CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Florida Cottonmouth, Water Moccasin Snake (Agkistrodon piscivorus conanti)

VENOMOUS!! If bitten seek immediate medical care from a physician or hospital experienced in treating snakebite.

This guy (or gal) was wiggling along side the road when I drove down to the mailbox.

Learn to identify the 6 species of venomous snakes in Florida. If you see one, don’t panic, just quietly move away from the area and whatever you do, DON’t try to kill it. You stand a better chance of avoiding a bite if you just move along and don’t interact with it.

Diet: fish, frogs, salamander, lizards, small turtles, baby alligators, birds, small mammals, and other snakes


My take:



CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)

Saw a big splash in my pond yesterday and just saw the tail which made me think it was pretty big. I tried all afternoon to capture a photo, but it seemed to know I was coming and dove before I could get a photo, possibly because i had on a light color shirt.

This morning I put on a dark colored shirt, snuck up, hiding among the shrubs, grasses and trees and got my photo.  Thankfully, not nearly as big as I thought so unlikely to be a threat to me since I am aware of it and keep alert and away from the edge of the pond.  Just hanging out on the tussock

(s)he is a reasonable size, less than 3 foot.


My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon bauri)

Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon baurii)

Jorja found this one under the live oak tree.  I’ve had them dig and nest in the past but despite protecting and monitoring locations, haven’t seen any eggs hatch. These are a pretty shy bunch.  They shut themselves into the shell until you go away.


Learn more:

Shown under Florida Native Plant: LIVE OAK (Quercus virginiana)

My take:

Striped Mud Turtle (Kinosternon bauri)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)

Green anole is the only anole species native to the U.S. They compete with exotics for territory and you can help them by planting taller shrubbery. The natives are willing to climb up higher than the brown anole, so if you provide this type of habitat they will stand a better chance.


Diet: insects and spiders

Shown on Florida Native Plant: : Bidens alba

My take:

It only blinked, but caught this shot where it looks like it is sleeping

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon inexpectatus)

Quick, sleek lizard. You can generally find them warming in the early morning sun. Juveniles have blue tails.
Note: This may be P. fasciatus although it seems their range ends in northern Florida; map:

Diet: beetles, wood roaches, grasshoppers and other insects

Preyed upon by large birds, (crows, kestrels, hawks), foxes, raccoons, opossums, skunks, shrews, moles, domestic cats, and snakes.


My take:


CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Black Racer Snake (Coluber constrictor priapus)


Diet: frogs, lizards, snakes, rodents, birds, eggs


Shown climbing Florida native plant: GROUNDSEL TREE; SEA MYRTLE (Baccharis halimifolia) a.k.a. Saltbush

My take: World Snake Day…And Me Without My Pungi*

Take 2: A Race to the End

Take 3: The Water System as Wildlife Habitat

Closeup from 2013: