink in color and have translucent undersides. Like many other geckos, they have no eyelids and use their tongue to moisten their eyes. They can be heard sometimes making a squeaking sound when the males are fighting for territory. I have read that in their native homeland they are welcome house guests and are even sold by the jar full as exterminators. They reportedly consume any flying insects that cross their paths at night and love small roaches. This makes them welcome inhabitants in most homes. The smaller juveniles can be sometimes found inside homes but as they grow bigger, they move outdoors to take advantage of the bug attracting exterior lighting. I personally love having them around. The one pictured was found on the wall inside my home in Uvalde, Texas. Click on the thumbnail for a closer look.
Reticulated or Big Bend Gecko (Coleonyx reticulatus) - Found only in a very small portion of the Texas Big Bend region. They superficially resemble the Texas Banded Gecko but get quite-a-bit larger, up to around 7 inches. When younger, they even have the cross banding like the Banded Gecko but lose the banding as they age. As adults, they look like the one pictured. I have found a few on the River Road near the Big Hill in Presidio County and also one in the Black Gap area. This species is listed as threatened in the State of Texas.
Texas Banded Gecko (Coleonyx brevis) - Found all the way from El Paso to the Southern portion of Texas. I've found as many as 22 in one night on the river road in Presidio and Brewster Counties. In South Texas, I have not seen any on the roads but they seem pretty common when looking under tin and other types of trash. As you can see in the pictures, they are a sleepy looking lizard (maybe the sunlight making him squint). Their maximum size is around 6.5 inches. They are kind of cute to watch eat as they will twitch their tails like a cat before they pounce on their prey. They prefer rockier environments.
Green Anole (Anoles carolinensis) - Found throughout the southeastern US and in the eastern third of Texas. The one pictured was found at my home in Uvalde, Texas. Often called chameleons by locals, the anole has the ability to change it's colors (usually green but can be brown, yellow, gray or any mixture thereof) to better match it's surroundings and mood. The male anole has a large flap of skin under his neck known as a dewlap that protrudes during courtship or while defending his territory. They get to around 6 to 8 inches long and feed on a variety of insects.
Reticulated Collard Lizard (Crotaphytus Reticulatus) - Found only in small scattered populations in South Texas. I have mainly found them in rocky areas sunning themselves or foraging for food. Unlike many other Collard lizards, these do not develop their trademark collar except during breeding season and only in the males. This is the bigger species of Collard Lizard reaching up to 16 inches in length. Their diet apparently is like any other Collard lizard; they will eat anything that moves that they can catch and swallow. The one in the third picture was collected by Randy Cordero for a state permitted breeding project in March of 07'. We apparently disturbed his slumber. They are protected in Texas so collecting them is prohibited by law.
Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) - This was one of the first lizards that I remember catching when I was a kid. Today, they are protected by law. Even if they weren't, they are a difficult lizard to keep in captivity as they seem to prefer only harvester ants as food. In East Texas, they have pretty much disappeared in conjunction to the disappearance of the harvester ants (due to the introduction of the fire ants). They usually get to around 5 inches long and rely mainly on camouflage as defense. Their other defenses range from swelling up to running a few feet and freezing. A rarer defense is their ability to squirt blood from their eyes. I've only seen this once in many years. Click on either thumbnail to enlarge.
Crevice Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus poinsettii) - Found in West and Central Texas in rocky areas. They love to lay on top of boulders to sun themselves in the early morning and late evening. They are a very wary lizard and scurry under rocks or into crevices (hence the name) at any sign of danger.
Reptiles - Snakes
Sonoran Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes cercobombus) - A small to medium rattlesnake found in southern Arizona. They called sidewinders due to their method of locomotion. They typically crawl sideways leaving a "J" type pattern in the sand as opposed to other rattles who usually crawl in the typical snake fashion. Another sidewinder trait is it's horn-like projections above it's eyes as seen in the picture. This snake was found near Casa Grande, Arizona.
