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St. George, UT herping

Saint George, UT 2020

  I got to spend an epic weekend herping in Saint George, UT with Chris Jensen and Aspen Mahan. It was a great trip and we saw some amazing animals. After 15 years, I was able to find a gila monster! Check out the pictures below.
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. All photos Copyright Australian Addiction Reptiles.
Herps found in the Saint George, UT area
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This hatchling desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii) was cruising a wash.
A larger tortoise sheltering in a rock cave for the night.
This fledgling bird was hanging out in a hole in the sandstone.
Chris spotted this nice longnose snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei) as it emerged for the night
Better posed shot of the longnose.
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As we were hiking back to the car in the fading light, I was last in line and heard a noise off trail Upon closer inspection, I was very excited to see this huge gila monster lumbering along. The pattern of this Heloderma suspectum was incredible! The bead-like scales help them endure in this harsh climate It was nice to see a wild UT gila! The last one I had seen was 15 years ago.
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Long-nosed leopard lizards (Gambelia wislizenii) were a common find on this trip.
We found several ground snakes (Sonora semiannulata). We were very careful to replace any rocks we looked under.
These small colubrids are very beautiful and are always a fun sight.
We headed to higher elevation to beat the heat and saw a few lizards such as this common sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus)
This huge male leopard was out basking. He was very bold and let me approach pretty close.
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We explored a new area and found evidence of a healthy population of gila monsters. We tracked a couple individuals by their distinctive tracks.
This leopard lizard was found basking on this cactus. It considered chasing down a lizard that ran below it, but was a little slow off the cactus.
As an introduced species, the bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) does not belong in this area. These were found in a park with a pond and were fairly common here.
A nice male yellow-backed spiny lizard (Sceloporus uniformis) showing off at the entrance to the park.
A juvenile yellow-backed spiny lizard within the park.
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Another introduced species, the red-eared or common slider (Trachemys scripta) was also established in the park within the city of St. George.
The ornate tree lizard (Urosaurus ornatus) is quite a beautiful species. I really like their pattern as well.
Nice side-blotched lizard, Uta stansburiana A nice uniformis showing off the color under his chin in Snow canyon.
Snow canyon, like most other areas within this area, has a healthy population of side-blotched lizards.
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This area is so beautiful!
This male banded gecko (Coleonyx variegatus) was found among the limestone outcrops on the beaver dam slope.
A desert tarantula was hiked at night.
On the last day, we spent a couple hours in a cool spot within the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, which supported a healthy population of tortoises.
It was good to see smaller individuals. Ravens and crows have been a big problem with this species, predating on hatchling tortoises.
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We were able to observe this nice male chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater). He was king of his domain.
I remembered them from my childhood as S. obesus, which is a fitting name for this chunky lizard.
Such a great face! These are the largest non-venomous lizards in the state.
Another juvenile tortoise was observed on the hike out.
This big male was one of the biggest wild tortoises I have seen. So great to see these chelonians!