Amphibians and Reptiles at Sicily Island Hills

Posted: September 30, 2009 in Homepage

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GatorAlligator photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

The Alligator is scientifically named Alligator mississippiensis. While engaged in graduate field work at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, Stephanie Sorensen observed three of these awesome creatures on the north side of SIHWMA  at the large pond known locally as the Gravel Pit Pond .  For a panoramic view of the pond go to my Photo/Map page.  Having been to the Sicily Island Hills many times I was surprised to learn of the presence of alligators within the boundaries of the refuge. The alligators, as I learned from Lowery Moak Wildlife Biologist with the local LDWF office, are naturally occuring, having come up Big Creek from the Ouachita River.

Plethodon serratus

Southern RedBack Salamander photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

Plethodon serratus is considered rare and only two populations are known to exist within Louisiana. It is also known as the Southern Redback Salamander.

Blue Tail Skink

Five Lined Skink photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

The Blue Tail Skink or Five Lined Skink, a reptile, not an amphibian, shown in the above photograph, is also known by the scientific name Eumeces fasciatus.

Toad

Fowlers Toad photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

The amphibian called Fowlers Toad is scientifically named Bufo fowleri.

Dwarf salamanderDwarf Salamander photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

The  Dwarf Salamander is an amphibian also known as Eurycea quadridigitata.

Mud SnakeMud Snake photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

The Mud Snake is also known as Farancia abacura, a snake that I have never encountered. One of the reasons may be that according to Stephanie, these snakes  most often bury themselves in mud, which given their common name would be no surprise. This particular snake pictured above was captured in a trap as part of her thesis research. Stephanie also told me that mud snakes are generally docile and rather than biting you if they become alarmed, they poke you with the end of their tail. This same tough tail is used as burrowing tool

Eastern Garter SnakeEastern Garter Snake photograph by Stephanie Sorensen

One of my favorite snakes is scientifically known as Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis or the Eastern Garter Snake.

Southern Hognose SnakeEastern Hognose snake photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

Eastern Hognose snake  or Heterodon platirhinos, shown in full defensive mode.

Timber Rattler

Juvenile Copperhead photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

Juvenile Copperhead or Agkistrodon contortrix, a most elegant snake.

Eastern Box TurtleEastern Box Turtle photograph courtesy of Stephanie Sorensen

Eastern Box Turtle a reptile also known as Terrapene carolina is a most ubiquitous creature across the eastern portion of the United States.

More images and information on Amphibians and Reptiles to soon follow.

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