Texas Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais erebennus) - The snake in the second thumbnail was found in November of 2002 in South Texas. The snake was over 7 feet in length , probably around 7 1/2. I have seen approximately 13 Indigo snakes in the wild and I am still impressed with them every time. They are a massive snake and pictures DO NOT do them justice. I have read in books that they are sometimes aggressive. I guess I've just not met the right ones. Every single one that I have found were like kittens, never attempting to bite. If you want to see one in the wild in South Texas, I have found more and seen more DOR's between November to March. Luckily the Ranchers in South Texas like them because they love eating Rattle Snakes. The indigo snake in the first thumbnail was found near LaPryor, Texas on a private ranch about 15 feet up in a a Texas Ash Tree. They are the largest species of snake in the United States and are protected by law.
Scarlet Kingsnake (L. t. elapsoides)- I found one DOR and this AOR just outside of Charleston, SC during a rain storm. I was surprised at the brilliant color of these little snakes. The one pictured was at first very jumpy but calmed within a couple of minutes and accepted handling very well. This one was approximately 17 inches in length. Click on the picture to see a full sized image.
Wandering Garter Snake (T. e. vagrans) - I've found this species of Garter Snake in many locations. They seem to prefer the cooler regions of the mountains. Two notable locations that I have seen them were the Black Range Mountains of NM and the Gila Mountains of NM. The one pictured was found at an extremely high elevation (about 500 feet below the snow-line) in the Rocky Mountains just East of Steam Boat Springs, CO in the middle of June. The temperature was still cool enough to require a jacket. It is reportedly a opportunistic feeder as its diet ranges from frogs and mice to birds.
Texas Coral Snake (Micrurus tener) - DO NOT ATTEMPT TO HANDLE! The coral snake has the most potent toxin in the United States. Although they are usually a docile snake, they can and will bite if abused. Contrary to popular belief, Coral snakes do not have to "chew" their intended victim to inject venom. They are in the same family of snakes as the cobras, sea snakes and mamba's. They are found throughout the eastern, central and south Texas. The above snake was found by Dennis and Steven "Croc Hunter Jr." Russo in Dimmit County, Texas near Carrizo Springs. Click on the thumbnails for a larger view.
Texas Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi texana) - Found everywhere in Texas except the westernmost deserts. The Texas Brown Snake is fairly common and reaches lengths around 16 inches. When found they will do their best to look aggressive. They are a harmless spps. that eats mainly small insects, slugs and worms.
Reptiles - Other
American Alligator (Alligator mississipiensis) - The one thing that surprised me about South Carolina while I was there was the number of Alligators. There seemed to be one in every pond on the golf courses in and around Charleston. There was a pond on the golf course near my house in Hanahan (adjacent to Charleston) that had three. The pond was only about 100 yards from my house and only about 30ft.X 30ft. wide. Click here to listen to the male alligator's sound. Click on the thumbnail to see the full sized version of the alligator pic. Luckily I still have my arm after this picture.
Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri) - Although a protected (listed as threatened) species, I see these tortoises often on ranch roads throughout the year. An even more common sight is the hollowed out, over turned carapaces of the males. Another unfortunate but somewhat common sight is the squashed remains of them on local Farm to Market roads. Reportedly they feed mainly on vegetation. I found one that was nibbling away on prickly pear right through the thorns and all. Their range in the U.S. is mainly restricted to the South Texas Area. They reportedly live 60+ years. I found the small male in the first thumbnail about 10 miles South of LaPryor, Texas. The one in the other thumbnail was found near the Rio Grande in Dimmit County.
Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) - The Desert Tortoise, like it's Texas and Florida cousins are land dwellers. They are found in Southern AZ and CA. The Desert Tortoise is a herbivorous species eating many different types of plant matter including very thorny cacti. Maximum size is around 15 inches. The are protected by the State of Arizona and Federally.
Click here for Amphibians