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Some Snakes from Arizona (pic Heavy)

Discussion in 'Field Herping' started by JoshuaJones, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Hi, guys. I'm a noob to this forum, but I've got some field herping photos that I thought some of you might enjoy. I've only been seriously field herping for a few years now, although I've been informally herping for more than twenty. This year, I actually started taking photos of my finds, rather than let my brother handle the documentation process. I mainly photograph crotes, but I've got some other snakes that I'll toss in, as well.

    I'll start with the most common snake that I encounter, the Western Diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox).





    I see mohaves (Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus) pretty often, as well. I only photographed one, this year, because he was found in a location where they were thought to have been extirpated.


    My first crote of the year was a new subspecies for me. I'm used to cercobombus, so finding the Colorado desert subspecies was a pleasant surprise.

    Crotalus cerastes latereropens


    My favorite crote has to be the Arizona black.

    Crotalus cerberus



    Tigers come in a close second.

    Crotalus tigris








    Saw some nice specks this year, too.

    Crotalus mitchelli pyrrhus





    Of course, when you're out looking for cerbs, specks, and tigers, some of these guys are just bound to pop up.

    Crotalus molossus molossus






    This year I went down to the Sky Islands, to look for some of the montanes. We found all three species that can be found there. The only subspecies that we missed was the New Mexico Ridgenose rattlesnake (Crotalus willardi obscurus.)
    We did, however, find the Arizona subspecies.

    Crotalus willardi willardi



    We managed to find some Twin-spotted rattlesnakes, too.

    Crotalus pricei pricei




    My favorite, though, by far, was the Banded Rock rattlesnake.

    Crotalus lepidus klauberi



    That's it for my crotes. I saw C. ruber, this year, but I completely forgot to snap some photos. Oh well. The other photos make up for the loss, and I can get some photos next spring, anyway.

    Just to add some color, I'll toss in some of the prettier colubrids I've seen this year.

    Arizona Mountain kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromelana)


    California kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae)


    Regal Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus regalis)


    Sonoran gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer affinis)


    Sonoran lyresnake (Trimorphodon lambda)


    Boidae was there, as well.

    Desert Rosy boa (Lichanura trivigata gracia)



    As was Elapidae.

    Arizona coralsnake (Micruroides euryxanthus)


    And, since everyone seems to like gilas, I'll post my favorite one from this year.

    Banded Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum cinctum)



    I think that's enough herps for now. Just to give you a feel for where I herp, (and because I love landscape I'll toss in some shots of the habitat that I've searched, this year.












    That ought to do, for now. Happy herping, guys. Thanks for looking.

    Attached Files:

  2. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks for sharing the photos, very nice!
  3. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    So do you live in northern Arizona? Where I am there is not greenery and all the snakes I find are western diamonds or sidewinders. No Gilas either. Maybe I should look in new areas.
  4. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Awesome pictures! I should go out more often lol, I honestly didn't know there were that many different kinds of rattlesnakes in Arizona.
  5. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Thanks for the kind comments, guys.

    I live in central AZ. East Mesa. It's in the Northern Sonoran desert. But I travel the state to find the animals that I'm seeking. If you want to see some gilas, torts, some different crotes, be sure to hit me up when it starts warming up again. I'm always up for herping with new people. :)

    A tip on finding something besides winders and atrox: Torts, gilas, and some of the really pretty rattlesnakes prefer rocky mountainous areas. Try walking rocky washes at night.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2012
  6. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Sorry, Justor. I was just outside, having a cigarette, when it occurred to me that I hadn't addressed your comment. There are actually many more AZ buzztails that I haven't seen this year. Arizona's rattlesnake count goes something like this:

    Western Diamondback
    Colorado Desert sidewinder
    Sonoran Desert sidewinder
    Mohave Desert sidewinder
    Arizona Black
    Southwestern Speckled
    Northern Blacktail
    Green Prairie
    Hopi (Scientists say this isn't a valid subspecies of prairie, but when you see them in real life, they're very different.)
    Great Basin
    Grand Canyon
    Midget Faded
    Arizona Ridgenose
    New Mexico Ridgenose
    Twin Spotted
    Banded Rock

    13 species, 19 different subspecies, in total. If you want to see rattlesnakes, Arizona is the place to do it. :)
  7. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Wow, that's awesome. I probably wouldn't even be able to identify most of them haha.
  8. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    I can't. I know the diamond backs because of their pattern and if their is another snake that has similar pattern then that is considered a diamond back as well :p and side wonders from their movement and tracks anything else astounds lizards on the other hand those I can mostly identify.
    Josh the only torts I have seen are the ones in my yard or the empty shells but I stay in lowlands generally so I might just try closer to the hills for some live ones thanks!

    Ps. Watch the date on threads you reply too if they are older some members might not be active anymore.
  9. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    That's cool. Just thought I'd offer. I'm assuming, based on your average finds, that you live in the lowland desertscrub environment West of Phoenix. Based on your last comment, I'd wager that a lot of your diamondbacks might be mohaves. I get out that way a lot during the summer. I know places out there where you can, at least, find some specks, blacktails, boas, and torts. I'll offer again when we get to know each other a little better. I understand the apprehension many people feel about meeting new people that they met online.

    I was going to mention one of the conservation groups in which I participate, in order to better explain where I'm coming from, but I'm not sure if that is a faux pas around here.

    Either way, I'm appreciative of your responses (and guidance) and I hope my advice helps. Once I get to know you a little better, I may decide to just send you the location of some good spots closer to you. I like to see cool photos of AZ herps almost as much as I like to see the classic, "lifer grin." :)
  10. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Close but I am further south in glorious Yuma, home of the old folks! My sister lives in Mesa though. And occasionally I get up there to visit her.
    And no faux pas mention away! Everyone likes hearing about different groups and their goals.
  11. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Right on. Same habitat, wrong locality. :D

    Still on the West side, though.;) You're actually pretty close to the prettiest specks in the state. The white ones.

    The organization that I belong to is the North American Field Herping Association (NAFHA.) We're a group of citizen scientists that provide data for educational, scientific, and/or government organizations, in order to better protect the herps that we all have a passion for. We maintain a database that can be found at If you would like to view our forums, they may be found at Two of our members (at least) live down your way. You might benefit from checking our forums out. The AZ chapter has some of the best herpers in the country. Some of them are the people who write the field guides most AZ herpers use.
  12. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    Hey I have an app for that!!!
  13. Jflores

    Jflores Elite Member

    Dude, those are some amazing pictures!!
  14. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Outstanding :) I need to get out there and visit my Dad but also to get some pics of Spiny lizards :p You have some great shots there :)
  15. JoshuaJones

    JoshuaJones Banned User

    Thanks, JF.

    As I've stated, I'm not much of a lizard guy. That being said, I do still have a pic or two of some spiny lizards running around. ;)

    (Sceloporus magister)



    Attached Files:

  16. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    Drool :)

    Nice pics

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