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2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning!*

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by RossCA, Dec 17, 2007.

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  1. RossCA

    RossCA Member

    Here's my year in review in extreme detail. lol I've added scientific names for the first time, so please forgive me if you come across any mistakes. The names were taken off the calherps website which had a couple of names to choose from for nearly each subspecies it seemed like. A lot of the herps in the Borrego area might be inergrades, but I only chose one name to describe them.


    COASTAL SAN DIEGO COUNTY


    This spring conditions were very dry in LA and Riverside counties. It was to the point where nothing even turned green. San Diego had received more rain so I decided to make a run down there one day to see what I could find. Driving into S.D. Co. that day was very strange. Everything was nice and green with flowers all over. Anyone that's experienced this drought can imagine how it felt. It seemed like paradise! I've never been to S.D. Co. herping before so I didn't know where to start looking. All I could do was look off the freeway for open areas and hope to find a few trash piles or some kind of AC to flip. It took some hours to find a good area but I finally found one. Not much AC but a few pieces here and there.
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    Garden Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps major major) It was too wet under most of the AC for snakes but I seen lots of slenders.
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    Striped California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) That day I lucked out and found this S.D. striper. It's exactly what I was hoping to find and it was under one of the last things I flipped. (in situ) Although I've found stripers in Riverside Co. before, I considered this a lifer because a lot of the stripers down this way are different.
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    That was the only snake I found that day but I was far from being disappointed. Here's a couple more finds from the same area.

    San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens) Found under that piece of carpet in the background.
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) My first banded from the area.
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    Later I had the fortune of meeting Matt McCarthy. He showed me around. For me it's all about kingsnakes so Matt was the perfect person to go look
    for them with. Here's a few things we turned up.

    California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
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    A neat looking Scorpion.
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    Desert Nightsnake (Hypsiglena torquata deserticola)
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus helleri)
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    San Diego Gopher Snakes (Pituophis catenifer annectens)
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    This was one of the nicest S.D. Gophers I've ever seen.
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    Striped California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
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    Coastal Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris stejnegeri) Poor thing looks scared.
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    Coastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) This guy was 3' or a little more and was found farther inland. It was very old and thin.
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    COASTAL LOS ANGELES COUNTY


    I didn't spend much time herping here this year, but here's a couple.
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    California striped Whipsnake (Masticophis lateralis lateralis)
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    San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens)
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    WESTERN RIVERSIDE COUNTY


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    February was very dry this year. Normally boas are not that difficult to locate during that time of year but this year was an exception.
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    It took a lot of searching but luckily I was able to find one. I was there about a week earlier and seen a YOY Lyre in a small crevice.
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    Coastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) This one was tough to photo and up at an angle.
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    Granite Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus orcutti) I was surprised this juvenile allowed me to approach within a foot of him for this photo.
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    Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber)
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    Some kind of Tarantula.
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    One weekend it got too hot to flip so I decided to try my luck at around 3,000' in the Santa Ana Mountains. It was actually a little green up there and there seemed to be a little too much moisture under the rocks for snakes.
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    I was there about ten minutes before I found.......
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    Western Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps) I was very surprised because I haven't seen too many of these out this way.
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    I flipped a couple more hours after that without finding a thing. I guess luck didn't feel like sticking around that day. lol


    Back to the lowlands I found an area with a much moister habitat type then most areas around here.
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri)
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    under this black paper I found a little king.
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
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    San Diego Alligator Lizards (Elgaria multicarinata webbii)
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    Two-striped Gartersnake (Thamnophis hammondii) The first one I've found outside the mountains.
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) Cool striped pattern.
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    Lots of habitat left.
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    But steadily disappearing.
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri) Plenty juvies were found this year.
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    San Diego Alligator Lizards (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) A defensive one and one that allowed me to approach closely.
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    California Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis getula californiae) Because of the dry conditions, mostly juveniles were found.
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri)
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    April looked like August but I got lucky again.
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    Western Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps)
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    I did a lot of night driving when things warmed up but still, very little was found and I was skunked more times than not. I was able to make a few cool finds which where great finds to me during a year like this.

    Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnakes (Crotalus mitchellii pyrrhus) These two were found up in the Santa Anas about 15 minutes apart.
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    2nd
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) These striped/aberrant type kings are what I always hope to find in this area. So, when I found this guy, he made up for all the nights I was skunked and then some. lol
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    ANZA BORREGO (San Diego Co.)


