|Photo by Flickr user Lon&Queta used under a Creative Commons License|
Instead of a New Year's Resolution to lose weight, or drink less beer (those two may go hand in hand and should get done) I decided to go with something I am more likely to accomplish.
In 2012 I am going to check off some species on my herp life list. I am going to set an ambitious goal for 4 of the top 10. Here are the top 10 that I actually have the possibility of checking off. I am not going to get to Hellbender or Pseudotriton habitat this year. These are not in strict order so I reserve the right to switch the order around as I deem fit.
(1) California Mt Kingsnake: Pyromelana zonata (embarrassing I don't have this yet, I know)
(2) Santa Cruz Long-toe Salamander: Ambystoma macrodactylum croceum
(3) Gila Monster: Heloderma suspectum
(4) Large-blotched Salamander, Ensatina eschscholtzii klauberi: I will be in San Diego in March if any one has tips on this guy.
(5) Black-headed Snake, Tantilla sp.: I am not picky and I will take any species.
(6) Speckled Rattlesnake: Crotalus mitchellii
(7) Regal Horned Lizard, Phrynosoma solare: Not sure if I will get far enough South but it is going on the list
(8) Black-tailed Rattlesnake: Crotalus molossus
(9) Western Spadefoot Toad: Spea hammondii
(10a) Variable Groundsnake, Sonora semiannulata semiannulata (Another mystifying miss)
(10b) Green Toad: Anaxyrus debilis
I cheated and went with 10a and 10b because I could not decide what to leave off the list, yet wanted to give myself a chance at getting 4. If forced I might narrow the list down by cutting one of the two Crotalus species. If I don't make it to Arizona as planned, this is going to be a really tough goal to reach.
Last year I got the biggies Ambystoma macrodactylum sigillatum, Chionactis occipitalis occipitalis,
and Anniella pulchra. Which reminds me that I never posted on either of these latter great finds. The Shovel-nose was found in the Mojave and the Legless lizard was found with the guidance of Randomtruth.
Two years ago, the biggest find was California Desert Tortoise. I went from seeing none to seeing both a male and a female, and a yearling. Desert tortoises showed their faces again last year (this post includes the pictures from 2010 as well as 2011).
What is on your 2012 wish list? I will even accept modern dinosaurs (aka birds).