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Monday, December 9, 2013

Critters continued

Here are some more photo's of the local fauna. Enjoy and please don't be afraid to ask questions. Thanks everyone!

eastern ringneck snake Diadophis punctatus
I found this handsome fellow under an old bucket yesterday. They are very docile and quite harmless to humans. They are the only species within their genus and have rear fangs and are poisonous. However the chance of being bitten is so darn remote due to the tiny size of the mouth. They bite their prey (worms, slugs, frogs, salamander and lizards as well as juvenile snakes of other species) and constrict. The venom eventually kills or incapacitates its meal. The venom is not produced in regular poison glands like a rattlesnake but in tiny organs called Duvernoy's gland which is located directly behind its eye. They rarely even attempt to bite a human and this would seem to prove that their poison is used for feeding rather than defensive purposes. They are fairly common, but being nocturnal, they are seldom seen. Special thanks to Annie for doing the photography and for sharing my love for all things natural.

American gree treefrog Hylidae cinerea

American gree treefrog Hylidae cinerea
 Another common resident here at the property. At night they like to climb the office window where Annie and I work and ambush the light loving insects. Cute little critters, aren't they? By the way, they are the state amphibian for Georgia and Louisiana.

Here's a full grown one-about 2 1/2 inches long perched on an elephant ear stem.
Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis

Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis
Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis
 Anyone see the skull and crossbones on his back? That design would be more appropriate to a poison arrow frog from Central America.

Copes Gray Treefrog Hyla chrysoscelis

This handsome little guy is usually found hiding during the day under debris and comes out at night to eat. No two Copes have the same pattern. Each is individual and as you can see in the last photo it is very good camouflage.

Again, due to unauthorized use, I must repeat, all subject matter and photo's are my personal work and are in my copyright. Please don't republish them without my permission. Thanks! More to come so stay tuned!

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