Giant Italian Lizards Invade Queens!

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

When we first visited Ridgewood Reservoir back in April, a local told us that there were hundreds of large lizards at the site in the summer. That was hard to believe since New York has almost no native lizard species (in fact, only two, both skinks). You occasionally see an escaped pet iguana; but they never make it through the winter. However today on our fourth trip to the site we found one of the rumored lizards and trapped it in a bottle so we could get a closer look:

Green and brown lizard in a bottle

Al Ott identified this as an Italian Ruin Lizard, a.k.a. Italian Wall Lizard, Podarcis sicula. Rob Jett also recognized it from a trip to Rome. They’re an invasive species that has been settling small colonies on Long Island for the last three decades or so, and they’re expanding. So far all we have is this one specimen, but I suspect we’ll see more as the summer progresses.

How they make it through a New York winter I have no idea; but apparently they can do that, something few native American lizards can do.

Deadly Nightshade

Saturday, June 9th, 2007

Purple flowers

Atropa belladonna Solanum dulcamara, Ridgewood Reservoir, 2007-06-09


New Macs Today

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

The Apple Store is down and it’s a Tuesday. New Macs must be coming out momentarily. Probably MacBook Pros or maybe new iMacs.

We are busy updating the store for you and will be back shortly.


Choosing a Continuous Integration Server

Saturday, June 2nd, 2007

I’ve been tasked with setting up a continuous integration server for a team Java project. Options are:

We don’t have a strong opinion about any of these. Anyone care to comment on which one we should use and why?