Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Suizo Report -- Plot Biscuits

Howdy Herpers,                                     04/14/14

We trust that your inbox has been devoid of Suizo Reports lately? The president of the THS can’t imagine what he has been doing with all of his free time………..

We should take a moment to explain the numbers that appear in parenthesis after the snake numbers for any of the people on this list who don’t live, breathe, and die herps. No, we don’t have 3.6 Tiger Rattlesnakes---although tracking 6 tenths of a tiger might be as exciting as tracking a whole one. No, the first number is always a male--until somebody changes that. Just as sure as shootin, some idiot is going to come along and mess with that someday soon. But for now, the numerical logic stands thusly. Males first! (Dammit).  

By early March, all 2.4 of the molossus were jacked up and on the move. At the date of this writing, only two tigers, 1.1, have made any movements to speak of. But those 2 are off and running now.

We’ve already had two major feeding events. On 29 March, Marty and I tracked our big male molossus CM12 “Jerry” to a hackberry thicket in Suizo Wash. (That’s right, he is already off Iron Mine Hill and heading for his summer range--which goes as far as 2 miles west of his overwintering site). As pictures 1 and 2 clearly demonstrate, he has choked down something big. Our first guess is a rock squirrel, but it could also be a big packrat. Picture 3 shows him, still at the same location, on 12 April. That is by far the oddest basking posture I’ve seen to date with any species of rattlesnake.






Also on 29 March, our sweet young female tiger CT13, “Katey” was carrying an enormous food bolus. Were I to venture a guess, it would be a large adult K-rat. In any case, I’m sure that most would agree the bolus is mammalian in shape. Picture #4 in this report is the first in a series of the digestive process, and was taken on 29 March. Picture #5 was taken on 5 April, and picture #6 on 12 April. Note that the bolus has shifted toward her cloaca in this last image of her.




There is much more to report, but in the spirit of getting this sent off today, we stop here.  

This here is Roger Repp, signing off from paradise, where the turtles are strong, the snakes are handsome, and the lizards are all above average. I hope to see a bunch of you tomorrow night!

We currently have 16 rattlesnakes carrying transmitters. One of these is a young male Western-Diamond-backed Rattlesnake (Crotalus atrox). This snake has been a crashing bore, a veritable dud-in-the-mud. Watching wet paint dry would be more exciting. Hence, we are done talking about his sorryass. We have a total of six (2.4) Black-tailed Rattlesnakes (Crotalus molossus), and nine (3.6) Tiger Rattlesnakes (Crotalus tigris).

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