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Posted by chrish on April 07, 2003 at 12:47:31:
A birder sent me this photo of a Texas Indigo he took this weekend. What is so remarkable about this photo is that it was taken at Lost Maples State Park in NW Bandera County, TX.
While indigos have been recorded in the counties directly south and east of Bandera county, what makes this record so interesting is the habitat. This snake is from well within the central TX hill country. Further south, the habitat changes abruptly (in a matter of a few hundred yards in some areas) from Tamaulipan scrub in the south (indigo country) to steep shady wooded ravines. Indigos aren't known to occur in this habitat (other than a few individual records at the transition).
This snake was found in an area of steep heavily wooded hillsides and and rocky ravines probably 40 miles from any "suitable" habitat. This is Elaphe bairdi and subterranean Central Texas salamanders country. To see an indigo snake here is really astonishing compared to their usual flat, relatively arable plains further south. And even where they occur further west into Val Verde county, they are usually associated with open scrub, not steep, dark ravines like those in Lost Maples!
I frankly didn't believe his post when I read it, until he sent me the pics!