Thursday, May 04, 2006

Friday Animal Blogging -- Miscellaneous Edition

Okay, here is a random collection of animal pictures I've taken over the last week or so. It's full-on spring, and lots of critters are out there.

First off, we have a specimen of Eastern Eyed Click Beetle, Alaus oculatus. (I was able to identify it by looking through pictures at What's That Bug.) Not knowing it was a click beetle at the time, I didn't think to make it click. Pretty cool looking though.

I'm not sure exactly what species this is, but it's almost certainly a tree frog of the genus Hyla. Found him in my driveway last weekend.

In what Nick Matzke has referred to as my "accidental herp trap", I get these toads. Lots of 'em. I've counted 7 or 8 at a time before, almost always at night. Unfortunately, I can't seem to figure out what kind of toad they are. And I've learned the hard way to watch where I step when walking out the door, especially when barefooted. There's nothing quite like the feel of a fellow vertebrate being squished under your shoeless foot. Aside from that bad encounter, the toads are pretty safe in the herp trap; lucky for them, they can get out (or at least, I assume they can, since they're gone by morning. Maybe they're all being eaten?)

Here's something else I found in my "herp trap", only it's not a herp. He's big, perhaps 4 inches. My guess is that it's the giant millipede Narceus americanus, but it's hard to tell. And I apologize about the picture; in my zeal to show some depth, I didn't have enough focal length.

I figured this guy would have a hard time getting out of the trap, so I helped him. And no, I didn't pick him up with my bare hands. Hell no.

Oh, and the poor broadhead skink, Eumeces laticpes. I blogged about these guys before. My previous specimen was female, but this one is a male -- you can tell by the bright red head. I have also seen a number of juveniles about with their cool looking blue tails, but they always run away before I can get the camera.

This guy was in a bad way. That's probably the only reason I could film him. His tail was missing and he had gashes across his body. I was even able to pick him up, and he went into a kind of "play dead" mode. Several minutes later, after I had put him down in a safe spot, he was no longer playing dead. He was dead. I felt bad for him, but that's life. Bad focus, on the other hand, is supposed to be avoidable.

And finally, we have the vicious beast felis catus, shown here in full meow mode, preparing to be pet.