Vertical distribution of herpetofauna in the Rincon Mountains, Arizona
Among the joys of herpetology in the sky islands of Arizona and Sonora is the way amphibian and reptile species are distributed along gradients of elevation. Species appear or disappear as one travels from low deserts to high mountains, along gradients of temperature, moisture, vegetation, and other key elements of their ecological niche. Beginning in 2000, we had the privilege to work on a biological inventory effort of the Rincon Mountains in Saguaro National Park. One result was the publication “Herpetofauna of the Rincon Mountains, Arizona” (Flesch et al. 2010), which described species richness, distribution, and relative abundance among 46 species of amphibians and reptiles. That paper was based on approximately 4,000 observations during the
warm seasons of 2001 and 2002 that resulted from surveys of randomly-located intensive plots, non-plot based extensive surveys, and incidental observations. Here, we include a list of species observed during that study, updated with current taxonomy and species detected subsequently.