Exploring South Carolina’s Lowcountry

            Spring has officially arrived with the promise of warmer weather and longer days. This year we will be spending a majority of the spring and early summer working on several Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) research projects. The Orianne Society began working with Spotted Turtles all the way back in 2014 when we began monitoring […]

Why Do Species Live Where They Do and Not Where They Don’t?

Growing up in the southern Champlain Valley of Vermont, I knew there were Spring Salamanders in the state, and always hoped to find one in the one of the many small streams scattered across the landscape. Topping off around 7 inches in length and with bright salmon-orange skin, you’d think they’d be easy to find, […]

The slimy salamander complex: A window into genetic divergence and the definition of a species

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).  […]

A Gardener’s Friend: The Secretive Red-bellied Snake

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 […]

Indigo Defensive Strategies

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.

Ornate Chorus Frogs

            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 […]

Ecosystem Engineers: Creating Habitat for Others

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, […]

Fieldnotes- December 2018

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.

Shedding Light on Disappearing Turtle Populations

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 Photo of the Month

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.