Fauna

16 April 2017 – Mollusks Galore

16 April 2017 Botany Bill FaunaJournalNon-Refuge

This time we diverge from looking at plants. On our hike on the Butterfly Trail at Lock # 30, Erie Canal, Macedon, New York, we found at least four mollusks. In the first picture, you can see the “beach” where we found them. It was mostly made up of the remains of shells. We would […]

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23 June 2015 – Allegheny Mound Ant

23 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

  The Allegheny mound ant (Formica exsectoides Forel) is a field ant that found on the refuge. It ranges along the Atlantic Coast of North America from Nova Scotia to Georgia. Although they are not highly regarded by some people, they are a fascinating and even arguably beneficial species.   Unlike most field ants, they […]

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20 June 2015 – Whooping Crane Observatory

20 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaJournalSites around refuge

(Above photo: Two whooping Cranes at Patuxent Research Refuge.) The Patuxent Research Refuge is home to the USGS’s (United States Geological Survey’s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. One of the on-going projects conducted by the USGS there is the Whooping Crane Captive Breeding Program. This actual area where the program is being conducted is not open […]

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19 June 2015 – Great Spangled Fritillary

19 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

Several individuals of this beautiful butterfly, called the Great Spangled Fritillary, were flying around the North Tract Contact Station this afternoon. They were feeding on the nectar of the Common Milkweed growing in the flower beds around the building.   Its scientific name is Speyeria cybele. It ranges from Southern Canada and Northern California on […]

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11 June 2015 –
Eastern Prickly Pear –
Opuntia cespitosa

11 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaNon-RefugePlant ProfileSites around refuge

This afternoon, I took a quick jaunt out to Lake Allen to take some pictures of the ¬†Eastern Prickly Pear, a type of cactus that is found on the Refuge. Its scientific name is Opuntia cespitosa Raf. Its natural range is primarily west of the Appalachians and east of the Mississippi. However, there are scattered […]

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9 June 2015 – Spotted turtle – Clemmys guttata

9 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

While I was driving on Wildlife Loop on the North Tract today, I saw a small black object in the road. At first, I thought it was a piece of debris, but on closer examination it was a Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata). I drove around the turtle and got out of my Jeep to take […]

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9 June 2015 – Harvestman

9 June 2015 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

I don’t know which species of Harvestman this is. It stood still long enough for me to take a couple of good shots.¬† Some people mistakenly believe that Harvestmen are spiders, but they are not. They belong to the Opiliones order of arachnids. This order consists of over 6,500 known species. They are sometimes called […]

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6 June 2015 – Thistle Tortoise Beetle – Cassida rubiginosa

6 June 2015 Botany Bill Fauna

I found this little guy, called a Thistle Tortoise Beetle, crawling on some musk thistle that I found on the refuge. Its scientific name is Cassida rubiginosa and it is native to Eurasia. From what I understand, this beetle was introduced to Quebec in 1901 as a control for thistles.   The Thistle Tortoise Beetle […]

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19 May 2015 – Common Snapping Turtle

19 May 2015 Botany Bill FaunaNon-Refuge

This morning a common snapping turtle was trying to cross the road in front of our house. I believe this was a female in search of a nesting site, and could be the same one we saw on our driveway several years. She was first spotted by my wife Becky and after she alerted me, […]

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1 October 2012 – Crown Slug Caterpillar – Isa textula

1 October 2012 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

Today, while looking at a Black Oak (Quercus velutina) specimen, I spotted a green fuzzy object moving around on a leaf. It was a Crown Slug Caterpillar (Isa textula) It is a fairly common moth in Eastern North America and its larva can be found on Cherry, Maple, Oak, Basswood, and Elm species. In the […]

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16 September 2012 – Garden Spider Spins Cool Web

16 September 2012 Botany Bill FaunaNon-Refuge

This rather industrious Yellow and Black Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia) built one of the most unusual webs I have ever seen. She took the pappus from nearby Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon lamottei Rouy) seed heads and embedded it in her web. By the looks of things, she has done rather well because she is rather plump. […]

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5 May 2012 – Close Encounter of a Slithering Kind

5 May 2012 Botany Bill FaunaJournalSites around refuge

Today while slogging in the steam which flows between Beaver Valley and Shangri La I had a close encounter with a snake called a Black Racer – (Coluber constrictor). It did not try to slither away like most racers I have seen before. Instead it coiled up and tried to look threatening. I spotted it […]

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17 April 2012 – Termites

19 April 2012 Botany Bill FaunaJournal

While traipsing through the woods near Wild Turkey Way at Loblolly Fork I stepped on a log which broke and exposed a bunch of little critters scurrying about. I examined the log closely and discovered that the critters were termites. They were hard to photograph because they did not stay still. But I managed to […]

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14 March 2012 – Froggy went a courtin’ (Toad actually)

14 March 2012 Botany Bill FaunaSites around refuge

While driving down Telegraph Road, I saw some movement in a mud puddle in front of me. I slowed down and discovered a bunch of American Toad (Bufo americanus) swimming around. Looking a little closer, I discovered that they were mating. I also spotted some egg strands.

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12 March 2012 – Eastern Fence Lizards and Black Widow Spiders

12 March 2012 Botany Bill FaunaSites around refuge

Today I did not do much botanizing. Instead I just drove around to see what I could find. Along side South Road near the BGE Powerline Right-of-way I spotted a lizard, which I believe is an Eastern Fence Lizard. In the cleared area near the Old Village Corner, I spotted a cool looking spider walking […]

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