Saturday, January 1, 2022
This year, I was able to focus more of my time in the northeastern and western parts of the state, but I also made it down into southeastern Ohio as well. I am now located in Columbus Ohio which is a convenient and centralized home base and makes traveling to each corner of the state equally easy.
This year has been unusually hard. I lost my dad unexpectedly to a stroke in October. I was lucky enough to go on a herping trip with him to Arizona for a week in August. I will always cherish the time we had together.
This is not a comprehensive list of all the herps I saw in 2021, but it does include photos of my most notable finds.
On March 1, I found dozens of Tiger Salamanders swimming in a vernal pool.
Another large, adult tiger salamander.
A tiger salamander crawls towards the vernal pool.
March 13, I traveled out to Southwestern Ohio to meet with my friend Mike Wilhelm to look for salamanders. He found this juvenile marbled salamander under a log.
Here is a larger adult marbled.
We also found this unisexual ambystoma.
We were lucky enough to find two streamside salamanders under rocks in a stream.
One of the rocks had streamside eggs under it.
March 16, I found this spotted salamander under a log near a vernal pool.
March 18, I found this smallmouth salamander swimming in a vernal pool.
March 24, It was an unusually warm day and I found a juvenile northern map turtle basking on a log near shore.
March 27, Mike Wilhelm and I found this green salamander. It was one of two seen.
We also found several little brown skinks under rocks on a cleared hillside.
This eastern fence lizard was also found under a rock.
April 3, I found a midland mud salamander under a log in a seepage.
April 6, I found this Kirtland's snake crossing a forested road in the early afternoon. It was one of three seen in a half hour crossing the road.
April 9, a dark-colored northern watersnake.
April 10, the Blanding's turtles were out in force. I saw ten basking on this day.
A juvenile Blanding's is an encouraging sign.
Another Blanding's turtle basking near a midland painted turtle.
This is a family of Great Horned Owls. The owlets must have just fledged as they are still very fluffy.
Mink are certainly predators of the reptiles along the lakefront.
April 14, I found a single adult midland mud salamander under a rock near a seep.
April 19, this big male Blanding's turtle was found leaving a small wetland.
April 26, Mike Wilhelm found this melanistic plains gartersnake.
A regular plains gartersnake found the same day for comparison.
April 28, an eastern black kingsnake found with Carl Brune.
April 30, I found this large, dark-colored timber rattlesnake on a forested hillside. It is probably the nicest looking timber I have ever seen.
It started raining and the timber decided to crawl under the nearby log.
May 4, I found this snapping turtle crossing my path.
A nice-looking northern watersnake.
An eastern fox snake.
May 5, my very first blue racer! I found this snake with Julia Joos after a thunderstorm cleared to reveal sunshine.
We found three more blue racers not far away. This one was even larger.
May 6, Julia and I found an old male spotted turtle basking on some vegetation.
Another male spotted turtle.
A look at the spotted's shell.
A juvenile eastern hog-nosed snake found on a chilly morning. It regurgitated a spring peeper before playing dead.
May 17, a very muddy massasauga rattlesnake found near its crawfish burrow.
A juvenile massasauga found in the grass.
May 27, A big adult massasauga. this one was very clean for this time of year.
June 3, A large eastern fox snake.
A Butler's gartersnake.
Two basking northern watersnakes.
An eastern fox snake.
June 5, Aaron Crank and I found this large black ratsnake crossing a busy road.
This was my first Ohio northern two lined salamander.
This was my first Allegheny Mountain Dusky Salamander.
Aaron and I found this short-headed gartersnake in a trash pile. This was the last thamnophis species I needed to see in the state.
A colorful, juvenile eastern milk snake.
An adult eastern milk snake found with the juvenile and two other adults. These northern specimens are just stunning.
I joined my lab-mates Andrew Hoffman and Marissa Roseman to track timber rattlesnakes. This individual is in ambush position.
Another look at this first individual. It is a large dark-phase female.
Here we have a light-phase female.
We happened upon this large male that does not have a transmitter.
July 1, I found this Dekay's snake under a rock.
July 3, Mike Wilhelm and I found several large fox snakes (a first for Mike).
July 8, this is a juvenile Lake Erie watersnake that shows the characteristic lack of any pattern.
July 15, I took a kayak to look for river turtles. I found this little, male midland smooth softshell.
This is a large adult female midland smooth softshell.
August 6, I found a juvenile eastern spiny softshell why surveying for mudpuppies.
My dad and I had been talking about doing an Arizona herping trip together for years. We finally decided to make the trek out there this summer. We got to see some really amazing things.
August 10, We road cruised this mojave rattlesnake.
We also found this long-nose snake.
August 11, a large, pink-colored western diamondbacked rattlesnake we found crossing the road.
August 12, we joined researchers with the University of Arizona. This tiger rattlesnake is a recapture which we could tell by its painted rattle.
The first gila monster of the night.
A desert banded gecko.
Another Gila Monster!
August 13, an acorn woodpecker.
We joined the researchers again for another survey. A dark-colored gila monster.
A Sonoran desert toad.
A large lyre snake found on the road.
I think this gila monster looks like a dragon guarding its layer.
Another look at the gila.
A large tiger rattlesnake.
A tiny southwestern blackhead snake.
A closer look at the blackhead snake.
A juvenile black-tailed rattlesnake.
A western diamondback rattlesnake in ambush position.
September 5, Mike Wilhelm found this Kirtland's snake basking on elevated vegetation.
We also found this neonate eastern massasauga. Check out the yellow tail.
Another neonate found crossing a road.
A closer look at the details on this snake.
September 16, a neonate midwestern worm snake found with Carl Brune.
October 1, This large, adult mudpuppy regurgitated a juvenile mudpuppy over half its own body length!
October 9, Rex Hill found this neonate smooth greensnake in the tall grass.
A Dekay's snake found crossing the road.
A nice-looking Kirtland's snake found crossing the road.
November 6, a northern red salamander in the spout of a spring box.
A look at the spring box.
One of three adult northern red salamanders found near the spring box.
I have a new website dedicated to my research, writing, and photography. www.ryanbwagner.com
In memory of Steven Bradley Wagner
The best dad
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