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Posted by JJFeldner on September 13, 2002 at 18:19:15:
In Reply to: You guys ae not saying anything different than I am..... posted by Rich G.cascabel on September 13, 2002 at 16:27:11:
but let me take it a bit further. Jaf mentioned Tigers and Specks both living in essentially the same habitat on South Mountain. First, let me mention one case with which I am eminently familiar. A homeowner repeatedly called the AHA for assistance with rattlesnakes on his property. Especially since his dog got bitten in the muzzle by a Speck. Another member picked up that snake. That same member also picked up a scute and an atrox. I was called in for the 4th snake, a Tiger. Within the space of 2 weeks, I was also called for snakes 5 & 6, a Blacktail and another scute. So, in a bit over a month, six rattlers of FIVE (5) different spp had been removed from this guys property. When his nearest neighbor callled for removal of a large WDB, we discovered that she had been feeding the rabbits because "she felt sorry for them." After a stern talking-to, she stopped feeding, the damned lagomorphs and I have not been called back for over three years although another member did remove a WDB from the property last year. It should be noted that this guy lives on the edge of a canyon and has built his own guzzler which attracts coyotes, javelina and various and sundry other mammals as well as reptiles and loads of birds.
The point is, there are 5 species of rattler living on South Mountain (Tigers, WDBs,Scutes, Blacktails and Specks). I have been responding to calls for about 10 years now and I have never found a hybrid of any sort. I don't think hybridization in a desert-urban interface such as South Mountain occurs very frequently, if at all. Just by the address, I can guess intelligently what animal will be waiting when I arrive. It seems that each species has its preferences and other variables such as activity at different times of day, prey, etc., which tend to keep the various spp separate. Not to mention diffrent breeding strategies.
The fact that we removed all 5 local species from one property is really quite unusual but then, the property in itself is in an unusual place and the fact that the neighbor was feeding the rabbits may have had something to do with this occurrence. My $0.02