I don't have time for more than a quick post right now. We have family in town for the weekend and the holiday, and I'm working on a post about a trip to the Pine Barrens last Wednesday night (June 28), but for now here is more on northern brown snakes (Storeria d. dekayi), including my best photos yet with the macro settings on my new camera.
On Tuesday (June 27) Scott and I headed out brown snake hopping around West Philly. The weather was wet and rainy, with temperatures in the high 70s. We herped from around 7pm until dark.
I was a little nervous - you don't want to take someone to spots you swear are really great and then find nothing, but my little beige friends did not disappoint.
We started in the West Philly savannah off 49th south of Parkside. Yes, those are horses off in the distance in the second photo.
We explored a lot of cover in about a half hour, including this trash pile,
the rocks and debris on the berms around the lots,
and this old lawn chair.
The lawn chair hid two little brown snakes, and the rest of the cover produced as well.
We found a total of nine snakes, and then we moved on to Mount Moriah.
Here we "only" found four snakes. One, which I stupidly did not photo, had a kink in its spine a little above the base of its tail. Sometimes snakes hatch or are born with these spinal deformities. Breeders usually cull them, the assumption being that they're not going to survive. This little guy proved them wrong - it was full grown and looked robust.
I took one large female home for some more photos. Here they are.
13 brown snakes