Reptile and amphibian updates

Turtle nest

A random pond turtle nest. The reddish area towards the top between the ribbons is turtle pee soaked soil. Pee soaked soil is easier for turtles to dig.

Three reptile and amphibian events over the week that must be acknowledged by the general world population.

Event one: A pond turtle has nested inconveniently close to the neighbor’s driveway. There is no news on what type of pond turtle it is. Feeling sorry for the turtle, the neighbor has placed a bit of plastic ribbon around the nest so that it might not get run over. It is unknown if this is a superior turtle nesting site to the standard location. Although trucks are a factor, there are presumably fewer raccoons. The standard location sees heavy raccoon induced turtle egg losses.  Mammals are just no damn good.

May 19

May 19 Gills disappearing

Event two: The spotted salamander larva progresses towards being a properly terrestrial tetrapod. In the last week, it has started poking its nose above the water’s surface. Its legs have grown more robust. Most dramatic is the gill absorption. At one point, the gills were larger than the entire head. Now, not so much. It is still growing at fast rate and almost doesn’t fit into the small container used over its month and a half long life to photograph it.

Event three: The five lined skinks are breeding. There is no photo of this, but the damn things keep chasing each other all over the place and will occasionally fall on your head as you weed your moss. The males have striking orange heads and have lost their lines. So now they should be called five lines or orange headed skinks.

End of reptile and amphibian updates.

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4 Responses to Reptile and amphibian updates

  1. Tenar says:

    Hi, I’ve been following the progress of your spotted salamander and love to see how it is growing and maturing. It must be so great to watch turtle nests near you.

    One of the few bad things about middle and northern Europe is the fact that our amphibian and reptile fauna is somewhat impoverished since the ice age.

    • Thanks! It’s been very interesting watching this critter grow. North Carolina has one of the most diverse herptofaunas outside of the tropics. There are over 50 species of salamanders alone. Which is a lot for a place half the size of Germany. Although you guys have Blindschleiche, which are amazingly cool.

      • Tenar says:

        Oh wow. Here we have two species of Salamander, and they don’t live in the same areas. I’ve seen only one, and never young ones.

        You know what is the coolest thing about the Blindschleiche? When you find them on a cool day, and approach them gently, they will enjoy being handled. You’ll have trouble to make them leave you again. I know this is not a good thing to do with a wild animal, but sometimes I can’t resist. And we have a species of regular lizard that behaves just the same.

  2. Reptiles run towards chill. I’ve picked up hundreds and hundreds of snakes and only been bit twice. Both times the snake was being threatened by people and I took it away.

    Last week I was weeding the strawberry patch, and moving some rocks around. If I found a worm, I would throw it back into the strawberries. A Fowler’s toad figured out I was throwing snacks and spent about an hour waiting a few feet from me. When I threw a worm back, he’d run and grab it and suck it down like spaghetti. It was cool.

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