Red-eared Slider Laying Eggs

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Female Turtle
Red-eared Slider, 2009-07-26

Found this one up a hill in Mason Park last weekend. She climbed quite a ways from the ponds to find a spot to lay her eggs.

American Bullfrog

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Bullfrog in water
American Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana
Corn Creek, Clark County, Nevada, 2008-09-28

Western Fence Lizard

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Grey lizard on wall
Western Fence Lizard, Sceloporus occidentalis
Santiago Oaks Regional Park, Orange County, California, 2008-03-02

These things make the Green Anoles I grew up with look like Disney characters.

Fowler’s Toad

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Fowler’s Toad

Fowler’s Toad, Bufo woodhousii fowleri
Robert Moses State Park, 2007-07-07


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.

Red-eared Slider

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

Baby turtle in hand

Red-eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans, Prospect Park. 2007-05-25

These are common in Prospect Park and other New York area parks. They’re not native. The colonies are all the results of released pets. These cute little guys grow into much larger turtles, and turtles just can’t hold a child’s interest as long as a dog or cat.

In many places, they’re crowding out the native turtles. I rarely see any other turtle species in Prospect Park these days.