Monday, August 29, 2011

Reptiles - Lizards

I took my first lizard photo in 2005 in New Mexico and then a couple more in 2008. However, this year in Texas, it was hot and I saw many lizards. The lizard that started me on the hunt was the Texas Horned Lizard. My husband saw it in the middle of the park road in Seminole Canyon SP and came to get me - with my camera. This lizard and some of the others stayed perfectly still while I took their picture. Others are gone in a flash. I know several of them did not get their picture taken.

When I reviewed my photos at home, I knew I had to get some reference guides. I searched the library databases and put out hold requests for all the guides I could find. They came from all over Michigan. One book from CMU was placed in the library in 2002 and I am the first person to check it out of the library. However, the guides were not comprehensive enough, so I found 2 websites where people were willing to help me with the ID.

These were the books and websites that I found:
Lizards of the American Southwest
National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians
Handbook of Lizards: Lizards of the United States and of Canada
Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas
Austin Reptile Service
Ribbit Photography and Wild Herps

Why lizards? Whatever is in my camera view finder, is a "clicking" moment. There are over 100 different species of lizards in North America, plus many sub-species. Texas has quite a number of lizards or their sub-species. Now I have captured 9 different species and sub-species in images.

See the clicks below.

Photo taken at Lost Maples SNA, TX on 4/6/2008

Green Anole - Anolis carolinensis

Photo taken at Seminole Canyon SP, TX on 4/1/2011

Texas Horned Lizard - Phrynosoma cornutum

Photo taken at Seminole Canyon SP, TX on 3/31/2008

Greater Earless Lizard - Cophosaurus texanus

Photo taken at South Llano River SP, TX on 4/12/2011

Texas Greater Earless Lizard (sub-species) - Cophosaurus texanus texanus

Photo taken at Lake Mineral Wells SP, TX on 4/14/2011

Texas Spiny Lizard - Sceloporus olivaceus

Photo taken at Choke Canyon SP, TX on 3/24/2011

Texas Rose-bellied Lizard (sub-species) - Sceloporus variabilis marmoratus

Photo taken at Bosque del Apache NWR, NM on 3/14/2005

Southwestern Fence Lizard - Sceloporus cowlesi

Photo taken at Davis Mountains SP, TX on 4/7/2011

Big Bend Tree Lizard - Urosaurus ornatus schmidti

Photo taken at I10 Rest Area, TX on 4/10/2011

Common Spotted Whiptail - Aspidoscelis gularis

Monday, August 15, 2011

Butterflies - Royalty & Ladies

Royal butterflies? Well, we have a Monarch, a Queen and an Empress. There is an Emperor or two but I haven't seen him, yet. Next, we have very important rulers and commanders like the Admirals and the Viceroy. Lastly, we have the Ladies - American Lady, Painted Lady and West Coast Lady. So far, I have seen only one Lady. I thought I had a picture of the Painted Lady but alas I don't. The difference between the American Lady and Painted Lady is so small, that I had misidentified some of my pictures for awhile.

You can see that some them are closely related when they have the same first Latin or Scientific name.

All of these butterflies are in the Brush-footed family.

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 8/28/2010

Monarch - Danaus plexippus

Photo taken at Sabal Palms, TX on 1/10/2004

Queen - Danaus gilippus

Photo taken at Choke Canyon SP, TX on 3/23/2011

Empress Leilia - Asterocampa leilia

Photo taken at Montauk Point SP, NY on 5/10/2004

American Lady - Vanessa virginiensis

Photo taken at Laguna Atascosa NWR, TX on 1/20/2004

Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta

Photo taken at Hunter's Point - Copper Harbor, MI on 8/4/2006

White Admiral - Limenitis arthemis arthemis

Photo taken at Murray Lake, MI on 7/21/2007

Red-spotted Purple - Limenitis arthemis astyanax

Photo taken at Hunter's Point - Copper Harbor, MI on 8/4/2006

Viceroy - Limenitis achippus

All images © MSCI