CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Leopard Frog (Lithobates sphenocephalus)
One of the larger aquatic frogs and this one topped the scales for any I’ve ever encountered. From a distance I thought for sure it was a bull frog.
Diet: insects, crayfish, other aquatic invertebrates
My take: https://floridawildlifegardentails.wordpress.com/2019/07/27/a-leopard-is-loose-in-my-garden/
CENTRAL FLORIDA CRITTER OF THE DAY: Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris)
I can usually find these guys at night on the patio…hopefully eating palmetto bugs (ick!)
syn. Bufo terrestris
“Diet: Ants, bees, beetles, crickets, roaches, snails, and other invertebrates.”
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/