The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action

Reptiles as Gifts?

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(Originally posted on our 2011 Field Blog —  by Nicole Freidenfelds)

Our number of herpetofauna species encountered on this trip continues to grow, and as of this point is close to 40, I think.  Chris has the official list and will hopefully write a blog entry about it soon.

Yesterday I saw two species that I’ve never seen before – an eastern glass lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis) and a pigmy rattlesnake (Sistrurus miliarius).  The glass lizard was found by Chris and Alex on their way to Chris’ enclosures.  Knowing I had never seen one, they kindly brought it back to the dorms and left it in our kitchen/living room with a note written on a paper towel.

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I didn’t see the note, as it had been blown off the table by the air conditioner, and simply discovered a knotted pillowcase sitting on the floor.  Wondering what was inside, I gently poked at it and then opened said pillowcase.  Upon looking in, I said to myself, “I think this is a glass lizard.”  My suspicions were verified shortly thereafter by Sean.

When Chris and Alex returned later I thanked them for the lovely surprise.  I then returned the lizard to where they caught it and tried to get some “natural” photos.

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Glass lizards are super cool because they have no legs and really long tails, and if you didn’t know better, you could easily misidentify one as a snake.

 

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And then last night, we found a decent number of snakes while road cruising, most of which were copperheads and alive (yay!).  We were very pleasantly surprised to discover what Sean initially thought was a small copperhead (while driving past it), was actually a pigmy rattlesnake!  Super exciting!

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It was hard to believe such a cute little snake could hurt you if you accidentally (or stupidly) picked it up.  I can definitely see how pigmies can be mistaken for nonvenomous snakes.  Yikes.

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