You may recall Trimorphodon from the photo I posted here (almost exactly 1 year ago!) and the BioGSC calendar this past year. Again, a fairly aggressive snake, but also very beautiful. This year, I discover that it’s had a name change (T. biscutatus to T. quadrupex).
A new snake species for me, I had misidentified this juvenile Senticolis (formally Elaphe) triaspis as Trimorphodon quadrupex (now distinct from biscutatus) (Savage and Bolanos 2009 Zootaxa), but the reddish color and round pupils didn’t sit well with me. When I keyed the snake out, I discovered that the juvenile is very different than the adult. Although it’s a very pretty, young constrictor, it’s fairly aggressive and has bitten several times – luckily, I didn’t misidentify a poisonous snake…
With the photographs I took of the snake, I discovered some anomalies on its head – Ticks! It’s a bit difficult to see here, but there are two ticks, buried deep behind its head. I’ve removed them, but the snake was completely ungrateful.
Much more active than their adult counterparts, juvenile Ctenosaura seem to occupy the same habitat here as some of the Ameiva (maybe leptophys). Additionally, given that juvenile iguanas are more insectivorous than adults, they share some of the same food sources.
As I stated before, it’s quite easy to see the rain coming (here and here and here and here too). Huge sheets of rain cloud views of the distance mountains and hills. Although I wasn’t able to photograph it because I quickly shoved my camera in a dry bag, the sheets climbed and draped over the mountain to the right and headed straight for me. They were so heavy, not only was it impossible to see the mountain, but it was difficult to make out a birding tower about 100 m away.
Additionally, I’ve been taking a number of panoramas in the field and quickly stitching the photographs together using Microsoft ICE. They make amazing backgrounds for the new wide-screen displays that are standard on today’s laptops and desktops!
This is my 500th post! Although that number isn’t that substantial compared to some others (i.e., over 10,000 here or 5000 here), I think that nearly all of my posts include original work (photographs) and rarely have I essentially reposted about a topic with a brief, original comment, as is what ‘big’ blogs sometimes do. Sure, those ‘big’ blogs require tons of work and time, but I contend that the content per post is low or the physical effort needed per post is low (i.e., reading and commenting on the latest news item from a computer screen). Regardless if that’s the truth, I’m excited.
My first post was on 31 January 2009, which was about 513 days ago (0.97 posts/d), so, basically, for the last 500 days I have made one post a day. To that end, I will have one Imperial today. Cheers.
With an f-stop of 1.8, I can start to get some photographs in the understory without the picture turning out completely blurry. It would have been nice to have this lens on the Osa trip last winter, where a dense canopy inhibited my ability to photograph the trail. Here, in Palo Verde, a fast lens isn’t quite a necessary, because the canopy is less dense and it’s always sunny.
The wetland plant composition is slightly different in Catalina. Pistia seems to dominate many open water areas, rather than Eichhornia and there are large patches of Lemna (pictured below) in some parts. Of course, the dominate emergent is Typha, but there is some Thalia. The Typha seems much more dominate this year than last, but I’m not sure if the wetland is managed similar to the wetland in the Palo Verde sector. Margins of the wetland have lots of Parkinsonia.