Travel to almost any deciduous forest in the eastern United States and you can potentially encounter one of the members of the slimy salamander (Plethodon glutinosus) species complex. Slimy salamanders are large members of the family Plethodontidae or lungless salamanders, which rely completely on cutaneous respiration for gas exchange (i.e., they breathe through their skin). […]
Northern New England is not known for having high reptile and amphibian diversity, yet most people here are amazed to learn how many species we actually have. I’d wager that if you approached someone on the street and asked them to name all the local frogs, salamanders, snakes, and turtles in the area they can […]
Join Ben in this month’s episode of Fieldnotes as he explores the wide array of defensive strategies displayed by the “Emperor of the Forest”, the Eastern Indigo Snake.
On rainy nights in late fall and winter, small wetlands across the Coastal Plain of the southeastern U.S. come to life with the frantic calls and movements of winter breeding amphibians. Many amphibian species breed in seasonal wetlands that are most commonly inundated during predictable fall and winter rains. These wetlands provide ideal breeding […]
Biologists have many ways to classify animals. Species can be grouped together based on what they eat, their relationships with other species, the time of day they are most likely to be active, or their evolutionary history and genetic relationships to other species. Ecosystem engineers are species that modify their environment in a significant manner, […]
In this month’s installment of Fieldnotes, we’ve kicked off the 2018-19 Eastern Indigo Snake survey season, and Ben takes a moment to discuss the seasonal behavior of Georgia indigos, while showcasing Humboldt, a large male from our mark-recapture study.
Turtles are an ancient group of animals that have remained relatively unchanged over a long evolutionary history that spans more than 200 million years. A recent review by Lovich et al. (2018) highlights the current global plight of turtles. Some 61% of the world’s turtle species are either threatened or already extinct, making turtles one […]
October’s Photo of the Month comes to us from Michael Perry who snapped a shot of this beautiful Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) in the Coastal Plain of Georgia.
Over the last two years, we have sampled the snake fauna of southeastern Georgia for Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, the causative agent of Snake Fungal Disease (SFD). SFD has now been identified in snakes across the eastern United States, including several severe cases in Georgia that prompted this study. We sampled snakes through a variety of methods […]
Field guides are a gateway to understanding the natural world. Indeed, many herpers I know treasure their very first field guide, which opened their eyes to the diversity around them, keeping its tattered remains up on a shelf next to newer editions as a memento. My first was copy Peterson’s “Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern […]