Field Herpetology at the Southwest Research Station (Part 1)

We are three days through the 2013 Field Herpetology course at the Southwest Research Station. Whew, what a whirlwind this course is for the second year in a row. We have students from all over the country: college students, retired doctors, government contractors, and environmental consultants. 

I’ve been busy tweeting some of our activities, but need a place to show you some of the photos of the class at work and the animals we are finding. So here ya go.

A handsome Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus):

Dr. Carol Simon gives a seminar on the natural history of the Chiricahua Mountains:

My main man Dr. Steve Mullin describing the sexual differences between kingsnakes:

Here is a group of endangered Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Lithobates chiricaheunsis):

Here is Matt Holding demonstrating to the field herpetology students and local residents how scientists safely transport and restrain venomous snakes:

Dr. Emily Taylor and Matt Holding implant a radio transmitter in a Black-tailed Rattlesnake (Crotalus molossus):

My favorite rattlesnake: The Rock Rattlesnake (C. lepidus)!

A really nice find from night driving was a pair of Desert Kingsnakes (Lampropeltis splendida). She was no doubt cruising around looking for a nice rattlesnake meal. 

One of our first field trips was to Granite Gap, an area in Arizona know for having both a beautiful community of cactus and a thriving population of Gila Monsters (Heloderma suspectum).

And here is the star of the show. Worth all of the heavy hiking, for sure.

Gila Monster relaxing center-middle.

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