Business Trip Chicago

For your reports/images, made outside Europe and the "Mediterranean" countries. Not to be too narrow minded and limited to our European/Mediterranean herps.

Business Trip Chicago

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:03 am

Was on a two week Business Trip in the Chicago Area, from May 29th to June 9th.
I got the message that I have to go there in a very short time so I was not able to prepare myself for a high class herping.
The only thing I found out was that the next best rattlesnake place was a five hour Drive away, not possible.
I had only time for herping at the weekend and I found only a few Herps and just the very common stuff.

I visited the Fulton Sand Prairie at the Mississipi Side and the first Snakes I saw was the northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon)
in situ
Nerodia sipedon 1.jpg


Juvenile in situ
Nerodia sipedon2.jpg


Juvenile
Nerodia sipedon2a.jpg


Nerodia courting under water, most of the time the head of the female was out of the water, from time to time I saw one or two head from the males
Nerodia sipedon3.jpg


Of course tones of fat bullfrogs were everywhere
Lithobates catesbeianus.jpg


Some very shy big tadpoles, you can compare the black tadpoles with our Bufo tadpoles so you can imagine how big they are
Tadpoles.jpg


Saw also a lot of northern Leopard frogs (Lithobates pipiens), never saw them in water, they where basking in the high grass and dissapear in the bushes
in situ
Lithobates p.jpg


Lithobates pipiens - Unkenreflex
Lithobates pipiens.jpg


The only turtles I saw was the painted turtle (Chrysemys picta)
egg laying
chrysemys picta p.jpg


and an other one on Land
Chrysemys picta.jpg


found also one of the huge Monster
in situ
Chelydra serpentina.jpg



Nice eyes
ChelydrA.jpg


Sunday I drove south east to the Kankakee Sand prairie in Indiana
kanka.jpg


I expect a lot and found almost nothing beside the very common blue racer (Coluber constrictor foxii)
Coluber constrictor foxii.jpg


All in all I had a great Weekend, it was very nice to herp in an other part of the world.
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Ilian Velikov » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:47 pm

Nice! I love the N American herpetofauna and I have a special thing for the north, north-east (e.g. New England). I'm especially jealous of the turtles. Looks like you had a nice time.
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:58 pm

Thanx, Jürgen! Next time business trip to Tucson? ;)
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Laura Bok » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:55 pm

Hey Jürgen! You might have "found only a few Herps and just the very common stuff", as you say, but that definitely makes it one of the better business trips ;)!

The portrait of the turtle is mesmerizing...
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Jürgen Gebhart » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:00 pm

Thank you Lady and Gentlemen

Jeroen Speybroeck wrote:Thanx, Jürgen! Next time business trip to Tucson? ;)


Sadly we have just one Warehouse in the States and this place was not my choice! (but who is aksing me) :evil:

Tucson is not a bad place to be, but I love the complete area west of Houston/Tx and south of the Interstate 10!
(Ok, some place North of the I-10 also) ;)
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:36 pm

Just change jobs. I'm sure there's a company with a warehouse in Houston. :lol:
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:14 pm

It's almost impossible for me not to note the similarities of the american Coluber
with the sicilian Hierophis viridiflavus.

Look at this picture of my sicilian friend Melo:
d.jpg
With the permission of the author


The head shape is identical: protruding supraoculars which give the impression of a "bad tempered" snake... :D
How is it possible?
Evolutive convergence or what else?
This feature (protruding supraoculars with "hollowed" eye) is totally absent in the populations of Hierophis viridiflavus of northern western Italy (even in black coloured specimens), which, in my opinion, attain also bigger sizes than their counterparts of southern Italy and north eastern Italy. But they are considered one species.

Coluber of the United States were then splitted into Coluber and Masticophis, but I would say there are more "fenotipic" similarities between the blue Coluber constrictor foxii of our picture and the Hierophis viridiflavus of Melo, than between the whipsnake of Melo and the whipsnakes from where I live...

Ok: the tail of the Hierophis of Melo is more elongated, and the Coluber constrictor is more grey-bluish than black, but the blue coloration is given by the Tyndall effect, and is merely given by the amount of black melanin in the deeper layer of the skin...

Had the Coluber constrictor of the picture and the Hierophis of Melo a common ancestor in the Pangea time, or everything is due only to evolutive convergence and pure case? :shock:

P.S. Little provocation... if we consider "ad litteram" the correctness of taxonomy and genus/species classification, there is the same evolutive distance between Hierophis viridiflavus from Sicily and Coluber constrictor from USA, than between Hierophis viridiflavus and Coronella austriaca, because the three species belong actually to three completely different genus inside a same family (Hierophis, Coluber and Coronella)... something does not convince me... :lol:
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Guillaume Gomard » Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:40 pm

Thanks for sharing Jürgen. Common stuff but still cool herps. I especially like the Coluber, it's an interesting species to observe in the wild (quite curious snake). This area is actually not so bad from the snake viewpoint (just think about C.horridus ;) ). You should try to plan one of your business trip during Spring to match with the cottonmouth migration along the famous "snake road"! It should definitely worth the 5 hours drive!
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Ruggero Morimando » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:40 am

Sorry for my post above... I know only now from a friend that viridiflavus and carbonarius are nowadays considered two different species... :lol: :oops: :oops: Anyway I'm happy I had understood this fact (or at least suspected this) before knowing the current taxonomy situation! :D
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Re: Business Trip Chicago

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:16 am

Ruggero Morimando wrote:I know only now from a friend that viridiflavus and carbonarius are nowadays considered two different species...

Not by Speybroeck et al. (2016)! :twisted:
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