Buckeye Herps Blog

A photographic journal of the reptiles and amphibians of Ohio, Michigan and other places interesting wildlife call home.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Arizona and Califorina 2009: Part I Arizona

In early spring of 2009 Molly suggested we flight out west for a week vacation.  The plan was to spend a few days in Phoenix and then hop over to San Diego to visit friends.  She was going to spend a few days hanging out with her girlfriends in Phoenix and suggested I spend some time hiking.  This of course sounded like a wonderful idea!

Herping definitely took a back burner on this trip, but I managed to get out a few days here and there in between visiting friends. 

I spent my first morning hiking some mountains for speckled rattlesnakes.  I had yet to see this species and it was high on my wish list.  I was out early, and despite it being the end of March, it was already hot.  I spent about four hours checking various rock piles without much luck.

Tiger Whiptail Aspidoscelis tigris

Common Side-blotched Lizard Uta stansburiana

Chuckwalla Sauromalus ater

When finally I noticed a the form of snake jump out in my peripheral vision.  SCORE!

Speckled Rattlesnake Crotalus mitchellii

That afternoon I tried hiking a different mountain range.   I saw plenty of chuckwallas.

Ornate Tree Lizard Urosaurus ornatus eating a grub.

But no more snakes to be found.  The next day, I drove south to the Tuscon area to spend the morning hiking a well known tourist location, Sabino Canyon, with an old friend Terry.  We had a nice morning, even if we didn't see all that much.

Unknown young whiptail - possibilities include A. uniparens, A. sonorae, A. flagellicauda

Another of presumably the same species.

We turned up a Canyon Treefrog Hyla arenicolor near a small pool of water.

Greater Earless Lizards Cophosaurus texanus were common.

We also spotted a much larger whiptail compared to what we had been seeing.  I believe this is a young Canyon Spotted Whiptail Aspidoscelis burti.

A couple Black-necked Garters Thamnophis cyrtopsis were exploring the creek.

On the way out we also spotted a Zebra-tailed Lizard Callisaurus draconoides.

Which pretty much concludes the Arizona portion of this trip.  Short but sweet.


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