Florida - March 11-18, 2006

Day 5 - Tuesday, March 14, 2006
We got up and headed out to a trash pile we had noticed last night as we were looking for lizard hunting spots.

When we arrived at the small pile of trash, we realized it went on, and on, and on. It was a LOT of trash along side a canal near a disused field.

I got out of the car and turned two flimsy pieces of plastic and found nothing. Then I found an old piece of metal machinery. It was sitting in a bare spot so I didn't expect much so I was surprised when I flipped it an found a Miami Phase Cornsnake.

It was kind of ugly, but as we were positioning it for photos, I noticed it was just about to shed (probably within a few hours). So we gently shed it (which it appeared to appreciate) and got pictures of this interesting South Florida phase of the cornsnake.

We set up the standard "herper flips tin - finds snake" shot. For the record, I found the snake!! ;-)

We flipped trash here for about an hour but only saw an Everglades Racer (Coluber constrictor) (which escaped), a Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris), some Geckos (Hemidactylus sp.).
By the time we got back to the car, it was 74 and sunny.
We then headed over to the only known locality for Ctenosaura pectinata in Florida.
This is a 10 block area in southeast Miami where this species has been present for almost 30 years. However, they don't appear to have spread and the other species, Ctenosaura similis, is much more successful and common.
We got to the site and found it was largely overbuilt.
We checked out the grounds (with permission) of a corporate office building there, but found only an adult Green Iguana (Iguana iguana) basking on a tree over some water.
There were a few other buildings along the road, but we couldn't access any of them. One of the other former sites, was being built up and the old concrete piles they used to bask on were being removed. This species of Ctenosaura may be eradicated from south Florida in the near future.
We spent the afternoon visiting Strictly Reptiles (scary!) and then headed over to Naples for the night.
On the way over from the east coast, we watched for gators along the highway through the Everglades. Then numbers were amazing. This was only slightly more amazing than the number of Anhingas!

We arrived and Naples and got a room. We then headed over to a wooded area near our hotel and flipped some trash.
I found an Everglades Racer trapped in a concrete culvert, but it dissappeared down a pipe and I couldn't get it out. I did rescue a couple of Greenhouse Frogs (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) from the pit, which the racer may resent in the near future!
We stopped and herped a couple of trash piles until the sun faded away
We ate then headed out to walk along some woods along a ditch, still hoping to find a sleeping Knight Anole (Anolis cybotes).

We struck out on Knight Anoles, but we did see some critters on the walk.

There were the usual assortment of Brown Anoles sleeping on leaves...)
and a few cuban treefrogs.)
Here's one who really wanted his photo taken.)
We also saw some interesting Lubber Grasshopper nymphs gathering dew in the night air.)
And I got a quick photo of this young Alligator Gar sitting in some weeds.)

We hiked around, shining our flashlights into the bushes for four hours, but it appears Knight Anoles were not going to be on our agenda for this trip!

Go on to Day 6

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