The Savannah River Ecology Laboratory

September 23 & 24, 2005

Photograph by Whit Gibbons

On September 23 & 24, 2005, Dr. Mike Dorcas and four members of the herpetology lab - Wes Anderson, Clint McCoy, Betsy Failey, and Amy Jendrek - traveled down to Aiken, South Carolina to visit the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. We arrived Friday evening and followed Tracey Tuberville to release a captured gopher tortoise and learn more about the study site where these animals have been reintroduced. That night we went on a search of Ellenton Bay and managed to catch several cottonmouths. After an early morning start, we revisited Ellenton Bay with J.D. Wilson, a former Davidson student and herp lab member, and Chris Winne to check their minnow traps for Carolina swamp snakes. On top of the many swamp snakes and banded water snakes that were captured, we had the distinct priviledge of finding a mud snake and a rainbow snake - two beautiful species that are seldom seen in the wild. After having little luck turning coverboards, we returned to the lab to watch Chris and J.D. process the snakes that had been captured that day. A trip to SREL couldn't be complete without a visit to Stump and the obligatory feeding session. After watching Mr. and Mrs. Stump enjoy their roadkill racoons, we were on our way home.

 

Species List:

Amphibians:

Reptiles:

Tortoise Time

Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Here is the gopher tortoise we released back into his borrow.
.....almost there.
Home sweet home.

Into the Woods...

Photograph by Mike Dorcas
The herpetology lab members take a break from herping to pose with Whit Gibbons.

Farancia Fun

Photograph by Mike Dorcas
Photograph by Mike Dorcas
Photograph by Mike Dorcas
Wes couldn't get enough of these gorgeous snakes.
Amy takes a turn to handle these docile reptiles.
Finally Betsy gets a turn to hold the mud and rainbow snake.
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Definitely two of the most beautiful snakes species in the country.
One last obligatory photo before we gave them back to J.D. and Chris.

Feeding Time With Mr. & Mrs. Stump

Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Stump knows it's feeding time.
Waiting patiently by the water's edge.
Open wide...
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
...and back into the water they go.
Mrs. Stump needed her racoon too.

Captive Herps at the Lab

Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Mike Dorcas
Photograph by Mike Dorcas
To each his own: Clint holds an adult female soft-shell turtle while Betsy holds an adult male. A beautiful male box turtle (Terrapene carolina) strikes a pose. Wes admiring the fly river turtle (Carettochelys insculpta).
A handful of baby American alligators.

In the Pine Woods

Photograph by Wes Anderson
Photograph by Wes Anderson
Flipping coverboards in the pine woods...
...but any herps in the area eluded us again.

 

 

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Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory