Assorted goodies and more cool snakes

Though busy with stuff, I've still been fortunate to see some cool things recently. High on the list is my first fully-grown adult Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander.

Adult Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi)

Adult Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum)

Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea cf quadridigitata)

Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata)
This one was found by Sam, our seasonal hire working on birds, who has a great eye for spotting cool things like this.

Pine Barrens Treefrog (Hyla andersonii)

Pine Barrens Treefrog eggs in shallow acidic pool

This next one is a really special one. It may not be quite as rare as some of the other species I've gotten to see, but it may be one of the more difficult to find. My friend John spotted this in the Eastern panhandle of Florida. Because there aren't many photos of this species available online, I've included a few different angles here.

Mimic Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus mimicus)

Mimic Glass Lizard

Mimic Glass Lizard

Mimic Glass Lizard

What a shame that so many folks hate snakes. Every time I see a snake that I don't see very often, I'm reminded of how much amazing diversity of form and habit there is across even our local snakes in the Southeastern US. Here are a few that I've greatly enjoyed seeing in recent weeks.

Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus)
Though quite common to see, this species deserves an appreciative closer look once in a while. I love the simple elegance of shiny black, combined with acute eyesight and impressive quickness.

Queen Snake (Regina septemvittata)
This is the first of this species that I've found. This one was basking over one of our beautiful, clear, sandy streams. Like all other species in the genus regina, it specializes in eating crayfish. Thanks to John for encouraging me to take a closer look at these photos, as I had assumed any crayfish snake around here would be Gulf Crayfish Snake (Regina rigida).

Southern Hognose Snake (Heterodon simus)
This is only the second one that I've been fortunate enough to find. I think Sturgeonnose snake would be a better descriptive name, but doesn't really roll off the tongue too well.

Southern Hognose Snake feigning death

Juvenile Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)

Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake in short grass, showing how well they can blend in with even a little bit of vegetation as cover


heidi said...

Fantastic photos, as always!

Kelly said...

Thanks Heidi! I've been recently enjoying catching up on some of your and Matt's recent posts. Hope you both are doing well.

Jake Scott said...

Very nice set of pictures here!!! I believe your glass lizard is actually a slender glass lizard (Ophisaurus attenuatus). There is a row of subocular scales between the eye and the supralabials. Also there is a faint stripe on below the groove, both of which give it away as a slender.

Kelly said...

Thanks Jake!
As to the identification of this individual, my Peterson field guide mentions slender glass lizards as occurring in dry grasslands or dry open woods. This individual was observed in the wiregrass-dominated seepage bog locality from which many of the limited records of mimic glass lizard originate. It also mentions that mimic glass lizards sometimes have small scales between the eye and supralabials, as well as faint stripes below the groove on some individuals. Additionally, Kenny Krysko from the Florida museum of natural history has vouchered other photos of this individual as a mimic glass lizard in the museum's collection, and he would be a good resource to contact for additional info on species identification in this area. I admit that I find positive identification in these species a bit confusing at times, and there's always more for me to learn, so let me know if you have additional thoughts.