S. heros collection data base.

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
My quest to find S. heros in the wild continues this weekend. Last weekend I looked in and around creek beds on the east slope of Mt. Lemon AZ, altitude 4,000 to 8,000 feet, and only came up with large S. polymorpoha.

It would be helpful to have some collection data and habitat tips if anyone is willing to share: local, temp, precipitation, altitude, flora, proximity to water, ground type, cover type, etc. Right now I am going on tips from a local enthusiast. He said that he has caught them in pine and oak forests in the mountains east of Nogales. He looks under rocks in and near creek beds.

This weekend I'm planning on doing a evening trip at the end of the Gila River where it is diverted. I'm going to look under debris and rocks near the river until it gets dark and then flash light for them if it is warm enough. I'm looking for low desert specimens. Within the month I am planning a trip to Patagonia for the red phase S. heros and Diplocentrus spitzeri scorpions. I have had success there in the past. About ten years back I found a heros. I didn't know what I was looking at so I let it go.

If anyone is willing to share, what kind of habitat and conditions have you had the best luck with? If a lot of people share then we can form a data base for optimal environmental conditions.
 
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RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,740
Good luck. A lot of people are very guarded about their hot spots for collecting. Sounds like you are in the right areas and like fishing, eventually you'll get a bite. Pun intended.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
I should have included that no one has to divulge their secret location. What i am really trying to develop is a sense of what kind of habitats are prime. I want to be able to drive down the highway and see a spot and know that it is a good place to look.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
When I was collecting rattlesnakes for TAMUK NTRC they said I provided the best data. By keeping detailed environmental data I was able to pinpoint what constitutes a good environment to look for different species, south facing slopes, abundance of rodent holes, flood plains or arroyo, prevalent flora, full moon, night temps, etc.

I intend to do the same thing here to take the guess work and skunked trips out of my travels. If no one is game then I guess I will keep it to myself :D.
 

RTTB

Arachnoprince
Joined
Dec 4, 2016
Messages
1,740
I think it's a wonderful idea. I would find it helpful and welcome.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,991
You should find them in the same areas you see the Colubrids. I used to hunt snakes out in the desert at night driving on roads and would start getting fired up when starting to come close to riparian areas, that's where the snakes were and where the heros could be found. I never paid much attention to other people's hunting spots, I liked exploring around in places I've never been. The odds are kind of like finding snakes, you may have a good day and find 2 or 3, but then not come across one while looking for days.
 

BishopiMaster

Arachnobaron
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
358
You should find them in the same areas you see the Colubrids. I used to hunt snakes out in the desert at night driving on roads and would start getting fired up when starting to come close to riparian areas, that's where the snakes were and where the heros could be found. I never paid much attention to other people's hunting spots, I liked exploring around in places I've never been. The odds are kind of like finding snakes, you may have a good day and find 2 or 3, but then not come across one while looking for days.
don't ruin his hopes and dreams with that good ol boy wisdom, there must be centralization! degrees!
 

Elytra and Antenna

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 12, 2002
Messages
2,260
You can often find them in the same areas as S. polymorpha where their ranges overlap, they're just not nearly so common. They may be in the areas you've already collected; just because you spent a few days or weeks doesn't mean you looked long enough. I don't think anyone is keeping a secret from you other than time and patience but I don't know the secret so I could be wrong.
 

Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,991
That is true!, they might be right under you nose but two+ feet down a crack on a cliff, but instead we conclude "I guess they aren't around here." Also, you will have much better luck up to around 5 days after a good rain. After that, when it starts to dry out, they go deeper into holes and cracks in the rock trying to hold on to moisture there so, harder to come across then.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
I was out cruising for S. heros Saturday night and I happened to meet a guy cruising for herps. He collects field data for the University of Arizona. He took me to his hot spot for Hero's in the area that night after I told him that I was collecting for a breeding project. I also talked to another enthusiast that gave me some of the same info. This is the info that I gathered at the hot spot. Humidity was high enough that night but the temp was a little too low. Here is the target temps mixed with the actual geography and environment of the hot spot. *indicates advice and not actual conditions during my excursion.

Elevation: apx 3000 ft (or higher*)
Environment type: High Sonoran desert with desert oak, saguaros and yucca present (transitional zone just below the cedar line where saguaros are no longer present). (*wooded areas, mountainous desert)
Geography: Low elevation mild sloped mountains, granite outcroppings, washes, and arroyos.
Temp: I wrapped it up at 72F no specimens found. (*hot nights)
Time: Sundown to 2300hr (*2200 to 0400hr)
Humidity/precipitation: Four nights after a rainstorm (*during a rainstorm or a few days after)
Soil moisture: Soil still moist from rain several inches down. (*High soil moisture brings them to the surface).
County/State: Pinal co/AZ
Location: Wouldn't you like to know :D
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
I was told by both people that collect around here that they rarely ever find S. heros in the flat lands but they are still present. I'm fully aware that they can be found anywhere within their range, and yes I am trying to pin point the precise data to locate hot spots without wandering all over the place. Right now I am looking in places that you might expect to find Crotalus tigris and Crotalus molossus.
 