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    Desert Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans eburnata)
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    Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) Some are pretty faded from this area. This one not being an extreme example.
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    Western Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei lecontei) These are normally common but this was the only one found here.
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    Colorado Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes laterorepens)
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    Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (Phyllorhynchus decurtatus)
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    Desert Banded Geckos (Coleonyx variegatus variegatus)
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    Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) Found sitting just like this in the middle of the road.
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    Desert Glossy Snake (Arizona elegans eburnata) Large gravid adult, 40".
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    San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens)
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    Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snake (Chionactis occipitalis annulata ) DOR
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri)
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    Long-tailed Brush Lizard (Urosaurus graciosus) Found many sitting on the road at night.
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) A target and my only live king found in Borrego.
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    Baja California Lyresnake (Trimorphodon biscutatus lyrophanes)
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    Colorado Desert Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes laterorepens)
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    San Diego Gopher Snake (Pituophis catenifer annectens)
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    Red Diamond Rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber) This one was very thin.
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    I would love to have found these two alive. First was a juvenile with a very interesting belly pattern. (stripe influenced IMO)
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    46" adult with very wide white bands.
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    THE HIGH DESERT (L.A. Co.)


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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
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    Desert Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus variegatus)
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    California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)
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    SAN GABRIEL MOUNTAINS (L.A. Co.)

    This is our closest mountain range.
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    Southern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus helleri)
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    Coastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca) Found on my first night here and my favorite find all year.
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    Spotted Night Snake (Hypsiglena torquata ochrorynchus)
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    Southwestern Blind Snake (Leptotyphlops humilis humilis) Pretty neat looking snakes but don't pick one up. lol
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    Baja California Lyre Snake (Trimorphodon biscutatus lyrophanes)
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    Western Black-headed Snake (Tantilla planiceps)
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    Coastal Rosy Boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca)
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    San Bernardino Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis zonata parvirubra) Road cruised late July.
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    Here's my year end totals. Considering we only had 3 inches of rain this year, I'm surprised I even seen this much. It was a tough year but still very fun.

    53 Southern Pacific Rattlesnakes (C.o. helleri)
    26 San Diego Gopher Snakes (P.c. annectens)
    25 California Kingsnakes (L.g. californiae)
    21 Desert Glossy Snakes (A.e. eburnata)
    8 Red Diamond Rattlesnakes (C. ruber)
    6 Desert Night Snakes (H.t. deserticola)
    6 California Striped Whipsnakes (M.l. lateralis)
    4 Southwestern Blind Snakes (L.h. humilis)
    4 Coastal Rosy Boas (L.t. roseofusca)
    4 Baja California Lyre Snakes (T.b. lyrophanes)
    3 Western Black-headed Snakes (T. planiceps)
    2 San Diego Ring-necked Snakes (D.p. similis)
    2 Southwestern Speckled Rattlesnakes (C.m. pyrrhus)
    2 Colorado Desert Sidewinders (C.c. laterorepens)
    2 Colorado Desert Shovel-nosed Snakes (C.o. annulata)
    2 Western Long-nosed Snakes (R.l. lecontei)
    1 Two-striped Gartersnake (H. hammondii)
    1 Spotted Leaf-nosed Snake (P. decurtatus)
    1 San Bernardino Mountain Kingsnake (L.z. parvirubra)
     
  2. Moshpitrockchick

    Moshpitrockchick Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Holy Moly! Someone had a busy herp year!
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    WOW! thats a lot of critters!
    I envy you having that may species to find!
    And I didn't realize that the aberrant striped kings were out in the wild. I had always assumed that they were a captive bred morph.
     
  4. SurvivorSteph

    SurvivorSteph Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Very cool... I love our California native wildlife!!!
     
  5. RossCA

    RossCA Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Thanks so much for the kind words everyone!

    Merlin- Captive breeders have gone wild with breeding Cal kings of all different locals together. Most of the aberrant kings you see in captivity, don't resemble the ones you would find in the wild. But basically, they do look almost the same. Most of the aberrant's are confined to the coastal areas of L.A., Orange, and San Diego Counties. There's also a large population up in Northern California, in the Fresno & Sacramento areas.
     
  6. arboreal3

    arboreal3 Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Amazing pics!! I grew up in San Diego and to see all those California reptiles brought back all kinds of memories. I am surprised that you spotted only a single 2 striped garter snake. At least in Ramona Ca. that is by far the most abundant snake found around any pond there. Especially ponds with bullfrog tadpoles in them.
    For excellent herping in the San Diego area try Mission trails park in Santee. Since they are protected the different types of snakes you'll encounter there is absolutely amazing. Coastal rosy boas,gopher snakes,striped racers,king snakes,and southern pacific rattlesnakes are very easy to find. Just a location idea for your next herp outing.
    Anyways, thanks for sharing your report for S. California. Excellent!!
     
  7. titus

    titus Elite Member Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Looking at all the wonderful pictures I need to take a trip back home this summer and walk around Joshua Tree N.P. and though the coastal foot hills. Germany is just so herp barren.
     
  8. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    wow, thanks for the trip.
     
  9. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Great pics! thanks for sharing!!!!
     
  10. ThePHX

    ThePHX Elite Member

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    wow, that makes me want to go out a buy a nice camera and just take a hike :) those are some awesome pictures, im jealousss
     
  11. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Very nice pics, thanks for sharing
     
  12. The D

    The D Mango Empress

    Re: 2007 report for S. California *Dial-up Warning

    Well someones been a busy boy! Thanks for sharing, looks like you had fun!
     
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