SC Reptile and Amphibians


September & October 2006

Gene's Notes:

My free time during the first part of September was taken up with preparations for a birthday party for my mother-in-law. Family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday. She is still living at home with assistance.

I don't think I found any live snakes during September, except a Black Rat Snake that I ran over while mowing a field at the farm. Actually, I did find the snake alive, but was lead to it by the Turkey Vultures that found it first. I did find a few turtles on the road during my commutes: a Musk Turtle, Mud Turtle, several Box Turtles, and an old male slider on a street in the middle of Abbeville. I have not been able to make a definite identification of its species. Logic says it is a Yellowbelly, but it has no head markings and looks most like a Redbelly Slider. As far as I know, we do not have breeding populations of Redbelly Sliders in the area. Win reported finding several Box Turtles in the drying creek beds at the farm. He brought me a hatchling Box Turtle for photographing.

In October, a few more snakes were seen. I found only one live snake myself, a large Copperhead. Win brought me a Brown Snake and a neonate Copperhead for photographing. Win and Hope also found a large Black Rat Snake and an Eastern Kingsnake near their house. I saw at least one DOR Eastern Kingsnake and Win and Hope saw a couple more. This year we saw an unusually hign number and percentage of Kingsnakes. Win also brought me an adult Gulfcoast Spiny Softshell Turtle for photographing.

In mid-October, on the coldest morning yet of this Fall, I accompanied Win on one of his survey runs on Lake Russell. I did not expect to see any herps and was not surprised. It was a beautiful, bright-blue morning. We saw juvenile Bald Eagles, Ospreys, American Coots, Common Loons, Double-crested Cormorants, Canada Geese, Great Blue Herons, and others.

Gene Ott


October 30, 2006
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