Summer and Fall 2007 in Ohio

This report covers roughly from the end of May through the end of October. From mid-May onwards the conditions have been very dry. Finally, now, at the end of October, we have been getting some decent rain. I'll go through some of the highlights in more-or-less chronological order. All of these animals were found in Southern Ohio; most were found in southeastern Ohio.

A pile of ringnecks as found in some folded carpet.

A snake in the grass...

I also continued my search for new Pseudotriton spots.

This larva measured 3-1/4" TL. I'm pretty sure it is a montanus. Note added, spring 2011: definitely a montanus.

A closer look at the above animal.

Eventually my work paid off. A friend and I found two of these in a small area one day:

Mud Salamander.

The other one. At the end of May I pretty much gave up on looking for salamanders due to the dry conditions.

This box turtle was eating something off the bottom underwater when I first stumbled across it.

One day my wife, son, and I met up with Jason Folt in southwest Ohio. This was one of the animals we found:

A queen snake. They are apparently fairly common in this part of the state. I am still waiting to see one in southeast Ohio (where I live).

We also saw this:

A little watersnake. This animal and the previous one are posed on a hunk of limestone with a bunch of fossil shells in it.

A little snapping turtle my son found in the same area.

A few days later...

A copperhead with a copper head.


Smooth Earth on some smooth pebbles...

A Dekay's Snake as found under cover.

A copperhead as found under a slab of concrete.

Black Kingsnake.

The Ottway Covered Bridge.

Some amusing graffiti.

Well OK, I didn't completely stop looking for salamanders... A recently transformed mud salamander which measured 2-7/8" TL.

Green Salamander found with Jason one night.

Longtailed Salamander found at night near the above Green Salamander.

Cricket Frog. Few and far between in southeast Ohio.

One night in late June we actually did get a little bit of rain, so I went out cruising.

Grey Treefrogs were out in force.

A pair, as found on a dirt road.

I was also very happy to see a few of these:

Eastern Spadefoot Toad. First one I've photographed. I did see one a couple years ago, but I let it escape without photographs.

Another one.

A Milksnake posed on a gob pile.

A garter as found under tin.

Black Kingsnake.

Black Ratsnake.

Copperhead, as found in a woodpile.


Jason and I met up and road cruised a couple of times this summer. We had considerable success with copperheads:

A cute little one.

Another Copperhead.

And another....

A Copperhead as found under tin. The cracked ground which you see was a common sight this summer.

A young Milksnake with a meal in its belly, as found under cover.

Another Milksnake.

A young Marbled Salamander found under a carpet on a dry ridgetop on a hot summer's day...

A Copperhead found in a folded up carpet pad.

A Black Ratsnake, as found under cover.

Another Black Ratsnake. This animal is probably the lightest colored one I've seen in Ohio.

Black Kingsnake.

A young Smooth Earthsnake.

A large and rather handsome Milksnake.

A closer look.

Fowler's Toad.

A pretty young Red Salamander found with Andy Avram. I'm a little unhappy with the photo though...

Black Kingsnake.

A hognose snake as found under tin.

Finally, starting just a few days ago, we have started to get some decent rains around here. Roadcruising in the rains at night has yielded several dozen of these:

Marbled Salamander.

Another one, rather darkly colored.

This one was found on a road which goes through an area I'm very familiar with. There seem to be very few vernal pools in this particular area but I knew of one which was near the road. Sure enough, right next to pool, was this salamander. This animal is the only Ambystoma I've ever found in this area -- and I've worked it over pretty well, finding 8 other salamander species here...

One day (October 27), I explored some hollows fairly close to home I'd never visited before. The herps were coming pretty slowly and the habitat was not remarkable. On my walk up one of the hollows I'd only found single green frog. Now if I had diligently looked under every rock and log I would surely have found redbacks, twolines, and duskies, but I was moving quickly, keeping my eyes out for certain habitat features -- springs and pools, mostly. I was just checking the best looking cover items. On my walk back down the hollow I was moving even faster. I did stop to check one log which was lying on the damp creek bed. Although we have had some rain recently, most of the small creeks still do not have flowing water above ground. I could not believe my eyes I realized there was a mud salamander under the log... Here it is:

Pseudotriton montanus. Even under ideal circumstances (e.g., a spring with a known population and abundant surface cover to look under) finding these requires some luck. I was exceedingly lucky with this one...

I checked a few more hollows, but nothing too interesting turned up. I did think this was pretty cool:

Notophthalmus viridescens (eft), as found under a log.

Ravine Salamander (Plethodon electromorphus), November.

A young Jefferson Salamander, November.

Jason and I met on November 12. It was a fairly warm day for this time of year. It was also drizzly. We saw several critters, including these two:

Longtailed Salamander, as found on the road.

Dekay's Snake, as found on the road.

That's all folks!