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Some Other Stuff from AZ

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by JoshuaJones, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    I'm really bored, sitting here watch my daughter sleep. Figured I'd post some photos of some of the other stuff that I got to see this year. I can't remember what was in my last post offhand, but I'll try my best not to throw in any repeats.

    I'll start with the amphibs. I am much more of a snake guy (crotes being my primary target) so I only photographed two species.
    I see so many Sonoran Desert and Red-spotted toads that I didn't photograph any this year. Ditto for Canyon treefrogs. What I did photograph is one of our invasive species and one of the protected frog species that I saw. They are the American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana)


    and the Lowland Leopard frog (Lithobates yavapaiensis)


    Saw some testudines this year, as well. The only one of these that I photographed, though, was the Sonoran Desert tortoise (Gopherus agasizzi morafkai)


    There were a bunch of lizards, too. I'll share some of the ones I see most commonly.

    Turkish House gecko (Hemidactylus turcicus)


    Western Banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)



    Common Side-blotched lizard (Uta stanburiana)



    Ornate Tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus)




    Desert Spiny lizard (Sceloporus magister)




    Greater Short-horned lizard (Phrynosoma hernandesi)


    And, of course, the Banded Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)



    I already posted most of the snake species that I saw this year, so I'll just toss in some random crote shot that I haven't posted yet. (I think.)

    Some people, in my experience have a tough time differentiating between The Western Diamondback and the Mohave, so I'll start with a brief explanation of a few of the identifying characteristics.

    First off, the tail banding. If you look at these next two photos, you will notice that the Mohave has much wider white bands than black bands. On a WDB, the ratio is roughly 50/50.

    Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus)


    Western Diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox)


    Now the tail banding is usually the easiest way to tell, although it is not quite foolproof. The eye stripes are good indicators, too. On C. atrox, the rear eye stripe and all anterior eye stripes cross the lip. On C. s. scutulatus, the posterior eye strip extends more rearward and does not cross the lip. WDBs have a broader snout, while the Mohave's head is more smooth and shaped like an arrowhead. Also, Mohaves have a light colored edge on the supraocular scale that gives them the appearance of having eyebrows. The WDB usually also has a black proximal rattle segment, whereas the Mohave's is usually yellow. Both, though, can have a little of each color, so this is not always the best way to tell. The one foolproof way to tell is to count the number of scales between the supraoculars. Mohaves have 2-3 large, shield-like plates between the anterior portion of the supraoculars, hence the latin name scutulatus, which means, "shielded." WDBs have 4-7 (usually 6) smaller scales in the same place.

    Once you've seen plenty of each, they're hard to mistake and you'll simply look at the pattern and know offhand, what you're looking at. WDBs have a dirty-looking salt and pepper coloration, where the Mohaves look clean. If you look at the individual scales in these next two photos, you'll see what I mean. C atrox has little flecks of black and white in each individual scale, making them look dirty. Mohave scales are usually one or two uniform colors.

    Western Diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox) -note the posterior eye stripe crossing the lip-


    Mohave rattlesnake (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) -note the angle of the eye stripes and the light edges of the supraoculars-


    Alright, lesson

    Since I've noticed that this site pertains mostly to the husbandry aspect of herping, rather than the field herping aspect (which is my personal favorite), I figured that, just for fun, I'd toss in some random crote shots and see if you guys can identify the species.

















    And this last one is extra credit. There are two species in this photo, can you identify both?


    I showed you guys the best shots in my first thread on this forum, so these should be pretty easy for most of you. I look forward to finding out who the crote people are out there. :D

    Thanks for looking guys. Happy herping and, as always, keep your eye on the sharp end.;)

    Attached Files:

  2. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Nice! I'd love the chance to photograph the wide variety of species you have down there.
  3. justor

    justor Elite Member

    I'm not as good at identifying crotes as I probably should be, but I'll take a stab at 'em...

    3) must be a western diamondback
    5) I don't know, but man is that thing cool!
    6) I'm gonna say tiger
    7) Twin spotted
    8) mojave
    9) I want to say the one in the back is a tiger, but I'm not sure. I can't ID the other...
  4. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Complete guesses on most of these:
    1. Ridge nose
    2. Black tails
    3. WDB
    4. Massasauga
    5. Rock
    6. Tiger
    7. Twin spotted
    8. Mojave

    And I probably got them all wrong as the only rattler I can recognize on site is the sidewinder and only by its horns and movements. Scale patterning isn't something I ever tried memorizing.
  5. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Good try guys. Thala came the closest. The rattlesnake species in the photos are as follows:

    1) Arizona Ridgenose rattlesnake

    2) Northern Blacktail rattlesnake

    3) Western Diamondback rattlesnake

    4) Southwestern Speckled rattlesnake

    5) Banded Rock rattlesnake

    6) Tiger rattlesnake

    7) Twin-spotted rattlesnake

    8) Mohave rattlesnake

    The extra credit photo had a speck and a blacktail.

    Thanks for playing, guys. :D
  6. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    BTW, I just started a new blog on the rattlesnakes of AZ. It's still very much a work in progress, but once it's complete, it should be a very handy source of information for the beginning crote enthusiast. If anyone wants to check it out, this link will take you there.

    Rattlesnakes of Arizona

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