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ABronyAccount

Herps As They Happen

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I have seen quite a few herps over these last 9 months, but not many species that are new to this thread.

 

But I did find this old pic from an old work phone, taken back in 2017.

Cope's Gray Treefrog!

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There's three of them hanging out on this satellite reflector mast. They belong to a species with 24 chromosomes (Two sets of 12, called diploid because there's two sets). There's a nearly identical species with 48 chromosomes (4 sets of 12, tetraploid because there's 4 sets), an evolutionary offshoot that happened when some frogs were born with twice as many chromosomes as usual.

Or should I say... SEVERAL evolutionary offshoots? Despite the fact that the related species with extra chromosomes is considered "one" species, genetics studies have indicated that there are actually 3 populations of them, each with an independent origin! In other words, those extra chromosome-having frogs spit off from this species 3 separate times, each one a different instance of chromosome-doubling.

Anyway, I keep trying to find more so I can get a good observation with location data, but I haven't run across any of these guys since this picture was taken.

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Speak of the devilfrog! Look what I found while brushing leaves off a home heat pump unit today:

 

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Literally didn't see it, just felt something in my hand as I brushed the leaves off the top of the unit. Then I looked down and saw its pale little self landing on the soft dirt, looking indignant. Meanwhile I was all like:

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GRAPPLING HOOK SNAPPING TURTLE!

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The carapace measured about 25cm long. They can grow up to twice that length, though!

I thought it was caught up in the fence, which is adjacent to a road. I was walking my dog at the time, so after finishing that I returned with a set of leather gloves and a snow shovel to try and move it away. There are good ways to move a snapping turtle away from the road, and then there is every other way to do it which usually ends with lacerations.
But it put up such an aggressive fight, and managed to free its leg from the fence, that I decided to leave it to its own devices instead of stress it out further. Just hope it didn't wander into the road and get crunched, like our box turtles tend to.

 

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This snek was really going places.

 

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It's a rough greensnek! In North America, all our green-colored snakes are safe and harmless. This one has a cousin in the smooth greensnek. Unlike the rough greensnek, it is smooth.

You can see some of the "keels" or little ridges running down the middle of the scales on this snake here:

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That's the roughly the best way to tell these snakes apart.

 

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