Southeast Ohio Summer 2010

This report covers my southeast Ohio highlights, from late May through the end of the year, in chronological order.

I flew into the Columbus airport late one night. It was raining, and I was glad I had my camera along. However, I didn't wind up seeing a whole lot. This was the highlight:

Fowler's Toad, the only one I saw all year.

I met up with Andy Avram one day. We found a few things:


Copperhead in some trash.

A black king Andy found under a discarded coat.

Brian Folt joined us in the late afternoon.

A young racer.

We cruised a copperhead.

A copperhead cruised a few days later.

This is my favorite find of the year:

Broadhead Skink. This is the first for-sure Broadhead I've photographed in Ohio. I found it on the forest floor, in some pretty dense woods on a ridge top. I was able to sort-of corner it on the lower part of a tree trunk. With Brian Folt acting as a spotter from the opposite side of the tree, I was eventually able to bring it to hand.

Another look. It measured 95 mm SVL.

A black king with a big meal in it.

A Smooth Earth Snake, not in situ!

A young Wormsnake. The proportions of young Wormsnakes and Virginia valeriae always strike me as a bit odd.

A Ringneck Snake. This one seemed to have a particularly wide ring?

A Milksnake as found under a piece of carpet. This piece of cover was pretty much owned by ants, the snake was hanging out at the very edge. I find this color phase of milk to be rather attractive.

A black king found under an automobile gas tank.

A stream, with low mid-August flow.

A couple of mudpuppies found in the above habitat.

A closer look at the smaller one.

This Logperch was found nearby.

Brian and I tried roadcruising a few days later:

A copperhead giving us the characteristic stink eye...

Another copperhead.

This copperhead was not expected.

Marbled Salamander. Starting in mid September, they start to turn up more frequently under surface cover.

A Rough Green Snake, as found crossing an ATV trail.

Another look.

On October 26, we had some good rainy conditions for amphibian movement.

A Jeffersons Salamander. The rumble strip makes for an interesting backdrop...

A young Marbled Salamander. Many were seen.

Leopard Frog (Rana pipiens), found in pretty much the only place in southeast Ohio that I can find them.

A melanistic? Marbled Salamander.

Fall usually provides some opportunities to go salamander looking.

Pseudotriton ruber larvae.

A young Pseudotriton ruber that Brian Folt turned up. I was having all sorts of problems with my flash, and this was the best photo that I got. Later, when I was putting my camera away, I discovered that the flash was poorly secured to the camera body. The salamander had long since been released...

A Spring Salamander (G.p.p.) turned up by a friend.

Mottled Sculpin (Cottus bairdi), salamander larva dipnetting bycatch.

For scale.

A large adult Spring Salamander (G.p.p.).

Bitter cold and snow moved into the region right around Thanksgiving, and hung around for a month. I had figured that my herping for 2010 was over. However, right at the end of the year, some gorgeous weather briefly appeared. My son and I went for a long hike in a new area on December 31st:

The teeth of Old Man Winter were definitely losing their grip... It wasn't long before he returned.

This little seepage proved to be productive for dipnetting.

A bunch of twolines (E.c.) and two Mud Salamander larvae were found in the above seepage. There were also more twolines and three Green Frogs.

A pair of twolines and one of the muds.

A closer look. It's a little hard to see, but one of the external gills on the right (foreground) side of the mud is just a stub.

The other mud and a twoline. This mud was noticeably darker than the other one.

Ryan concluded that it was warm enough to take his jacket off. The weather was really nice...

Not a bad way to end the year.