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Galapoheros

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
8,991
You aren’t likely to find them on the flat lands because that’s going to be where it’s the driest under the surface, you need to go to riparian areas, aka drainage areas. I have found polys on more flat ground but heros will be hanging around creek beds where moisture stays longer beneath the surface after rains. You can sometimes see them crawling on the short cliffs at night and sometimes in the middle of the day, but not in expansive flat areas. I’d find a road that follows the flow of a creek there somewhere and look there.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
2330 hour, 17 June 2017
One S. heros arizonensis (apx 4-5 inches long) observed on roadside hanging from the bar-ditch between two rocks.
Percipitation: No rain for over a month
Temp: 72F (22C), [Daytime temp 109F(42C)]
Soil: Rocky with moisture under the surface.
Habitat: Sonoran desert low rocky mountains, hillside.
Vegitation: Sauguaros, cholla, mesquite, moss.
Elevation: apx 3000 ft (900 m)

Unfortunately I was unable to collect this one but it was 100% S. heros.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 0130 hour, 23 June 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, apx 3-4 inches long (7-10 cm), observed 10' (3 meters) up on a steep wash bank
Percipitation: No rain for over a month
Temp: 81F (27C), [Daytime temp 113F(44C)]
Soil: Rocky, small river stones, eroded wall.
Habitat: High Sonoran desert.
Vegitation: No saguaros present, cholla, yucca, mesquite, desert oak trees.
Elevation: apx 3228 ft (984 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen 3' (1 meter) from it's burrow.
 
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DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 0145 hour, 23 June 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, apx 8-9 inches long (20-23 cm) observed on low wash bank under a mesquite tree in the grass.
Percipitation: No rain for over a month
Temp: 81F (27C), [Daytime temp 113F(44C)]
Soil: Sandy dry.
Habitat: High Sonoran desert.
Vegitation: No saguaros present, cholla, yucca, mesquite, desert oak trees.
Elevation: apx 3224 ft (983 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen was right next to it's burrow.
 

DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 2030 hour, 6 July 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, apx 5-6 inches long (10-12 cm) observed in the wash bottom of a barditch.
Precipitation: During a light rain in a thunderstorm (ground was not wet).
Temp: 92F (33C), [Daytime temp 110F(43C)]
Humidity: Over 30%
Soil: Caliche, sand and rock.
Habitat: High Sonoran desert.
Vegetation: Few saguaros present, cholla, yucca, mesquite.
Elevation: apx 3125 ft (952 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen was right next to a burrow in a low caliche wall (apx 16" tall [40cm]) at the bottom of a bar ditch where water has ran in the past.
 
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DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 2300 hour, 8 July 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, apx 6 inches long (15 cm) observed in a burrow on the side of a 6' (2m) caliche wall over a barditch.
Precipitation: After a light rain (ground was no longer wet), isolated areas of heavy rain to the north and south less than 1 mile away (1.6km).
Temp: 88F (31C), [Daytime temp 110F(43C)]
Humidity: Over 50%
Soil: Caliche, and rock.
Habitat: Sonoran desert mountains.
Vegetation: Saguaros present, cholla, mesquite.
Elevation: apx 1989 ft (606 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen was inside a shallow burrow apx 3' (1 m) above the bottom of the barditch. Specimen was collected. A photo and sex will be added at a later date.
 
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DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 0030 hour, 9 July 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, apx 6-7 inches long (15-17 cm) observed on a rocky hillside in a wash.
Precipitation: After a light rain (ground was no longer wet), isolated areas of heavy rain to the south less than 1 mile away (1.6km).
Temp: 88F (31C), [Daytime temp 110F(43C)]
Humidity: Over 50%
Soil: Rocky, sand.
Habitat: Sonoran desert mountains.
Vegetation: Saguaros present, cholla, mesquite.
Elevation: apx 1722 ft (525 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen was on top of a rock and running up hill when spotted, it lodged itself under a mesquite root before fleeing into a burrow.
 
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DubiaW

Arachnobaron
Joined
Jan 10, 2017
Messages
471
Apx 2120 hour, 10 July 2017
One S. heros arizonensis, 1 inches long (2.5 cm) observed on a rocky hillside on a barditch.
Precipitation: No rain within ten miles but cloudy, windy and T storms in the distance.
Temp: 85F (29C), [Daytime temp 105F(40C)]
Humidity: apx 48%
Soil: Rocky, with decomposed granite loamy soil.
Habitat: Sonoran desert mountains.
Vegitation: Saguaros present, cholla, mesquite.
Elevation: apx 2980 ft (908 m)
Location: Pinal County Arizona

Specimen was on the side of a rocky dirt face on the barditch, lodged itself in a crack. Specimen collected. Photos will be added later.
 
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