Third Eye - Herping Las Vegas 2009  
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Tim Spuckler
8213 Wyatt Road
Broadview Heights, OH 44147

The following photo essay covers some of the reptiles and amphibians I encountered while herping Las Vegas from May 28 to June 8, 2009. The weather was cooler than usual and often overcast with occasional wind and rain. Nine different types of snakes were found, consisting of: Great Basin Gopher, Longnose Snakes, Glossy, Night Snake, Western Blind, Ground Snake, Coachwhip, Sidewinder and a Speckled Rattlesnake. Twelve types of lizards were found: Chuckwallas, a Desert Iguana, Sideblotched Lizards, Western Whiptails, Banded Geckos, Night Lizards, Collared Lizards, Horned Lizards, an Ornate Tree Lizard, Sagebrush Lizard, Spiny Lizards and Zebratails. There were also two species of toad and one Desert Tortoise encountered on this trip. My first stop was a town called Searchlight. The remote location, desert flowers, hot springs, quiet coves, canyons and bighorn sheep make this region a good place to look for reptiles and other wonders of nature.


Beetle Meet The Beetle
I used German engineering to take me on a 2,000 mile quest for herps - encompassing Nevada, Arizona and California. After checking in my hotel at 8:00PM, I hit the road and went cruising in Searchlight, looking for snakes.
Longnose Snake
It's Been A Long, Long, Long Time...
...that I've been looking for the first herp I came across (something I've never seen in the wild before) - a Longnose Snake. These snakes are considered to be relatives of Kingsnakes and sometimes have a similar pattern as California Kings. They are usually about three feet long.
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Glossy Snake Faded Snake
This Glossy Snake was found not long after the Longnose. These snakes are efficient burrowers and very secretive. They come out at night to hunt for lizards, which they often dig up while the lizards are sleeping. Old reptile books refer to Glossy Snakes as "Faded Snakes," due to their obscure pattern.
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Searchlight Daytripper
In the daytime other types of herps can be found in Searchlight.
Sideblotch Searchlight Sideblotch
Sideblotched Lizards were found in every location I visited. They are small, common, and males can be rather colorful.
Trail Counting Sheep
Bighorn Sheep can often be seen high on rocky mountains, but they come down to eat and drink in the morning and evening.
Zebratail Lizard Lightning Fast Lizard
Zebratail Lizards are extraordinarily quick and tolerant of very high temperatures.
Desert Tortoise Turtle In Trouble
Desert Tortoises have lived in the southwest since the Pleistocene (with Mammoths, Saber Tooth Tigers and Giant Sloths). But they are currently listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
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Click here to see Part 2