CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)
Oak Toad (Anaxyrus quercicus)
formerly Bufo quercicus, this is the smallest North American toad getting be about 1.5 inch max.
Diet: Ants, beetles, centipedes, spiders, and other invertebrates.
Unlike many toads who tend to be more nocturnal, you’ll see these guys quite often during the daylight.
This one was hiding in the leaf litter in a “forested” area that is a combo of swamp bay, wax myrtle, dahoon covered by climbing virginia creeper and a young live oak.
Learn more: https://web.archive.org/web/20160701213258/http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/wildlife_info/frogstoads/anaxyrus_quercicus.php
Spatial and temporal ecology of oak toads (Bufo quercicus) on a Florida landscape: www.srs.fs.usda.gov/pubs/23625
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Eastern Glass Lizard (Ophisaurus ventralis)
A legless lizard often mistaken for a snake. Based on range map, It could be O. ventralis, Ophisaurus compressus or O. attenuatus. Based on habitat is it likely Eastern Glass Lizard (O. ventralis). The other two species apparently prefer drier habitats than that found at my place.
Diet: “eat a wide variety of insects, spiders, and other invertebrates as well as small reptiles and probably young rodents” (source: University of Georgia)
Feed on a variety of insects, snails, bird eggs, and small reptiles (source: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/fact_sheet_animal/32242-Ophisaurus%20ventralis/ophisaurus_ventralis.pdf)
My take: Wildlife Deception as a Defense
video of a headless tail moving: https://youtu.be/pYGX7REMC3w
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. http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-guide/Agkistrodonpconanti.htm
Diet: fish, frogs, salamander, lizards, small turtles, baby alligators, birds, small mammals, and other snakes
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/01/01/my-hero-and-gardening-anxiety/
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: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/big-guns-in-the-wildlife-garden/
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: http://srelherp.uga.edu/turtles/kinbau.htm
Shown under Florida Native Plant: LIVE OAK (Quercus virginiana)
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2018/10/26/in-the-garden-three-stripes-and-youre-out/
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: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2016/06/20/nature-knows-bestthe-little-lizard-who-could/
It only blinked, but caught this shot where it looks like it is sleeping
Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)