Thursday, May 8, 2014

Learning to Use My Tongs

My tongs came in today! Interestingly enough, the UPS guy who delivered it turned out to be really into catching snakes and had this exciting conversation with my mom whilst I, unknowingly, sat in the bathroom. Oh well!

I did not get the Gentle Giant tongs, so I am slowly learning to use these ones, making sure to not hold the snake tight enough rather than hold it too tight when picking it up. I have not gotten the hang of it yet and used my hook for the most part, but I'm getting there!

I found a very green (and very pissed off) Northern Pacific. He was fangs-deep in a western fence lizard, which eventually shook its tail and was let go, stumbling into the grasses and probably dying there, to be eaten later. (Note: He released his prey without my disturbance. I only picked him up when the lizard went off.) I did not know that rattlers held on to their prey like this...

Northern Pacific Rattlesnake
(Crotalus oreganus oreganus)
and Western Fence Lizard
(Sceloporus occidentalis bocourtii) in mouth.

Rattlesnake after the lizard ran off.

You can see the intense green coloration of the
snake in this picture.

I also found a California Kingsnake which was extremely uneasy and covered my entire hands in musk (of which my dad complains I still smell like, even after a shower and multiple sessions of intense scrubbing).

California Kingsnake
(Lampropeltis getula californiae)

And finally, we found an interesting spider. I could not identify it, so if anybody knows what it is, please reply in a comment or send me a private message!
Edit: Thank you Zach_Lim from Field Herp Forum for identification!

Camel Spider