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Game Warden

Show us your amphibians and reptiles from around the world...

95 posts in this topic

Just back from a holiday in Sicily. We saw this on a wall. It is called the Sicilian Wall Lizard!

 

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Actually we saw lots of them, frequently moving very quickly. This one allowed me to get close with a zoom that only goes up to 70mm (no long lens on holiday) - then cropped.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

This American Alligator is keeping a breathing hole thawed in seal-like fashion. It was caught out of its winter den by a sudden and severe cold snap. Photo taken at the Yawkey Wildlife Center (where I do shorebird research), in South Carolina, USA on December 15, 2010. At first we thought it was dead, but just after the photo was taken, it slowly drew down in the water. So we beat a hasty retreat to avoid bothering it. Canon 7D with 30mm f4 lens; unknown settings.

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This very large (4-meter) American Alligator was basking in the sun on February 6, 2011 during an unseasonable warm spell. Photo taken at the Yawkey Wildlife Center in coastal South Carolina, USA. Photo taken at close range at only 1X magnification, ISO 200, f/4, 1/1250/sec, Canon Powershot A630.

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This female Snapping Turtle was laying eggs at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. August 4, 2008. F5.6, 1/1250/sec, Canon Powershot A630.

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This Eastern Newt was walking along a stream at the Eastern Continental Divide along the South Carolina / North Carolina border in the southern Appalachian Mountains. It was a few miles uphill from Caesar's Head State Park, on September 2, 2013. Canon 7D with 30mm f4 lens; unknown settings.

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Edited by offshorebirder
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We made a quick trip to Arizona this past August and had 3 encounters with a real life monster. These guys are notoriously hard to find so I think we got really lucky. I give you the Gila Monster:

 

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It's hard to due them justice with still photography so here is a so-so video compilation of the Gila Monsters moving along with some other desert wildlife:

 

http://youtu.be/bKiT2Woab18?list=UUR85RVhu3Az-VOUXYPJtDgg

 

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Recently I rescued this Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) out of a 4-lane highway. The location was surrounded by woods in the process of being cut down + developed - not good for the turtle's long-term survival. So I took it to a nice nearby nature preserve and released it before snapping a photo.

 

If you look closely, you can see that I also ended up saving a tiny snail, which is crawling across the turtle's chest.

 

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Great picture. Love the tiny snail, thanks for pointing it out. :)

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Thanks @@michael-ibk - that photo was one of the very rare occasions when I used a camera flash (it was a pretty dark forest where I released the box turtle).

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Leopard Tortoise, Linyanti Botswana, 2009

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Nile Crocodile, Chobe River Botswana, 2009

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Chameleon, Linyanti, 2008

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Frog in the Bill of a Ground Hornbill, Kwedi concession, Botswana 2013

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(Angolan?) Reed Frog, Okavango (Xigera), 2013

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Lizard, Namibia 2013 (any identification would be welcome)

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Chameleon, Etosha NP, 2013

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Terrapins, Etosha NP, Namibia, 2015

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Hi @@Kingfisher Safaris, your unidentified lizard is a female Namib Rock Agama (Agama planiceps). Your second Chameleon is also an Agama (and I love the photo!), but I'm not sure which species :) Your first Chameleon is a Flap-necked chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)

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@@Dan

 

Fantastic, thanks. Misidentification is always a problem.......still working on identifying some birds from photographs from my recent Namibia trip!

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Hi @@Kingfisher Safaris, your unidentified lizard is a female Namib Rock Agama (Agama planiceps). Your second Chameleon is also an Agama (and I love the photo!), but I'm not sure which species :) Your first Chameleon is a Flap-necked chameleon (Chamaeleo dilepis)

 

~ @@Dan

 

Many thanks for the most helpful reptile identifications.

Welcome to Safaritalk!

If it's ever convenient and comfortable, please do introduce yourself in the Introductions section.

A qualified herpetologist would be a welcome addition!

Tom K.

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Hi @@Tom Kellie, I'm certainly not a qualified herpetologist but I'm definitely a keen one! I will introduce myself in the Introductions section soon!

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Hi @@Tom Kellie, I'm certainly not a qualified herpetologist but I'm definitely a keen one! I will introduce myself in the Introductions section soon!

 

~ @@Dan

 

I apologize for my delayed reply. I've been away on a 2-week safari.

I'd love to know more about your interests and background.

More herps than usual kept popping up throughout the just completed safari.

Very glad that you're here on Safaritalk.

Tom K.

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A few reptiles from our recent trip to Borneo (Sabah)

 

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~ @@TonyQ

 

You've given us quite a treat!

For those of us partial to lizards, skinks and their like, this is a veritable cornucopia.

That 4th one down has such an elongated skeletal system — remarkable!

This group is an education for me as I had no idea that reptiles were so readily observable in Borneo.

Terrific photos with excellent color and luminosity!

With Appreciation,

Tom K.

