Monday, September 10, 2012

Suizo Report -- Paradise in Paradise

Howdy Herpers, 09/10/12

I've got to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming. When we started to ramp up on tigers and black-tails, I had no idea that so few would lead us to so much!

As we speak, we have three parings going on. Pairing number one is the big guy, CM12 hanging out with female CM10. I can get visuals on both animals, but the male blocks any photo opportunities. He is guarding the entrance to a boulder escarpment, and she is directly behind him.

We have 3 male black-tails with transmitters, and all 3 have visited female CM10. One might snicker and call her a slut, but in reality, she doesn't have much choice.  Those boys are going to come calling, and there isn't much she can do about it.

We have yet another paring of black-tails transpiring. As none of you may remember, we captured female CM15 a few weeks back--had to snatch her from a crevice that her boyfriend CM14 was sharing with her.

Two days later, they were placed back together in that same crevice.  CM14 then left her--to join female CM10!

Now the pair (14 and 15) are back together again, at a different location. They are buried in a massive Neotoma network, out on the Bajada between Iron Mine Hill and Lil Hill.

We've had three separate pairings with the tigers over the past couple weeks as well. Female CT12 was joined by an unknown male. That pairing seems to be over. CT11, "Steven," found himself a girlfriend for a while, and now that pairing is over as well.

This weekend, CT8 "Zona" was joined by our newest transmittered male, CT14. I first found them together Saturday morning, and visited them again that night, and Sunday night.

Backing the train up a bit, on 23 August, I pulled female atrox #133 (Slone's bitch) from the plot to get a transmitter change.

On 24 August, I had not one snake in the hopper--but five! She dropped 4 young (1 male, 3 females) during her first evening of capture. EXACTLY one year ago, CA133 dropped six young under similar circumstances. This is yet another example of atrox giving birth in consecutive years.

There is SO much more to report, but we will keep this one short by going to images.

Image 1: CA133 with her young (the 4th neonate is behind the water bowl)
Image 2 and 3: Images of CT8 Zona and her boyfriend, CT14, 8 September 2012

Image 4: CT8 and CT14, in a different location, still together, 9 September 2012. They had moved a distance of about 30 meters since the night before.
Image 5, by Marty Feldner: CT12 with her unknown (to us) boyfriend, 26 August 2012. We are leaving all pairings alone for the remainder of the year.
Image 6, by Marty Feldner: CT11 "Steven" with as yet unknown (to us) girlfriend, 3 September 2012. Ditto on not disturbing pairings.
It is my sincere hope that the black-tail pairings will be photographable in the days ahead. Thus far, no luck with that. And thus far, no mating with any of the pairings watched. I expect that coitus is happening, but we just haven't been lucky enough to see it--yet!

If nothing else, we can hope for birthing encounters next year!

This here is Roger Repp, signing off from soggy Southern Arizona, where the turtles are strong, the snakes are handsome, and the lizards are ALL above average.

Best to all, roger

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