The first week of setting up the experiment was very productive thanks to Dan, Josh, Nathaniel, and James. We set up our study sites (8 plots) and placed the lizard cages we built in a secure space. We will be working in Matheson Hammock and along Red Road (in Pinecrest and Coral Gables neighborhood). We are also very fortunate that Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens agreed to host us.
Other than that, we spent a lot of time herping and being fascinated by the biodiversity down here! However, it has also been raining a lot and there has only been one day that we returned to the apartment with our feet dry.
I had expectations about this city but the more time I spend here, the more I see how unique it is. One thing is for sure, there are not many cities that harbor as many non-native species of plants and animals.
Recently the Auburn University Herpetology class took a field trip to the The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center and bordering Conecuh National Forest. The primary purpose of this trip was to find as many herpetofauna as we could in the span of one day and two nights. While it was a relatively short trip we found over 24 species of herps including frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, and lizards (sorry no caecillians)!
My favorite part of the trip was snorkelling and using the seine nets in many of the ponds we visited. Overall, it was a great trip and I got to see many things I have never seen before.
Walking down “Red Road” in Pinecrest neighborhood of Miami, FL, it is hard to miss a myriad of lizards on trees and street lamps. Among the many city-dwelling residents, the Cuban brown anole (A. sagrei) and the Puerto Rican crested anole (A. cristatellus) are seen virtually everywhere. While there are evidences that anoles are adapting to urban landscapes, most of past studies have focused on adult stages (Kolbe et al., 2012; Winchell et al., 2016; Lapiedra et al., 2017) and early life stages have been largely ignored. Our recently published study was the first to address how adaptation in the embryonic stage could facilitate establishment of populations in cities.
Last weekend I got to go out to Chattahoochee State Park (border of Florida and Alabama) with the 13 students from Herpetology class lab by Brian Folt. Our goal was to check out the wetlands (possible habitats for the one-toed amphiuma and sirens).
Over the course of two days, we saw over 14 species of herps, some of which I’ve witness for the first time:
Snapping a photo of A. carolinensis (photo by Renata B)
~Welcome to the city where the heat is on….
This past weekend, I was very fortunate to have a chance to spend time looking for herps in Miami (Florida, USA) with my colleagues Josh, Tim, and Renata. Our main objective was to collect some brown anoles (A. sagrei) for Josh’s egg incubation thermal spike experiment, and to survey possible location to set up another experiment I will conduct this summer on maternal nest-site behavior of Puerto Rican crested anoles (A. cristatellus).
Nonetheless, we had some time to survey for herpetofauna at multiple spots including Pinecrest, Matheson Hammock, Coral Gables and Key Biscayne.
Pinecrest – along Red Road and Snapper Creek Canal
We spent almost four hours here and found:
Brown anole, Crested anole, bark anole, Green anole, brown basilisk, Knight anole, African rock agama, and a Green iguana (respectively: Anolis sagrei, Anolis cristatellus, Anolis distichus, Anolis carolinensis, Basillicus vittatus, Anolis equestris, Agama agama, and Iguna iguana).
Matheson Hammock A. cristatellus and a lot of Agama agama living in the rock wall in the parking lot.
Key Biscayne – Crandon Park and downtown
A. cristatellus, A. distichus, A. carolinensis and Ctenosaura similis (black spiny tail iguana). It was very windy by the beach!
Coral Gables – Peacock Park A. sagrei, A. cristatellus, and Leiocephalus carinatus (Northern curly-tail lizard). This park was quite busy with people.
Overall, we saw 13 species of herpetofauna (a snake and turtle not listed) despite the windy condition and overcast sky. It was a very fun and productive weekend, and I look forward to spending more time down in Miami over the summer!
If you would like detailed field notes, please feel free to contact me!
Last weekend I had a chance to go out to Halawakee Creek’s 1st order stream again with the good people from the Warner Lab. We did about an hour of searching on an overcast day and found 22 P. websteri a slimy salamander, a ring-neck snake, and two Two-line salamanders. We also found what appeared to be a bullfrog.
It’s the second week of February and what can be more romantic that the sweet sounds of frogs calling for a mate at night? The rain we got here (Auburn, AL, USA) the last couple days only seems to encourage all the *peeps* and *wonk wonks* among other sounds. Continue reading →