Some secret Spea bombifrons

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A couple weeks ago during the “super moon”, I found four Spea bombifrons at our field site in Wyoming. There have been regular herp surveys at the refuge for over 20 years, and apparently no record for a Spea! I couldn’t believe it! I guess not many people survey there at 1am during the full (super) moon!  Actually this site is the edge of their range, bordering with Spea intermontana. Distinguishing between the two species can be difficult even when it is “in hand”. Many morphological characteristics are highly variable in both species such as skin color, skin texture, stripping, etc. In fact, talking with the Wyoming Natural History Database, there many be several records in the state that are misidentified. Usually they are distinguished by range…but in this case it is a bit of a toss up. 

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