Oregon/Opal Creek

Jennewt

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Dawn, Jacquie and I spent 3 days together in Oregon recently. As I write this, the two of them are still traveling in Washington. They might have more photos to add when they get back to civilization.

These pictures give some idea how beautiful the area was.





The first herp find of the trip was a small garter snake.



We saw very few Taricha. One, to be exact. It was found in water in a pool beside a stream. Terrestrial habitats were not very wet, so evidently they weren't out on land much. Oddly, this one had only 3 legs. The missing leg was completely missing, no sign of any scar or injury.



The most abundant species we found were aquatic Dicamptodon. We found every size, from an inch up to about 8 inches in size. All had gills.







The other very abundant species was tailed frogs, which were seen among the rocks alongside the streams. Jacquie found a lot of these; or rather they seemed to find her!





We also saw a couple of Rhyacotriton, mostly in the smaller streams.





This was a typical stream for Rhyacotriton.



We also found just one of each of Ensatina and Plethodon vehiculum (western redback). The redback was tiny, about 2 inches total.





Dawn found this guy in a puddle in a mostly dried-up creekbed (no water flowing). We initially thought it was Aneides ferreus, but looking again at the photos, and thinking about the habitat, I'm thinking it was a large specimen of Rhyacotriton.



Finally, here are my favorite photos of my traveling companions. Dawn, happily up to her knees in cold water. And Jacquie admiring the very first wild caudate that she ever found (she's from Australia, so she got a late start).



 

FrogEyes

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Re: Oregon in September

One of my favorite places to herp, and always good to see more.

Your garter looks like a northwestern, T.ordinoides. T.elegans babies tend to be much heavier.

Your western red-back looks more like a Dunn's, P.dunni. They're extremely common along mountain streams, and the inchlings will often swim across the surface quickly to escape.

Your last salamander is definitely Rhyacotriton. Looks like R.cascadae, though that's only possible in the Cascades.
 

freves

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Re: Oregon in September

Great pics Jen. It looks as if you guys had a good time. Did you attend that Microcosm show?
Chip
 

Azhael

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Re: Oregon in September

Ah, lovely!
I would have paid good money to see the look in Jacq´s face when she saw her first ever wild caudate! It must have been a great moment!
The place is gorgeous, i´m suffering severe herping withdrawal just by looking at the pictures.
The Rhyacotriton are a genus i would very much love to see in person, they are special little guys.

Anyway, thanx for sharing, i bet you had a brilliant time!! I´m green with envy :p



PS: Next time, Cantabrian Mountains, ladies, you are all invited xDD
 

firesalamander

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Re: Oregon in September

Ah, lovely!
I would have paid good money to see the look in Jacq´s face when she saw her first ever wild caudate! It must have been a great moment!
The place is gorgeous, i´m suffering severe herping withdrawal just by looking at the pictures.
The Rhyacotriton are a genus i would very much love to see in person, they are special little guys.

Anyway, thanx for sharing, i bet you had a brilliant time!! I´m green with envy :p



PS: Next time, Cantabrian Mountains, ladies, you are all invited xDD
You think your jealous?? I live in kansas! Caudates are extremely hard to come by where i live. And i only get to go herping once a year when i go to arkansas for a week.
 

Molch

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Re: Oregon in September

awesome photos. What fun! I'd love to go herping with you ladies. You look like a jolly bunch!

When I was a kid, my dad would shake his head at my tendency to jump into any pond or creek in search of herps. He'd say "She'll grow out of this eventually". Well, har har!
 

Jennewt

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Re: Oregon in September

One of my favorite places to herp, and always good to see more.

Your garter looks like a northwestern, T.ordinoides. T.elegans babies tend to be much heavier.

Your western red-back looks more like a Dunn's, P.dunni. They're extremely common along mountain streams, and the inchlings will often swim across the surface quickly to escape.

Your last salamander is definitely Rhyacotriton. Looks like R.cascadae, though that's only possible in the Cascades.
It's possible that the redback was P. dunni, but when we had it up close, it looked like the yellow stripe went all the way to the end of the tail, which is supposed to indicate vehiculum.

Based on the location, the Rhyacotriton should all be R. cascadae.
 

dragonlady

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Re: Oregon in September

I've been anxiously awaiting these pics and just found this thread! The area is stunning and I'm so glad you had so many great finds! Beautiful pics, looks like you gals had a great time! :D
 

FrogEyes

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Re: Oregon in September

It's a Dunn's. They're extremely common near streams, while red-backs are only rarely found streamside. The coloration and pattern in the photo are consistent with P.dunni. The red/yellow of P.vehiculum would be obvious right to the tail tip and a bit further down the sides, even in the photo.

Inchers:

P.vehiculum, Forest Park, Multnomah Cty. Color is clean, and distinct all the way.


P.dunni, Oregon, but I've seen so many that I forget where this one was. Color is dirty greenish, and peters out to leave the tail tip dark.

and for good measure,

P.idahoensis, Revelstoke BC.
 

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Re: Oregon in September

I don't really have any more pics than Jen, in fact my camera was out of commission for a day after I fell into Opal Creek. I have a slightly better pic of the garter snake, a pic of a Dicamptodon I really like, and two pics of a frog- I like the action photo. I'm not sure if that was the 'tailed frog' or not.
 

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Jennewt

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Re: Oregon in September

You got a really nice shot of the snake. I think all the frogs we saw were tailed frogs, even though the colors varied quite a lot. The ones without tails are the gals:p
 

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Re: Oregon in September

One of the few nicer shots. I think the water had long-lasting effects on the camera. Many of my low-light pics came out blurry. Not all, and I still have a lot of good pics, but I'm looking for a new camera.
 

FrogEyes

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Re: Oregon in September

Those first two pics are a northwestern garter and I'm not sure which Dicamptodon, but probably tenebrosus. The last two are both tailed frogs - note the vertical pupil.
 

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Re: Oregon in September

Dicamptodon tenebrosus tend to have a more rounded head than copei. I say tenebrosus, but who knows?

Aneides
 

John

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Re: Oregon in September

You know, I never saw this when it was new. Great job ladies!
 

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Re: Oregon in September/Opal Creek

Two years later we decided to go back to Opal Creek for the mosses and lichens educational weekend, including seeing more of the state of Oregon. At Opal Creek we saw many Taricha granulosa. Elsewhere we found an ensatina (the stumpy-tailed one), we saw A. macrodactylum and larvae, A. gracile egg masses, and a western lead-back. I hope Jenn and Jacquie will add their (much better) pictures to this thread.
The bridge was part of the trail leading to where the lead-back was found. Now THAT is the way to spend our tax dollars!

Hey, who let that pesky otter in???
 

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John

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Re: Oregon in September/Opal Creek

Go Ladies!
 

Jennewt

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Re: Oregon in September/Opal Creek

Dawn mentioned finding a western leadback, but I think it might have been Aneides ferreus. Opinions?


I'll post a few more photos after I get them prepped...
 

Jacquie

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Re: Oregon in September/Opal Creek

I felt very privileged seeing these beautiful caudates in person, in particular, the Taricha granulosa. I never thought my axolotls would take a back seat to any other caudate, but, I was (and still am) totally smitten by the taricha I encountered.
 

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