Some graduate students in EEPB got together over the weekend for a camping trip and bonding experience. This annual fall EEPB camping trip took place in the Mark Twain National Forest, at the Silver Mines recreation area. Situated next to the St. Francis river, this site is well suited for wildlife, and especially reptiles. I couldn't pass up a good opportunity to go herping, so I spent most of my time hiking trails in search of reptiles, a well rewarded decision.
This venomous cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus) was a surprise to find only feet off of a well frequented trail. A species of pit viper, the cottonmouth (aka water moccasin) opens its mouth wide when threatened, revealing its white mouth and sharp fangs.