Some new photos

Accounts and photos of non-captive reptiles in their natural habitat outside of South Africa. Try to record with your account details such as time of day/night, temperature, weather conditions, lunar cycle, sex, rough age of reptile, and so on.

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Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:51 pm

Well, unfortunately, my recent trips to new locales have not resulted in any new snake species for me. Apparently, Sistrurus, Diadophis, and Heterodon are going to be a little more difficult than I had expected. The good news is that I've managed to get some more good shots of the snake species that I've already shown you, plus some new amphibian and habitat photos. I'll start with the amphibians.

Northern Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens)

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Northern Leopard Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Northern Leopard Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Northern Leopard Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Green Frog (Rana clamitans)

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Green Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Green Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Green Frog by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Fowler's Toad (Bufo fowleri)

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Fowler's Toad by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Fowler's Toad by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

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Red-backed Salamander by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Red-backed Salamander by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

And now for some snakes...

DeKay's Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi)

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DeKay's Brown Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Eastern Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis)

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Eastern Garter Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Garter Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Northern Red-bellied Snake (Storeria occipitomaculata occipitomaculata)

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Northern Red-bellied Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Northern Red-bellied Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Northern Red-bellied Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

And my personal favorite, the Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum)

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

I'll toss some habitat shots in before I go...

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

That's all for now. Happy herping, guys. :smt006
" a squat, scaly worm with, 'don't touch,' on one end and, 'that's why,' on the other."

-Thomas Palmer
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Re: Some new photos

Postby bitis keeper » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:04 pm

Stunning shots! Love the eastern milk snake
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Bushviper » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:31 am

Its crazy that the eastern Milksnake looks so much like a corn snake. Why would you give it the name "triangulam" when the others in the genus look far more like a three coloured banded snake than the one that got the name.

Nice photos.
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Kennyakagera » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:43 pm

Thanks for sharing Croteseeker especially the habitat pictures as I was actually looking for the natural habitat of the milk snake...
Beautiful snake anyway
Kenny
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Re: Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:40 am

Thanks, guys.

Bushviper, I originally thought maybe it was due to cross section or head shape while putting on their threat displays. Then, it occurred to me that they have head markings that might have lent them the name. Finally, I Googled it and discovered that it is, in fact, due to their tri-colored patterns. That leaves me just as stumped as you are with regard to why this subspecies should be triangulum. I figure that there are three possibilities. First, and most likely, it was the first species described, so they just branched off of the original species. Second, maybe it's something to do with their juvenile coloration. Or third, it could be that they consider the Easterns to be tri-colored. They do, technically, have three colors, even though they're all very similar. Your guess is as good as mine. :smt017

Kenny, those habitat photos don't very accurately portray the habitat of milks. I don't take many photos of milk snake habitat for two reasons. First, milk snake habitat is not very photogenic. Piles of trash, tin, and boards in big, open fields just don't do it for me. Second, milks are pretty specialized. I know the small areas where they are likely to be found, so I don't have to spend much time exploring new spots. It took me all of a couple of weeks to figure out all of the nearby spots to find them that weren't on private property. I'll try to get some better shots for you tomorrow. The kind that will work for both of us. ;) Once I get those photos, I'll post them with the basic information on their ecology.
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Kennyakagera » Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:37 pm

Thanks a lot Corteseeker. Lets see If the enclosure I did look similar to their environment ;). Please do give me as much information as possible as I'm not clued up on exotics
Thanks mate
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Re: Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:21 am

Alright, Kenny, I got those photos for you, so I'll share my limited knowledge and hopefully you can set up something nice for your friend.

Milk snakes are one of the widest ranging species of the lampropeltis genus, if not the widest ranging. (L. getula might have a wider range, but I haven't really checked.) They're not rare where they're found, but they're very secretive, so plenty of decent hides would be best. I usually find them under large, heavy cover that's nice and dry underneath. Something with room to move around without exposing themselves.

There are lots of different subspecies, so habitat will vary a little bit. Closer to Central America, they will be found in more forested habitats. Many of the North American subspecies, though, prefer open, grassy fields. Old buildings, plywood, roofing tin, and large rocks will usually mean the difference between finding them and not, even when in perfect habitat. Here are some shots of the Eastern's habitat. The first one is in kind of a swampy environment, whereas the others are from drier areas that feature much more open ground. I find most of my milks in the second type of environment, but the first kind works, too.

