Trip to New Mexico

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Trip to New Mexico

Post by Desert Cruiser » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:23 pm

This last weekend we took a trip to New Mexico to meet up with Reptilist and hunt some photos of snakes and have a little expedition. It went great and we got to meet some really nice ranchers on the trip.

Here's the Desert Cruiser & Reptilist 4X4's on the road. Good taste in vehicles!
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On the way into one of the ranches we got permission to visit there is a lot of old mining sites.
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A lot of rocky areas with very large boulders and unusual plant life.
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Another look at some of the area we hiked. Terry did most of the hiking (see below)
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Here's Iggy looking around with the Desert Cruiser in the valley and the Reptilist Cruiser just barely visible on the hill behind.
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While we looked at an area at the base of a cliff Reptilist was hiking around this boulder strewn peak. Look in the saddle near the top.
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We did manage to find a Greater Earless Lizard sunny himself with his mating colors on.
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On the last night there Reptilist took us out to a location he was familiar with and we got to see 4 different snakes. This one is the Prairie Rattlesnake. He was constantly trying to bite Terry. Nasty disposition, but beautiful snake and it's the first time we got to see one.
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The next one Terry came across was this really pretty little Night Snake. As you can see by the size of Reptilist finger it was a small one!
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This last one is a Gopher Snake.
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We also found a Glossy Snake. Especially nice trip because Reptilist is so knowledgeable about the reptiles. Fun trip!

Don....

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by reptilist » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:45 pm

Great pics Don!

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by Desert Cruiser » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:51 pm

Thanks Terry, I know you got great ones also --- like the one you posted in the other thread here. Thanks.

Don....

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by reptilist » Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:58 pm

Here's a few I like...

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It isn't called "Dog's Head Peak" for nothing!

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The Glossy Snake
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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by reptilist » Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:02 pm

One of the most notable occurrences is this pic...This appears to be a Gray Checkered Whiptail (uncommon) or maybe a Tiger Whiptail (common). If it is a Gray Checkered Whiptail, it would signify a previously undiscovered population. Which is possible since we were deep into private land where few if any herpers have ventured. Besides Texas, the only other known population is South and West of our location in the Antelope Pass region (about 50 miles away, on the other side of Animas, NM.).

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by Desert Cruiser » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:22 pm

Terry: Going backwards --- the whiptail lizard --- I've photographed quite a few of the common Tiger Whiptail Lizards and I'll try to locate the photos for comparison, but this doesn't look like the ones I photographed here. I'd bet that's the uncommon one, if so NEAT! Was that the first one that we spotted in the wash where the cattle were?

The other photos look great too. I didn't know you took a photo of us working our way along that cliff wall? And the dog bones -- or was it a coyote? Remember you saw one on the way in to the peak. We saw some coyote scat near that one cave in the photo of us.

Don....

Looking thru old photos ------------------------

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by Desert Cruiser » Mon Jun 15, 2009 9:57 pm

Here's two photos of the Tiger Whiptail that I took here.

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Do they look the same? Don......

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by Desert Cruiser » Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:12 pm

Terry: I lightened your photo a little to make the lighting the same and added a quick cut-out of one of my lizard photos. Maybe this will help. Do the markings look the same or not?

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They don't to me, the tail on yours doesn't have the markings of mine. And the head is lacking some of the markings too. What do you think?

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by reptilist » Tue Jun 16, 2009 7:13 am

Yes, this is the one we saw on the way out.....There are always individual differences between specimens.....And I agree with your observations. The quick check between the two species is the amount of black ventral pigment on the chin, chest, and neck...The Tiger has lots of it. But, the clincher is the scalation between the folds of skin under the neck...To be sure, I'd have to have the specimen in hand. I have emailed a prominent herpetologist who has done years of researching on A. dixoni, so he will probably be able to verify or not.

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Re: Trip to New Mexico

Post by reptilist » Tue Jun 16, 2009 12:32 pm

Aspidoscelis dixoni has been confirmed by a herpetologist who has over 40 years experience working with whip tailed lizards.
So, we did discover something after all!

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