nonvenomous snakes, 2011-2012

December 22, 2012

These are some nonvenomous snakes I came across during these two seasons.

great basin gophersnake, adult female (a), Confusion Range

late May 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult female (a), facing, Confusion Range, Millard Co, UT

When I found her, I placed her up on a limestone boulder for photos.  She was grumpy, as you can see here by her flattened, threatening head.

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Different shot of same specimen above:

great basin gophersnake, adult female (b), Confusion Range

late May 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult female (b), lateral midbody, Confusion Range, Millard Co, UT

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Different shot of same specimen above:

great basin gophersnake, adult female (c), Confusion Range

late May 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult female (c), lateral posterior, Confusion Range, Millard Co, UT

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Different shot of same specimen above:

great basin gophersnake, adult female (d), Confusion Range

late May 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult female (d), motionless as found, Confusion Range, Millard Co, UT

This fourth & final shot is how she looked before I disturbed her.  She was resting like this under a cloudy sky.

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Here’s some likely-looking talus habitat–and below is the snake I discovered in it.

gophersnake habitat, talus, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, habitat of great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), quartzite talus, Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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great basin gophersnake, talus, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult in quartzite talus, Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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Not far away, I came across a species I had not seen before in the Simpsons Mtns:

yellowbelly racer, adult female, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor mormon), adult female (a), Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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Different shot of same specimen above:

yellowbelly racer, adult female, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor mormon), adult female (b), Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

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Different shot of same specimen above:

yellowbelly racer, adult female, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor mormon), adult female (c) moving, Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This is the only decent shot I’ve ever obtained of a racer moving.  They can speed along.

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yellowbelly racer, adult male, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor mormon), adult male, Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

Although it might not be obvious, this is a different specimen–a male I found about 50m from that female above.

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habitat of yellowbelly racer adults, Simpson Mtns

mid June 2011, habitat of yellowbelly racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) adult female & adult male, Simpson Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This shot shows these racers’ habitat.  The female was along the rocks in the foreground.  The male was in the grassier area farther back.

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great basin gophersnake, adult female, Oquirrh Mtns

early Sept 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), stub-tailed adult female (a), Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

You thought this post was done with gopher snakes? Don’t think so.  This skinny adult female looked to me like she might not survive the coming winter.  But who knows?

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Different shot of same specimen above:

great basin gophersnake, adult female, Oquirrh Mtns

early Sept 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), stub-tailed adult female (b), Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This shot shows her stub tail.  It also shows her orangish tint that most Utah specimens lack.

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great basin gophersnake, neonate male in crack, Oquirrh Mtns

mid Oct 2011, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), neonate in limestone crack, Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

I found this little male moving on a limestone slope, and this shot in the crack was the best photo of him I managed.

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striped whipsnake, soon-to-shed adult, Oquirrh Mtns

early June 2012, striped whipsnake (Masticophis taeniatus), soon-to-shed adult in limestone talus, Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

This was a somewhat odd find.  The bluish cast to the eye indicates this snake is in its pre-shed stage.  Usually, snakes in this stage are more likely to keep hidden.  But this whipsnake was discovered just like this–warming out in the morning sunlight.  So, wild whipsnakes do not always stay hidden through their pre-shed stage.

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great basin gophersnake, adult on road, Oquirrh Mtns

late Sept 2012, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), adult female warming on paved road, nighttime, Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

Another gophersnake? I see most of my snakes while hiking, but this is how they look when you find them at night on a paved road.  Many, like this one, are not inclined to flee when a vehicle approaches near.

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great basin gophersnake, neonate on dirt rd, Oquirrh Mtns

late Sept 2012, great basin gophersnake (Pituophis catenifer deserticola), neonate on dirt road at night, Oquirrh Mtns, Tooele Co, UT

To finish, how about?…a gophernake.  This hatchling was moving along a dirt road I walked up after dark.

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