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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!



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:



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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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.




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:


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



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Found a potential package pirate snooping around my mailbox today!

The first one of the year to be in a green mood. Unfortunately it wasn't in the mood for photoshoots, so it scurried into the newspaper slot where a bird had been trying to start a nest.


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Came back from Shot #2 with a bag of McDonald's to celebrate! But just as soon as I set my food down to dig in, the dog tapped on the sliding glass door. He wanted to go outside.

Or so I thought. He actually just wanted to sniff the outside air and then come back in. Well, no sooner did he withdraw back to the inside of the house than did I notice that opening the sliding glass door had inadvertently transported a tree frog into the house.

Intruder detected!


Intruder categorized as "smol."


Escorted from the premises. And he did ride...


But refused to leaf.


So he was grounded.


After a brief survey,


he decided it was time to leaf after all.


Zero contact with human skin the entire time. I convinced him to hop from the glass door into a box and covered it with McDonald's bag to keep him calm while taking him out of the house.

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Had an appointment for an ISP technician to come over and swap some CPE today, so I went into the back yard where the demarc is to make sure the path was clear. Good thing I did, because I saw a little Brown Snake on the walkway. They're absolutely harmless and mostly eat slugs, but to a lot of techs around here any small brown snake is "a baby copperhead!" and likely to get executed via shovel blade.




I shooed it off into the grass so it wouldn't be severed.

There are some Redbelly snakes around that look almost identical from the top, but the biggest giveaway is the color of the, well, belly. Dirty pale orange to blood-orange orange is a redbelly, anything cream or ash-colored like this one is a Dekay. Either one is perfectly safe and has an appetite for garden pests, so if you see one in the yard be sure say "Hi!" to your friendly neighborhood slug slayer.


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