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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Herps of the Mojave

All of these Mojave Desert posts and I have been holding back the herp pictures from you. Here I present to you the herps without legs.

Wait a Mojave post that actually has Herps in it! I know shocking.

The herping on this year's desert trip was very different than 2011. I got two life species, and one hombre that has been going to the Mojave for 25 years got a lifer for this part of California. That being said we saw much fewer reptiles in both numbers and species than we did in 2011. There were probably two main factors (1) Less rain = less plant seeds = less rodent food = less snake food and (2) It got cold quick. The road was under 80°F a mere hour after sunset.

The first night of driving we split into two cars and one car saw four sidewinders, all babies and the other car spotted one sidewinder, again a baby, at the meet-up point so car 1 got their fifth snake of the night.



When we got back to camp we found another group of campers had parked right next to us and set-up their tents within 100 feet of ours.  WTF. 1.6 million acres to chose and you set-up right next to another group. It would have been a total bummer of a night if not for late night fajitas, tequila and a good campfire. We got two visiters right before bed, one wasn't really welcome, no we don't want to share our campfire with you, but the other was most welcome. Ben happened to find our second visiter on his way back from peeing on some rocks.

Believe it or not this is a lifer for me. I have seen plenty in captivity but my first wild Rosy Boa. In a locale that I wasn't really convinced they even existid in to boot.

She, yes she, no spurs, was not very cooperative when it came to photography though. She really wouldn't sit still so these are not the best or photographs.





The following night we saw but a single snake on the road. Again a species we had already seen, but this time an adult.




And one shot of some herpers on the ridge in the middle of the day falsely thinking they can turn up something other than a whiptail


Some herps with legs next week.


  1. Dang, I love sidewinders! What a cool snake....

  2. Most years the easiest snake to find. This year was no exception.

  3. Nice images! How large were the baby sidewinders?

    1. A few of them still had their buttons and likely had just had their first shed and were exploring outside of their natal burrow for one of the first times. Never picked one up to measure it and I am bad at estimating lengths of small snakes but 7-8" or so I would guess. Very small. All curled up could fit on a credit card with room to spare.