Trip Details

Start Time: 4:40 p.m.

Weather: Sunny with a high around 75 degrees.

Location: Montgomery County, Missouri

Herpers: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Photos by: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: ... it's 1,158.1 miles to Herp, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cereal bars, it's sunny and we got our camera and wrangling gear ... hit it ...

It was our first of three out of state ventures for the year. After a short day of work we headed out and planned to get at least a little herping yet this day. We headed south like we were on a mission from God (yes, another Blues Brothers reference). This is an area that Jim had been to before but I had not. I was anxious to get out as the weather was good and we were headed to Missouri, the land of Glades-and walking-and ticks.

We arrived at our first location and we had some tin to flip. Jim had mentioned that we had a good chance at a Copperhead here. In many of the areas we would be we hit ranges of intergrading between Osage, Northern or Southern Copperheads so I will just stick to "Copperhead". Guess what we found? Yea, a Copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix).

Photos by Jim Scharosch

It was a decent sized one at about twenty inches. After it sat fairly nicely we let it go back on its way under the tin again. We walked around a little while and Jim found a Three-Toed Box Turtle (Terrapene carolina triunguis).

Photo by Jim Scharosch

It was just hanging out in the weeds so we got some in situ shots and left it be. It was an adult at about six inches.

We headed to another area and I was able to get a quick pic of a Green Frog (Rana clamitans melanota) floating in a bit of water we passed.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

This one was about three and a half inches.

We headed up a hillside and the next find was another amphibian, an American Toad (Bufo americanus).

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

This was a smaller one at about three inches. After a couple of shots we moved on and it went under a cavern in some larger rocks.

We found a few smaller things including some Prairie Ringneck Snakes that we chose not to get a picture of and we did get our first of many Flathead Snakes (Tantilla gracilis).

Photo by Jim Scharosch

Most of the Flatheads we found were between three to four and a half inches.

Northern Fence Lizards (Sceloporus u. hyacinthinus) were also a common species to be found on this trip.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

These ranged from three to five inches in length.

At another hillside we did turn up a juvenile Eastern Yellowbelly Racer (Coluber c. flaviventris) that was heavily in shed as it was quite blue eyed.

Photo by Jim Scharosch

Another common theme with many snakes found. This one was about eight inches.

On the way back to our campsite we found some small tadpoles that appeared to be American Toad tadpoles.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

I also got a picture of some Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus species).

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

All these were in a small vernal pond near the trail. Blanchard's Cricket Frogs (Acris crepitans blanchardi) were also quite common in the area and I got a few shots of them as well.

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

Initially I hoped I would get one to come close and just then one jumped right by my boot. I am the frog whisperer!

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

That was all for day one of four on our Missouri Glade extravaganza.

Photo by Matt Ricklefs

We eagerly looked forward to MO Happy Herpin'!

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