ProtoJeb21

The Biology/Wildlife Thread

Recommended Posts

Not the actual wildlife, but evidence of them:

beaver_dam_near_snowmass_by_tatersw-dbjb

A beaver dam up near Snowmass (up the valley, and around the corner to the right). Also, it's filled with delicious trout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, tater said:

Not the actual wildlife, but evidence of them:

beaver_dam_near_snowmass_by_tatersw-dbjb

A beaver dam up near Snowmass (up the valley, and around the corner to the right). Also, it's filled with delicious trout.

Seems leaky...

But cool. Around where is this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, qzgy said:

Seems leaky...

But cool. Around where is this?

Snowmass is where it is as I said.

It's a 14er in Colorado, near Aspen. This dam was maybe 6 hours walk from the trailhead (or maybe less if you're not as sluggish as I am with a full pack).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday, my giant living tootsie roll--I mean Pandorus Sphinx larva burrowed into a small dirt container I put in its habitat to pupate. At least 9 months until this guy emerges as an adult the size of a bird...oh boy.

pV4fHdK.jpg

I went on another hike today (because I wasted most of the first half of summer indoors) and found quite a lot of stuff. There were over half a dozen infant Monarch larvae (a good sign that their population in my state is beginning to recover), along with a huge clump of at least two dozen Schizura concinna larvae. Picture of the latter are below.

gCfgekh.jpg

Despite their looks, they are - thankfully - not venomous, and their "spines" aren't even sharp. But not too long later, I found THREE very young Virginia Creeper Sphinx larvae, which I took home to raise and start a population in my area to help control the excess amount of wild grapevines. I had actually raised this species from an egg to adult before, the first (and only) time I've raised any creature from birth to adulthood. Here's one of them:

auQ1b0d.jpg

Also, something to point out: I'm actually a huge entomology freak - not as much as I am an astronomy freak, but like the latter it is one field of science that I have enjoyed and stuck with for YEARS now. Don't expect me to not become an official exoplaneteer, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, ProtoJeb21 said:

Also, something to point out: I'm actually a huge entomology freak - not as much as I am an astronomy freak, but like the latter it is one field of science that I have enjoyed and stuck with for YEARS now.

Me too! I got absolutely hooked on entomology in second grade when we had a very hands-on unit on it at school, raising mealworms and crayfish and walking sticks, and culminating in "The Bug Guy" coming to school and letting us play with giant cockroaches, millipedes, and (briefly) a tarantula.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Took this in San Fruttuoso, Italy last year. Rhinoceros beetle of some kind, I assume. Was pretty big, 3-4 cm.

european_rhinoceros_beetle_by_tatersw-db

Edited by tater

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, ProtoJeb21 said:

giant living tootsie roll

Seems pretty accurate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just took this. Was breezy, so it was hard to get it in focus well with my phone:

mantis_by_tatersw-dbjssi4.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like how although this thread is open for all wildlife, most of the pictures in it are of arthropods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, cubinator said:

I like how although this thread is open for all wildlife, most of the pictures in it are of arthropods.

They are the most numerous macroscopic creatures on the planet, and the most universally available for photography by non-professionals. 

Some birds (probably the next most common, lol):

A thrasher...

thrasher_by_tatersw-dbjt64i.jpg

 

Mallards

YSIKGbp.jpg

 

A roadrunner

vJFJr6g.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

An update on my current Lepidoptera raising/breeding projects: Currently I have a total of six species - Danaus plexippus (Monarch), Eumorpha pandorus (Pandora sphinx), Lophocampa caryae (Hickory Tussock Moth), Euchaetes egle (Milkweed Tiger Moth), Darapsa myron (Virginia Creeper Sphinx), and Schizura concinna (Red-Humped Prominent). All of these species are being raised for a specific purpose.

  • The Pandora Sphinx (aka the Giant Living Tootsie Roll) and the Red-Humped Prominent are being reared to adulthood due to how these species aren't a common find in my state.
  • I am hoping to start breeding Monarchs as a way to boost my area's population. They've been doing much better this year, but I still want to help it along.
  • As said before, the three Virginia Creeper Sphinx larvae are going to be raised to adulthood and bred to hopefully control the rapidly growing mass of grapevines in my yard.
  • The three Hickory Tussock larvae were taken to make sure they don't fall into a vernal pool before reaching adulthood.
  • My three Milkweed Tiger larvae are being raised because they came from a mass of caterpillars that was destroying one lone milkweed with no other food sources nearby. In fact, the next time I visited the area where I found that clump, the guys I didn't take were all dead.

As of right now, the Monarchs and Milkweed Tigers are doing exceptional, with all specimens molting during the last two days. One of my Virginia Creeper Sphinxes has also molted to its second instar (caterpillar stage), with the other two not far behind. However, they aren't eating as much as I expect (maybe because they're so tiny), which is worrying. What is also worrying is that three days after my Pandora Sphinx larva burrowed, I accidentally disturbed its pupation process, thinking it had already finished. The result led me to move all my specimens into different habitats, which means that there now isn't enough room for a small container with moist soil to put plant stems in. This has led to the hickory for the Hickory Tussock larvae to wilt rather quickly. I will probably have to re-organize my specimens soon.

