Field Notes – Salleyland December 2021

Thank you to Dr. Whit Gibbons, Mike and Parker, for hosting an SCPARC field trip to conclude the 2021 SCPARC Annual Meeting. The following are field notes from the trip written up by Dr. Whit Gibbons: 

Location: Salleyland – Private Property of Whit Gibbons
Date: December 11th, 2021
Time: 1:00 – 4:30pm

SCPARC Participants: Allison Bugarin, Greg Ross, Jeff Kline, Ken Potts, Marcus Sizemore, Miranda Gulsby, Shanikee Monroe 

Others: Dr. Whit Gibbons, Parker Gibbons, Mike Gibbons, Matthew McDonald. 

The whole group went through the swamp to the field to the bridge and back up SNAP Road—the Loop. Starting at the cabin bridge we pulled trashcan traps and minnow traps. Parker had set minnow traps in the thick smartweed still thriving in the mucky area below bridge and caught two sirens in one of them. Trashcans had a crawfish, two pirate perches, a young blue spotted sunfish, a mud sunfish (Pomotis), and a lowland shiner. Water level high because of steady rains the last two days, but the boardwalk was walkable; turned several swampjumpers but didn’t really find much till we got to the sphagnum site. Boards had 3 or 4 mud salamanders, a few 3-lined, 1 2-lined. Red salamander and slimy on island. Parker caught a tiny Chamberlain’s in the sphagnum. Very small but an adult male because it had visible cirri. A southern toad was in the pitfall trap Parker had opened. Saw a few bronze frogs, a pretty leopard frog, 2 bullfrogs under swampjumpers, Parker said he head spring peepers at several spots and Ken Pot caught one back near the cabin. Parker caught a larval plethodontid that he though might be a many-lined. Put it in small aquarium at cabin – we’ll see if we can let it metamorphose. More likely a Pseudotriton. Parker caught a 2-ft rat snake crossing boardwalk near field. Checked line of tin in field to Beaver Dam Ridge. Some had fireants, so will need to treat them soon. Parker caught a small amphiuma under board seepage area. Mike told the group when we were approaching the beaver dam that this would be the best chance to see a cottonmouth, and an 18-20-inch one was coiled up on the bank near the water. We hooked it out for all to see. A first for a lot of the folks (as were most of the other herps). Got an anole somewhere on the trip and a ground skink along SNAP Road. When we got back to the cabin the sun came out, and within minutes, four anoles came out from under the siding on the southeast corner of the cabin. Most people left about 4:00pm except Miranda and Ken Pott and our crew. We walked the stream boardwalk but didn’t turn the swampjumpers. We all left about 4:30pm.

Today’s captures:
1. Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means)
2. Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)
3. Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera)
4. Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata)
5. Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus complex; P. chlorobryonis)
6. Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus)
7. Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)
8. Chamberlain’s Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea chamberlaini)
9. Southern Toad (Anaxyrus [aka Bufo] terrestris)
10. Spring Peeper (Pseudacris crucifer)
11. Green/Bronze Frog (Rana [Lithobates] clamitans)
12. Southern Leopard Frog (Rana [Lithobates] sphenocephala)
13. Bullfrog – (Rana [Lithobates] catesbeiana)
14. Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
15. Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
16. Rat Snake (Pantherophis [aka Elaphe obsoleta))
17. Cottonmouth/Water Moccasin (Agkistrodon piscivorus)