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@@Tom Kellie

Thank you

The 4th one is a flying lizard - and we did see it fly (although it is more like gliding - but pretty impressive anyway!)

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The Green Sea Turtles of Akumal, Mexico

 

About 90 miles south of Cancun is an area of sandy beaches which are home to the green sea turtles. Akumal is a small settlement blessed with two of the sandy beaches and within each bay grows the favorite food of green sea turtles – sea grass. From May to October female turtles come up out of the ocean onto the sand to lay their eggs in the middle of the night.

 

 

Early one morning in July, I noticed a mother turtle was still on the beach. During the night she had dug a large hole, laid her eggs, and now was covering them up with sand. She would flip the sand for a couple of minutes and then rest. She was exhausted.

 

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After a short while she decided that her work was done and made for the sea.

 

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During nesting season volunteers walk the beaches every night to protect the turtles and safe guard the nests. The nest are marked with a circle of stones and a cross telling people to stay away. Each nest is numbered and the location is recorded. When the date for hatching comes due, the stones around the nest are removed on the side facing the ocean.

 

The following year we returned to Akumal in November and found that most of the nests had hatched, but there was one left and the stones were now only in a half circle so I knew it was time. I checked on the nest several times a day but the sand on top never changed. Finally late one afternoon, I noticed one little turtle had crawled partially out. Once he made it to the top, he just rested and appeared almost to be dead.

 

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About a half hour later out popped another little turtle and then another. Each one just rested and did nothing unless pushed out of the way by another turtle climbing up. A small circle of people gathered around the nest and a turtle guard joined us. Some people who owned smart phones downloaded an app so that their phones shown read lights on the nest which did not bother the turtles and I was able to take this picture.

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A regular camera flash would have blinded the turtles and they would not have been able to find their way to the ocean.

 

About six hours after the first turtle climbed up, the ground around the nest started heaving and the guard asked us to dig a trench straight to the ocean to help guide the turtles. When the last turtle broke thru the sand, all the babies began at once to run as fast as they could. We used the back of our hands to gently restrict them to the trench. About three minutes, it was all over. Every baby turtle was in the ocean. The guard then dug out the nest with his hands and found 92 eggs had hatched.

 

A lucky 1 out of a 1000 will reach maturity and come back to Akumal to eat the sea grass and if it is a female, she will lay her eggs on the same beach.

 

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~ @@Terry

 

The colors!

Your underwater images above are soft, gentle, epic in their own way.

Really appreciate your posting these.

They brighten up Safaritalk!

Thank you.

Tom K.

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@@TonyQ, fantastic herp photos!

 

Now that we are starting to settle in after our move to Arizona a few months back, here are some of the local herps we have as neighbors:

 

Regal Horned Lizard:

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Western Banded Gecko:

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Coachwhip in our garage (we have now learned NOT to leave the door open for very long):

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Gopher Snake:

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Sonoran Whipsnake:

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Whiptail:

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Clark's Spiny Lizard (these guys hang out on our house most the day):

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Western Patch-nosed Snake:

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Black-tailed Rattlesnake:

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Gila Monster:

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Greater Earless Lizard:

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Sonoran Coral Snake:

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Western Diamondback Rattlesnake:

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Desert Spiny Lizard:

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~ @@Atdahl

 

What a collection of herps!

Your images are all terrific!

I especially like the black-tailed rattlesnake.

Thanks so much for sharing such a wealth of Arizona reptiles with us on Safaritalk!

Tom K.

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@@Atdahl

What a fine set of neighbours you have discovered. It must be amazing to have so many creatures like these living near to you.

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Mossy leaf-tailed Gecko from Andasibe NP , Madagascar.

 

Weird looking Gecko. Barque look-alike

 

It changes color according to the environment and is almost impossible to see if it sit on a tree or a branch.

Quite easy to see him on a green leaf though :)

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Edited by Antee
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@@Antee, love the Leaf-nosed Gecko.

 

Here's a Black-tailed Rattlesnake that we spotted in our yard recently:

 

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~ @@Atdahl

 

What a cool sighting!

Thanks for sharing such a fine photograph with Safaritalk.

The purple wildflowers are such a pleasing contrast to the rattler.

You've captured the rattle so well!

Tom K.

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Here is a young Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus - one of my favorite scientific names) that we found during a bird walk I led this past Saturday at Santee National Wildlife Refuge in South Carolina. It was coiled beneath a Buttonbush and was very peaceful. All the bird walk participants were thrilled to see the venomous snake - I was relieved because sometimes people freak out...

 

I almost never use a camera flash but in this case I felt it would not be harmful. First photo is with a flash, second without. Canon 7d mk I + 300 mm f/4 IS lens.

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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Here is a very young American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) that I photographed yesterday at Donnelley Wildlife Management area just south of Charleston, South Carolina. It was with a large group of 25 other "baby gators".

 

They were making their "yump" call with regularity - so I kept a sharp eye out for their mother!

 

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Edited by offshorebirder
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