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BACKYARD 1 — BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA
at 9601 Oak Pass Rd. (1938—1957)
LOS ANGELES COUNTY, in the E. SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS
Historical Macro-Moth Study (1953-1957)
homemoth familiesmona #'s foodplants seasonal charts pdfs maps links << previousarticles next >>
BIOTA ALONG OAK PASS ROAD DURING THE 1940's–1950's

(E) REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS REMEMBERED
Probably the most abundant snake was a very richly-colored local form of the ringneck (Diadophis punctatus), commonly found under fallen bark, logs, boards, etc. — and often in the company of small, dark slender salamanders (Batrachoseps), which were even more abundant in the same places (shaded or damp locations in the oak woodland habitat). The salamanders varied considerably in dorsal colors and maculation. Relatively large toads (Bufo sp./white mid-dorsal stripe) were sometimes seen in damp areas around the garden. The three other most abundant snakes were the gopher snake (Pituophis), the southern Pacific rattlesnake (variable, but usually a dark-colored form here), and a black, cream white-striped racer (Masticophis lateralis?). Less abundant, but regularly found under boards or crawling about in the open, was the (Calif.) common kingsnake (Lampropeltis) — a rich medium brown, with irregular white to cream encircling bands; I often kept these in a terrarium. The Calif. mountain kingsnake (locally called “coral-kingsnake”) was encountered occasionally (rare); I also kept these as “pets”. My parents killed rattlers that turned up in the garden (or along the pathway from house to garage), but otherwise left them alone. They were often encountered by day, when we were out hiking in the surrounding hills, or anywhere along Oak Pass Road.

The most abundant lizard locally was the western fence lizard (Sceloporus), seen everywhere (inhabiting oak trunks, rock piles, walls, fences, etc.). Next in abundance was the more secretive southern alligator lizard (Elgaria multicarinata), sometimes found under boards, or (more often) heard scuttling away through the dry leaf-litter in brushy areas along the pathways. A richly “cinnamon” red-brown or orange-brown form (referring to the dorsal coloration) was frequent here [click to see a color drawing]. I often kept these for “pets”, as they tamed down easily, fed avidly on mealworms, and did not require abundant sunshine for optimum health in captivity. Western skinks (blue-tailed juveniles) were occasionally seen in the same habitats frequented by alligator lizards and ring-necked snakes. Due to their shyness and secretive habits, they may have been more abundant than I realized.

A darkly “spotted” form of whiptail, (Aspidocelis tigris? — formerly Cnemidophorus) was regularly seen, but only on the decomposed granite soils up along Summitridge Rd. (to the east and south of 9601), and sometimes in the last half mile of upper Oak Pass Rd. (beyond 9540), usually on bare ground in openings of the chamise thickets (Adenostoma). The coastal horned lizard (Phyrnosoma coronatum)? was also found on these same decomposed granite soils, from near the north end of Oak Pass Rd. and thence southward along Summitridge Rd., usually encountered at rest in sunny openings amongst the numerous wild buckwheat bushes (Eriogonum fasciculatum). It may have been more abundant there than I realized, but was rarely noticed due to its cryptic coloration and lack of inclination to move unless closely approached....I suspect that most (perhaps all??) of these interesting “herps” are now extinct in the locality being described at this website. But, I would be overjoyed to learn that these suspicions are incorrect!!....Any explicit feedback??)
1A — Growing Up Wild in the ELFIN FOREST north of Beverly Hills (1938-1957)

Dedications

Growing Up Wild in Beverly Hills!

EARLY DAYS on OAK PASS Rd. (1937-1945) and HOW the ROAD GOT ITS NAME

FIRES

- (A) Botanical Highlights

-- Historical Remarks on Oaks

-- EARLY EVOLUTIONARY STAGES of the "SMOG-DENIAL SYNDROME"!

-- OAK PASS NATIVE PLANTS TODAY (??)

-- Echos From the Past!

-- A Bit of SUMMERTIME FOGBANK-BOTANY

- (B) LOCAL BUTTERFLY HIGHLIGHTS

- (C) LOCAL BIRDS REMEMBERED

- (D) LOCAL MAMMALS REMEMBERED

- (E) REPTILES & AMPHIBIANS REMEMBERED

CONTACT INFORMATION

DESSERT (Purely for Amusement!)

THE HONEY-SNOB'S CORNER


1B — BACKPORCH MOTH COLLECTION at 9601 Oak Pass Road (1953-1957)

A five-year study (1953-1957) documenting the occurrence of 283 macro-moth species on one acre of woodland habitat at 9601 Oak Pass Rd., 5 road-miles north of Sunset Blvd., Beverly Hills (a mixture of undisturbed Southern Oak Woodland / Chaparral / Coastal Sage Scrub habitat, at 1100 ft. elevation).

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THIS CALIFORNIA SITE

ABOUT THE BACKYARD CONCEPT

BACKGROUND & INTRODUCTION

About the Moth Studies at 9601 Oak Pass Road

BEATING or SWEEPING for LARVAE - A MOST PRODUCTIVE COLLECTING TECHNIQUE

ABUNDANCE-RATINGS DEFINED

The OLD BEVERLY HILLS (OAK PASS ROAD) MOTH STUDY COMPARED WITH THREE OTHER (MORE RECENT) SURVEYS IN COASTAL SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

OBSERVED DIFFERENCES IN THE MACRO-MOTH FAUNAS OF THE ABOVE THREE OTHER SURVEYED COASTAL CALIFORNIAN LOCALITIES

HISTORICAL PHOTOS and A PLEA for FUTURE STUDIES in the SAME REGION

FRANK SALA'S CORNER

FRANK HOVORE'S CORNER


1C — HABITAT PHOTOS Documenting the Surrounding Locality (1957-1964)

1C - HABITAT PHOTOS (1957-1964)

DIRT ROADS

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