Land Between the Rivers, July 2003

Herp Habitat!

Northern Ringneck

Imperial Moth

Rough Green Snake

Darksided Salamander

'Black' Blue Racer

Midland Water Snake

Place and Time:  Various locations around Pike and Calhoun Counties, inbetween the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.  July 21st, 2003

Weather:  Partly cloudy, temps reaching the mid-80s F.

Others Present:  Tracey and Christopher Mitchell. Rick Milas.

A midsummer's jaunt to Tracey's old stomping grounds.  We stopped at a number of likely-looking places along with a visit to some family property.  First herp of the day was a nice Northern Ringneck Snake in the rubble of an old building.  The farm property turned up a Pickerel Frog in an old barn, some five-lined skinks and a recently deceased Rough Green Snake.

Country gas stations are great places to find some good moths, and I was not disappointed on this trip - a nice Imperial Moth (Eacles imperialis) on the window!

We stopped at a trash-littered roadside spring and located several Darksided Salamanders, a species I haven't seen for a long while.  Moving on to a wooded creekbed, we scared up an adult Blue Racer, as dark as any Southern Black Racer we see in the Shawnee Forest.  Further down was a large female Midland Water Snake, behaving in a typically nasty water snake fashion.

Finally, we headed down to some backwater areas along the Mississippi, turning up some Southern Leopard Frogs and several Yellowbellied Watersnakes, seen but not captured.  Plenty of snapper eggshells along sandy banks; they all looked like victims of coon predation.  I wonder how many snappers actually hatched compared to the hundreds that were eaten.

Pretty good herp trip for July - we'll have to get back over there again!

Herp Species Observed:

Northern Ringneck Snake (Diadophis punctatus edwardsi)
Blue Racer (Coluber constrictor foxi)
Yellowbellied Water Snake (Nerodia erythrogaster flavigaster)
Midland Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon pleuralis)
Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus)
Fivelined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris)
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana sphenocephala)
Darksided Salamander (Eurycea longicauda melanopleura)

Yellowbelly Habitat.

Snapper Eggshells.

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