Saturday, September 1, 2018

Praying for Reptiles (Vipers)

Actually the main goal of this trip was to observe vipers... unfortunately that did not work.
Anyway it was nice to find some Reptiles and a lot of Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa).

Habitat

European mantis - Mantis religiosa

Habitat - Stone Wall

This Stone Wall is the perfect habitat for reptiles, especially for the Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis brongniardii). These lizards can be very curious, so with a little patience portraits like this are possible. 

Common Wall Lizard - Podarcis muralis brongniardii

European mantis (mating) - Mantis religiosa

It was the first time I saw mating European mantis. I don't know if the male Mantis survived this...

Smooth snake (Coronella austriaca)

The most beautiful observation of this trip was this little Smooth Snake (Coronella austriaca). Not the viper I was hoping to find, but still an amazing snake!







Friday, June 1, 2018

King of the Everglades

Florida's most famous animal certainly is the Alligator. I think this magnificent reptile deserves its own post.

The American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) is endemic to the southeastern United States. It inhabits wetlands on the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida, and in the Northern Gulf of Mexico west to Texas (Scott 2004). Alligators mostly inhabit marshes and swamps, but can also be found in rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds.









Saturday, May 26, 2018

Romalea microptera

The Eastern Lubber Grasshopper (Romalea microptera) is very common in the Everglades and in some places they are abundant. Some gardeners probably don't like them very much. As a nature photographer, I really enjoy those colorful insects.

These giants can reach 8 cm (3 in). They are slow moving creatures, unable to fly... so good chances for nice macro shots!  How does a big, slow and not camouflaged cricket survive with tons of predators around? They can emit a foul-smelling and foul-tasting foamy secretion from the thorax when they feel threatened. So the red and yellow is used as a warning coloring (aposematism).

Also very interesting is the different appearence of the young (nymph) and the adult specimen.

Romalea microptera (adult)
Romalea microptera (adult)

Romalea microptera (nymph)
Romalea microptera (nymph)