Speckle Quest (continued)

Virginia striatula

Jim and Wayne shoot pictures of the first Speckled Kingsnake

Lampropeltis getula holbrooki

Speckle Number Two


After the luxury of a night in a comfortable bed, and a great breakfast courtesy of Rachel, we headed out to a large rocky hillside for another attempt at a Speckled King.  The day was clear, and promised to be warmer than the previous day.  Right away we turned up a number of Rough Earth Snakes and Western Worm Snakes under flat rocks.  I hadn't seen any Virginia striatula in ages, so it was nice to get acquainted with them again.  I always enjoy finding Carphophis vermis; if they were a yard long, demand would be high for these beauties.

Jim was working the upper third of the big hill, and turned up the first Speckle under a flat rock.  It was a nice looking sub-adult, still showing traces of the light crossbars and dark blotches prevalent on juveniles.

We continued to work along the hillside, kicking up scorpions and tarantulas, along with Racerunners and more of the little fossorial snakes.  Jim found a second Speckled King, this one a bit larger than the first.  It bore no trace of a pattern, but it was a bit dull, and many of the light scale spots were very small.  Not an ugly snake, but not the best Missouri had to offer, either.

Wayne turned up the third kingsnake under a rock near the bottom of the hill, an adult female, and the nicest of the lot.  Many of the light scale spots were replaced with slender, oblong bars, which made an intricate pattern on the snake's back. 

The spots were a nice pale yellow, and some of the scales close to the ventrals were all yellow, rimmed in black.  All in all a very pretty snake. 

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