field herping

Wow! Genetics can be a crazy force of nature. I had to share this found photo with you guys!

“Frog with eyes in its mouth as a result of macromutation. A macromutation is a mutation that has made a significant impact on an organism, caused by a change in a regulatory gene that’s responsible for the expression of an array of structural genes.

It’s been suggested that the cause of the mutation was the result of a parasitic infection by a trematode worm (Ribeiroia ondatrae). Trematode infections have reportedly been linked to an increasing number of amphibian limb mutations, particularly missing, malformed, and extra hind legs.”


Blanding’s Turtle / Emydoidea Blandingii 

I originally went out herping hoping to find some timber rattlesnakes today but after I couldn’t find the location I was looking for settled for a different one. Within an hour of getting there I was lucky enough to see this endangered Blanding’s Turtle. As soon as I saw the spots on its shell my heart was racing and I immediately went over, laid down, and took numerous photographs. They’re endangered in most of their range and the fact that I found this guy in the grass, perfectly still and able to be photographed with my simple point and shoot camera is incredible. I feel so lucky to have found him and I already submitted an rare species report to my DNR.

Please note: I did not touch him or bother him in any way, and you shouldn’t either! They’re endangered, and may be protected in your state or province.


Northern Water Snake / Nerodia Sipedon

First water snake of the year, and unfortunately, he had some issues with the left side of his face. I’m not sure whether or not it was an injury, stuck eye cap, or possibly the deadly and highly contagious Snake Fungal Disease, but I submitted a report and photographs to my DNR.

Even if it’s not SFD, it’s a good reminder to sanitize all the equipment, clothing, etc that comes into contact with a snake suspected to have SFD and PLEASE report it to your local DNR.