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December 1932Volume 7, Number 9



IN THE APRIL 1932 "Grand Canyon Nature Notes" is an interesting description of a one-sided combat between a scorpion and a tarantula. In that battle the scorpion conquered its enemy with ease. Recently a centipede scored an equally decisive victory over a large scorpion in a fight that was far more exciting. The scorpion tried desperately to use its mighty posterior weapon, but to no avail. The sharp needle-like spine merely slipped off the shelled body of its adversary without penetrating. Meanwhile the centipede got in its "licks" almost unnoticed and in a few brief moments its victim was sprawled upside down - weak and helpless. Two days later the scorpion had been entirely devoured except for the hard shell parts and some fragments of his appendages.

- E. D. McKee -


While hiking in the vicinity of Indian Gardens on November 18th, 1932, I came upon four mountain sheep at the base of the Redwall formation. Two were ewes, one a lamb about one-third grown, and the other a ram. Although Nelson Bighorn Sheep are known to inhabit many parts of the Grand Canyon area, sight records of them are sufficiently scarce to justify mention in every case.

- Ralph A. Redburn -


"A baby mouse, with an elongated nose like an elephant's" -- that's what trail-caretaker Lloyd Davis thought when he saw a diminutive creature in front of him as he descended the lower part of the Bright Angel Trail on October 1st. Little wonder either, for he had found a specimen of the only Lower Sonoran species of Shrew - a member of that family of animals with protruding muzzles which includes the smallest of mammals. Mr. Davis promptly collected the little animal, which was later identified as the Grey Shrew, Notiosorex o. crawfordi. According to the U. S. Biological Survey (1), the only other record of it from the northern part of the state is from the Painted Desert, although additional specimens have been collected in Arizona near Yuma.

(1) Jackson, H. H. T., Senior Biologist, Bureau of Biological Survey Personal Communication Oct. 25, 1932.

The true value of the record made by Mr. Davis in collecting this shrew is apparent from the following statement by R. E. Anthony (2): "The Gray Shrew is the rarest of the North American Shrews. Unlike the other members of the family, it lives in dry regions and not only does it appear to be rather local in its distribution,but also exceedingly scarce in the regions where it is known to occur. The capture of one of these animals is a noteworthy achievement, ----".

- E. D. McKee -

(2) Anthony, H. E., Field Book of North American Mammals, p. 45 G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1928.


The large gopher snake collected at Indian Gardens in September and reported in in the October issue of Nature Notes has been examined by Mr. L. M. Klauber, who found it to be Pituophis o. stejnergeri, according to Van Denburgh's Key. Some herpetologists do not recognize the subspecies, but consider it synonymous with P. o. deserticola. As a matter of fact, the six-foot specimen in question, according to Klauber, "shows no particular difference from P. c. deserticola as found in the eastern Mohave Desert and resembles that species much more closely than it does P. c. rutilus of southern Arizona."

The measurements and other data obtained by Klauber concerning this snake are as follows:

Scale rows29
Body spots70
Tail bars19

Mother snake of considerable interest was collected in this area in September. It was a rattlesnake found by Mr. Clyde Searl, ten miles southwest of Lee's Ferry - a locality from which no previous records of this reptile appear to have been obtained. Since the Lee's Ferry area is between the known ranges of several subspecies of rattlesnakes, the importance of the identification is apparent. Mr. Klauber reports that he considers it to be the Prairie Rattler, Crotalus c. confluentus, with, however, some leanings toward the Grand Canyon rattler, C. c. abyssus, and also toward the Great Basin rattler, C. c. lutosus, in color, the character of the spots, and the wide post-ocular light stripe.

- E. D. McKee -

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