Now, for some photos I took over the last week:

EwJoGXJ.jpg

The mouth of a giant Katydid I found on a small Maple tree I was about to trim down.

ydeRHzb.jpg

A large, white Praying Mantis nymph. I've never seen one like this before.

X8AIZmu.jpg

Some frog. It was basking on a rock in a small stream that, somehow, had minnows stuck in it. 

B9kY6vS.jpg

m2gnCJe.jpg

ENOUGH with the Hickory Tussocks, nature! Please!

MDAeJn3.jpg

A newly metamorphosized Grey Treefrog, which had turned green to blend in to a Virginia Creeper leaf. This is the first time I've found a small, green treefrog in almost a decade!

sFaeX70.jpg

Another Praying Mantis nymph. This one was slightly larger and appeared to be a different species, due to its green coloration and reddish eyes.

6xtZlLm.jpg

Corpses of three GIANT millipedes found on a rock in what may be the ONLY semi-tropical area in my state. Something had hollowed out each specimen, including a fourth one that was out of the field of view for my camera. While I have seen giant millipedes larger than this (about 3-6 inches long), this was a new species for me.

Edited by ProtoJeb21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Taken a few minutes ago...

kSR68v8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, tater said:

Taken a few minutes ago...

kSR68v8.jpg

How common are deer in NM? NJ, eh. Not so rare.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We see them all the time---but there's like 1 house between me and 38,000 acres of national forest... in town, pretty uncommon :) .

The funny thing is my son was getting the mail and I was going for the trash can, and he stopped with this doe under 10' from him, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I have really bad news...

Just during the last day, two of my three Virginia Creeper Sphinx larvae passed away due to malnourishment, as their host plant would dry up within 24 hours. Even worse, my Pandorus Sphinx larva has died. The change in environments, caused by me not knowing where to put it after exposing it, likely killed this specimen. My other species were not doing so well either, so I released quite a few of them. The ones I set free today were the Hickory Tussock Moth, Red-Humped Prominent, and final Virginia Creeper sphinx. I set them free at the same place where I found the latter. The good news is that the populations there are doing very well. In fact, the surviving Red-Humped Prominents are HUGE now! I also saw  Red-Tailed Hawk, which is always quite cool to see. Pictures coming later. As of right now, my 6 Milkweed specimens are doing nicely in a 10-gallon tank all to themselves.

EDIT: Images!

Spoiler

MSBvj9x.jpg

utgUQPv.jpg

srTimpM.jpg

Okay the above meme is 89.6% sarcastic...you don't need to like this post for this dude :P 

 

Edited by ProtoJeb21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something I recorded earlier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Last night I stumbled across and held a baby Ring-Necked Snake. It was incredibly tiny - only about three inches long - and was quite docile. It did not strike, musk, or even flash its defense colors. It even wrapped itself around my finger. I took some pictures before letting it go.

CSjy6EC.jpg

Also, I have DOZENS of cool wildlife photos from Columbia, Shallotte, West Virginia, and Chincoteague Island that I will be posting in a few days. The biodiversity down there was absolutely incredible.

Edited by ProtoJeb21

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

4EWYxPM.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My moth cocoon has detached from the strap and fallen onto the ground, and when I picked it up it felt like whatever was inside was rattling about the interior as it it was dry. I suspect I won't be seeing a moth come out of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, cubinator said:

My moth cocoon has detached from the strap and fallen onto the ground, and when I picked it up it felt like whatever was inside was rattling about the interior as it it was dry. I suspect I won't be seeing a moth come out of it.

That's actually normal. Often, you can hear the pupa rolling and fidgeting around inside the cocoon, especially if it's disturbed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, ProtoJeb21 said:

That's actually normal. Often, you can hear the pupa rolling and fidgeting around inside the cocoon, especially if it's disturbed.

Oh, ok. I'll try to keep it safe then!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, cubinator said:

Oh, ok. I'll try to keep it safe then!

Also, speaking of Polyphemus moth cocoons, I found another recently enclosed one on Chincoteague Island. It was on a partially stripped Arkansas Oak along with at least one Spiny Oakworm. I tried to look for any Polyphemus larvae...but then I got MASSACRED by a swarm of Mosquitoes. Now it looks like my ankles have chicken pox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/27/2017 at 5:04 PM, tater said:

 

4EWYxPM.jpg

Neat, but still gonna keep a bit of distance. Why the tussle? Territory or mating rights?

Edited by qzgy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@qzgyThat's what I was wondering, myself. I couldn't tell if they were fighting, or if this is actually mating, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Roadrunner running to the driveway, yesterday.

ojosQyU.jpg

 

A desert box turtle wandering around near my in-laws' patio saw us, got scared, and dug a little hole for itself.

H1Ofuu9.jpg

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now