Saturday, June 28, 2008

Last weekend we went on vacation with Jen's parents to Western North Carolina, Henderson County to be precise. I took one herping side trip to Dupont State Forest and didn't see much.

The scenery was gorgeous - lots of steep mountains with exposed rocky tops. Here's a shot from the top of one.
I was looking around for snakes, but didn't see any. I did see a couple salamanders. Here's a dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) I found in a dry creekbed. I can't tell what subspecies it is, and I wouldn't bet much on my species identification either (duskies are difficult).
I had an easier time identifying this eft that I found under a log.

Efts are newts (Notophthalmus v. viridiscens) in kind of an adolescent phase. They start off as aquatic larvae and end up as aquatic adults, but in between they wander the land as these bright little efts. I haven't found one in several years, and it was fun to see it.

Last, and least fun, we drove past three DOR black ratsnakes (Pantherophis o. obsoleta).

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