In 2015, on the last hike of the summer, we came across a jumping pit viper (Atropoides nummifer) and brazenly (or foolishly) photographed, labeled, and finally removed it from the Gamboa trail.
I ran into two Bothrops asper (Fer-de-lance or Terciopelo) on Las Cruces trails (one on Sendero Selva and one on the Water Trail) this year (so far), which is two more than any other year since 2013. Below are a few images of the two.
The only other B. asper I’ve seen in the area was Finca Cantaros in 2013 while batting. The first was a juvenile in a stream bed at Campanario (on the Osa Penninsula) in 2008 that we (at least Oscar Rocha and Mike Monfredi) encountered while walking upstream.
Macy, an REU student this summer (not pictured), discovered a large male Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus – aka Jesus Christ Lizard) under a rock while surveying for spiders. They get their name from “running” on water to escape, but this individual seemed to be too cold and wedged in hiding. I pulled it from the rock and we took some photos—only Juliet, my student, and another research mentor, Patricia, braved holding it.
A quick video of the larger Phrynosoma douglassi.
We discovered a few Short Horned Lizards, Phrynosoma douglassi, on Mormon Mountian south of Flagstaff, Arizona (my best guess at the identification) while hiking around.
Many Phrynosoma are capable of squirting blood from their eyes—a defensive mechanism that deters predators, such as small dogs and cats, from killing the lizards in a substantial percentage of encounters, according to a discussion with George Middendorf I had after meeting him in a diversity workshop at Las Cruces Biological Station. George has quantitatively characterized and reviewed the gruesome squirting!
While I didn’t get a chance to observe the squirting, and I didn’t provoke the animals with that purpose, they also flatten out quite a bit when handled!
A Lithobates (Rana) sp. tadpole at Rainbow Springs State Park, Florida.