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

As I said before, it's even better if it looks like this:

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Habitat by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

For many other North American subspecies, the plants will differ, but the basic principle remains the same. Even if you are dealing with one of the subspecies that prefer forests, their needs should be pretty similar. Good bedding (no pine), moderate humidity, lots of cover, and patience with a nocturnal snake that likely won't want to lounge about the cage all day. BTW, most of them are avid biters. :lol:

They're a Lampropeltis sp. mind you, so be careful in choosing cage mates. They eat primarily rodents and lizards, but they'll take snakes, too. If you decide to breed, you'll want to aim for early summer. They'll drop eggs about a month later and they'll take around two months to incubate. You can expect to have these little guys live for ten to fifteen years, although I've heard tell of much longer.

Hope that helps, Kenny. It's not much, but that's pretty much all I know about milk snakes. I could have been much more helpful if you were setting up a rattlesnake terrarium. :lol:

Just for fun, I'll part with another shot that I managed to get yesterday.

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Eastern Milk Snake by crotalus_cerberus83, on Flickr

Happy herping, man. :smt006
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Westley Price » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:58 pm

Great post!

Glad to see somewhere on Earth someone is having a good time herping because with the cold in this hemisphere I am having a terrible time!

I wish I could go herping for salamanders. Do people collect them at all for captivity, or simply photograph and release?
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Kennyakagera » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:32 pm

Thank you so much Croteseeker, I highly appreciate that... The cage I made for the couple of milk snake we have at the snake park does not match your photos at all though...
Would you mind if I post the pictures of the enclosure on this threat or would you rather not (I understand if you don't want pictures of captive on a Herping trip report ;) )
Thank you so much for the information as well, could you maybe tell me more about there breeding habits as well ?
Regards
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Re: Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:12 pm

Thanks, Westley. For the most part, nobody really keeps salamanders. Most are fossorial and don't make the best pets. I have seen newts and mudskippers in aquarium setups, but it's been at least a decade since the last time. Sadly, the best place to find salamanders in captivity is at bait shops. Some fisherman use Tiger salamanders for bass bait.

Kenny, feel free to post photos of your enclosures! I'd love to see them. Many of the replies I get to my field herping posts are questions about keeping some of the species that I encounter in the wild. As much as I would like to show most of you guys these animals in their native habitat, I understand that the best I can do for most of you is to help out with husbandry where I can.

I've never personally bred milk snakes, but I do have an excellent source for the information you seek. I once read a book on the husbandry of milk snakes by Robert Applegate. It's out of print now, but he's got the whole thing online at the following link.

http://www.applegatereptiles.com/articl ... ntents.htm

You'll want to offset the dates by six months and probably translate the temps into Celsius, but this book has a pretty foolproof system of breeding, written by one of the foremost American breeders of Lampropeltis sp.
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Kennyakagera » Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:19 pm

Thanks a lot Corteseeker,
Here is the cage we did for the Milk snakes, it was just the beginning of it though, we added ferns, and logs and structured it more but seeing your habitat pictures it seems to wet for the milk snakes ...
The enclosure
IMG_1537 [640x480].JPG


The milk snake
100_2148 [640x480].JPG

100_2149 [640x480].JPG
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Re: Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:01 pm

Good looking snakes, Kenny. Given their locality, I think that cage works just fine. Cosmetically, that's about what I would expect the habitat to look like in Honduras. I'd probably add some rock piles that are dry underneath and water the ferns and moss with occasional misting from a spray bottle. Dry sphagnum moss works pretty good under cover items.

Careful how many pine needles you put in there, though. A lot of snakes don't like them. My best board never gives me less than three snakes. But it's the only one in that line that produces, even though they're all in the same drainage. The difference is that all of the other ones are situated around a pine tree. (I'd have moved them, but they're on private property that I'm lucky to access in the first place. :lol: )
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Re: Some new photos

Postby Westley Price » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:00 pm

Come to think of it, L. t. triangulum almost looks like they are more closely related to the L. calligaster than triangulum.
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Re: Some new photos

Postby croteseeker » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:30 pm

I agree, Westley. Some of those prairie kings look just like milks. I try not to think about it too hard and just be happy that there's only one Lampropeltis sp. in Michigan. Trying to keep up with all the progress that's been made -and unmade- with Lampropeltis sp. hurts my head. :lol:

They've taken species status from some that deserve it and given it to others that are subspecies or hybrids. (For instance, the scarlet king used to be a milk.) Now they're trying to rearrange some of the mountain kings. Don't even get me started on L. getula intergrades. :roll:
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