Well 2013 is finally ending. I had a rather successful year herping in Florida alone, with 13 lifers for the state and a total of 85 species observed in the field. Of the 13 lifers I found, three of them were on my wish list for the year, and they were:
Gopher Frog Lithobates capito
This was an extremely exciting find. I sadly could not get a better photo of it, so looking around this area at night after a rain may be my next attempt to get a better photo.
Eastern Coral Snake Micrurus fulvius fulvius My younger brother spotted this one as it was moving across a trail after a light rain. The madness and screaming from excitement that ensued was probably heard for miles. An excellent find from this year for me for sure.
Florida Sand Skink Plestiodon reynoldsi
My girl friend was raking in some sand at the base of a tree when she spotted this adorable lizard. She originally thought she saw a flash of blue and we were hoping for a blue-tailed mole skink but after a bit of digging this one made us very happy none the less.
Sadly I did not find the other two on my list, the Two-toed Amphiuma Amphiuma means and the Alligator Snapping Turtle Macrochelys temminckii. So they will earn their place on next years list.
Wish List 2014
1) Snake - Florida Pine Snake Pituophis melanoleucus mugitus
2) Lizard - Blue-tailed mole skink Eumeces egregius lividus
3) Frog - Pine Barrens tree frog Hyla andersonii
4) Salamander - Two-toed Amphiuma Amphiuma means
5) Turtle - Alligator Snapping Turtle Macrochelys temminckii
A faily ambitious wish list in my opinion. I can only hope for the best and start getting in that field time! Of course I can not leave out one of my favorite lifers of the year, from a trip to Tennessee:
Eastern Hellbender Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis.
This one was one of the more energetic finds of the year. I was with my whole family and a few friends when we found this one. After trudging through a stream for about half an hour I lifted a massive rock and as soon as the sediment floated away I noticed this small salamander sitting on the bottom. I began hollering for my net and shortly after we were all super excited to see this very unique salamander. Tennessee truly is the salamnder capital of the world, as we found many other species during this trip.
Good luck herping in 2014!