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Late Winter/early Spring in Southern California (pic Heavy)

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by JoshuaJones, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Well, I recently moved to Northern Michigan from Arizona. My brother and I haven't really seen much in Arizona this past winter, so when a chance came up to hit Southern California's early season, we jumped at it. Our major targets were boas and crotes, which we were able to find. But we also found some other cool stuff which made the trip just that much better. Almost everything in California is a lifer for me, so if any of my IDs are incorrect, please let me know.

    I'll start with the lizards. One of the first species we saw was the Great-basin Fence lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis longpipes).


    This is a new species for me, so I can't tell if it was male or female. My research has me leaning towards male, but I'm not 100% certain.

    One species that I saw often, but wouldn't let me get a decent shot was the Granite Spiny lizard (Sceloporus orcutti). These guys are just absolutely beautiful, but they're so darn fast that it's near impossible to catch one. Finally, at our last spot, on the last day, I was flipping for boas when a big male shot over the top of a rock and snatched a bee out of the air. While he was occupied with the bee, I managed to snap a few shots.



    At the spot just before that, I was looking for C. ruber when my buddy, Diego, called me over to check out a cool gecko. It turned out to be a male San Diego Banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus abbotti), another lifer.


    By far, though, my favorite lizard of the trip had to be the San Diego Alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata webbii) that I flipped early on the second morning of our search. I'm not quite sure of the sex. Are Elgaria spp. sexually dimorphic?


    Now that we've got the lizards out of the way, I'll post some photos that I never expected to get. I'm not really big on amphibians, but these Garden Slender salamanders (Batrachoseps major major) were just too cool to pass up. Here are some shots of the half-dozen that we saw.




    Now for the snakes. This first species (also a lifer) gave us bad luck on both days. They were the first snake (x2) found on day one. We then spent the rest of the day finding nothing. A boa found right at dusk broke our losing streak. Then, on day two, they were the last snake seen (again, x2). Either way, it was cool to scratch another species off of my list. Here are shots of some of the San Diego Night snakes (Hypsiglena ochorhyncha klauberi) that we saw on our trip.




    Now for the good stuff. :D

    We weren't able to find Crotalus oreganus helleri like I wanted to but, thanks to my friend Chris, we did get to see one species that I saw last year and was too excited to remember to take photos. The Red Diamond rattlesnake (Crotalus ruber).


    And now, by far the highlight of our finds and another lifer, the Coastal Rosy boa (Lichanura trivirgata roseofusca). We saw three during the course of our trip, no thanks to me of course. :lol:



    All in all, an awesome trip to Southern California. Big thanks to Ben, Chris, Diego, and Brian, without whose help, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to see half of this stuff.

    For those who like inverts, mammals, and landscapes, I'll finish with some of my other favorite shots of the trip.







    Thanks for looking guys. Hope you enjoyed.:D

    Attached Files:

  2. TeguBuzz

    TeguBuzz Elite Member

    Great pics. Looks like a nice terrain as well. All the herping I do here is in jagged, snake infested waters and bayou cliffs. I'm planning on buying a GoPro here soon with a head attachment to get some good videos done.

    Thanks for the pics - very much entertained.
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Gorgeous. Sad you moved though. I finally got up to Phoenix and am going field herping.
  4. Wow great shots and what a beautiful place to find some reptiles.
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Nice stuff! Unfortunately we are still waiting on spring to get here!
  6. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Thanks, guys. I'm glad you liked the photos. Thala, shoot me a PM, and I'll send you some good spots.;)

    You're not alone in that, Merlin. Northern Michigan is still holding out, too. As soon as Spring gets here, though, you better believe that some photos of sauggies and hoggies will be on the way.:D
  7. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    SO COOL! Thanks for posting. I actually have that locale of rosy boa lol. How big was she?
  8. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Pretty good size...Somewhere between 24 and 30 inches. There was a larger female that we found, but the in situ shots didn't turn out very well.

    It's not from Anzo Borrego, though.;)
  9. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Oh well... that woulda been cool. lol I want to go for a herp walk and see rosy boas running about. Im pretty jealous. All I have up here are rattlers and giant water snakes.
  10. Heck I'm in GA and spring feels like a long ways off, frost or light snow every day for a week.
  11. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Sounds like the place to Michigan only has one crote species and it's the Eastern Massasauga. I'd kill to see some timbers. I'm going to miss the crote diversity in AZ.....:(((

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