Danny - "I'm always excited to get back to the state I grew up in, and Kansas provided great weather and opportunities to see reptiles this week. We detected 3 'new' species for the project on this trip - Massasauga, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, and Diamond-backed Watersnake. We also documented a small range extension and new county record for Speckled Kingsnake!"
Celina - "There are several species that we still haven't detected for the project, this week I considered myself incredibly lucky to detect a neonate Massasauga in a bison wallow while on a survey! This small rattlesnake species has eluded us despite having several sites where the folks who manage and work the area say (and have shown us photos!) Massasaugas are there - we were in luck this trip and detected a total of 9 individuals, ranging from neonates to large adults."
Devin - "This week, Beth and I surveyed some new areas in Wyoming and western Nebraska. A few days before the start of our surveys, this area experienced a bout of cold weather and even a brief flurry of snow! We were therefore not anticipating to see much herp activity, believing the majority of reptiles would be beginning to hibernate at that point. We were pleasantly surprised when our surveys yielded a decent number of snakes! We found the sheds of a few different species, and I also found two Prairie Rattlesnakes, a Common Gartersnake, and a Racer!"
Beth - "Surveying in more aquatic and marshy habitat types this week resulted in the observation of a new species. Colder weather in Wyoming the week before meant we saw mostly snakes - Devin and I spotted a Common Gartersnake in the road. This specimen was probably the largest Gartersnake I have ever come across. Unfortunately, it was dead. I did make an exciting observation this week in Fort Collins over the weekend (on a day off)! In one of the city parks, a snake as small as worm slithered from the grass onto a concrete pathway when I walked by. It curled up and I got a look at the maroon and grey saddles that ran down its back. I remembered that some species have a pattern when they are younger and it becomes less distinct as they age and this was the case for the small North American Racer at my feet. Without a GPS that Saturday, I used the Great Plains Reptile Monitoring mobile app on my phone to document it."