Reptiles & Amphibians

closeup of frog in mailbox
Species
tree frog - species unknown
Hyla avivoca? (Bird-voiced Treefrog?)

Location
Nashville, TN

Date of sighting
9 Nov 2007

I was unlocking my front door when something at eye level in my peripheral vision made me jump. A treefrog had taken up residence in my mailbox, which was a good five feet off the porch and an additional six feet off the ground. Since it's right below my porch light, I guessed he found his odds of catching dinner improved in the chill of late fall by moving into the mailbox and waiting for the light to come on.He was peeping out the hole like it was the most natural thing in the world.

After a half hour or so of not seeming to mind me at all, he withdrew into the safety of the mailbox. Later, when I was leaving, I peered in the box and he was gone. I've seen no sign of him since.

Species
American Alligator
Alligator mississippiensis

Location
Wesley Chapel, Florida

Date of sighting
2 Sep 2004

The wife came out of the house one morning and was looking for the cat. She noticed a crowd of neighbors across the street with cameras. They warned her about the alligator before she got to the car and she promptly joined them across the street. The alligator continued to cross several other yards before settling into a nearby pond. We would see him there for several years sunning himself on the banks of his new home.

From then on we always checked under the car before getting into it. The cat showed up several hours later and his hair was all white! Of course his hair was all white even before that time. :)

Albino Anole in the front porch sideAlbino Anole in the front porch top
Species
Anolis sagrei (brown anole)

Location
The front of my house, Tampa, FL

Date of sighting
6 Sep 2007

I am sure my neighbor didn't appreciate the flash on my camera flashing like crazy over and over almost at midnight, but I couldn't pass the opportunity to photograph what might be an albino anole. In any case, I went back to my computer to check if such a thing was a rare find and came with this recent forum post from Kingsnake forum where somebody also took pictures. After reading the post I hurried back and tried to catch it, but the thing ran into some bushes and became out of reach. I wouldn't normally run around in pajamas with a bottomless plastic 2 liter coke bottle and a broom but in my mind this might have been worth it. The bad thing is that the lizard might be so scared that it might never return.

Puff Adder (Bitis arietans)
Species
Bitis arietans (Puff Adder)

Location
Rooiels, Western Cape, South Africa (Bottom left hand corner of Africa.)

Date of sighting
5 Sep 2006

I am new to this site, and find it to be wonderful! I love nature and animals and get tired of trying to take pro photographic shots when I just want the animal or plant to tell it's own tale.

We were on our way to Pringle Bay where we have our weekend house and we spotted this snake on the road at the little seaside village just before Pringle Bay. There are many sitings of these snakes in the area and it is my second one in five years. We obviously do not want to get too close to it as their bites can be fatal.

I look forward to sharing my pics with you and telling my stories. Living in a very interesting area, I have lots to show and tell.

Black Iguana (Ctenosaura similis) from Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Species
Ctenosaura similis (Black Iguana)

Location
Manuel Antonio Wild Life Reserve in Kepos near the Coast, Costa Rica

Date of sighting
15 Oct 2005

I took this photo in Costa Rica while I was visiting the Manuel Antonio wild life reserve in Kepos near the coast of Costa Rica. While walking down a trail you can see many of these large iguanas and they seem to have no fear of beeing around humans unless you get too close. I spotted this one inside a trunk of a tree. all I wonder is how he got inside.

Symbiosis Between Alligator and Dragonfly
Species
Alligator mississippiensis
Libellula Sp.?

Location
BJ's at Bruce B. Downs, Tampa, Florida

Date of sighting
30 Sep 2006

In the new BJ's gasoline pump by Tampa Palms (Tampa, Florida) there is a little pond that holds about a 6 feet alligator who at this time carried a little fearless dragonfly. The alligator would be the equivalent to public transportation in a dragonfly's world I guess. Weather there might be a symbiotic relationship or not here, we are not sure.

Green Tree Frog - Hyla cinerea
Species
Hyla cinerea

Location
Tampa, FL 33647

Date of sighting
19 Sep 2006

Not only did the green tree frog (Hyla cinerea) make it to the Hollywood Walk of Fame as Kermit the Frog, but this small fellow (about 1-3/8" body size in this case) has been the Louisiana State Amphibian since 1993 when after a heated debate made it as the Louisiana State Amphibian which actually is truly represents a feat, given the multiple species of amphibians that habitat the State of Louisiana. Regardless of their name, green tree frogs can change colors depending on temperature, sexual mood, or dormancy state (they turn gray and sometimes to black when dormant). The Hilton Pond Center has an excellent article about green tree frogs.

Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
Species
Anolis carolinensis

Location
Tampa, FL 33647

Date of sighting
17 Sep 2006

This green looking lizard is the green anole, but it is only green when it feels like it. It will change from green to brown depending on its mood, and of course, its surroundings (this is why it is called the American Chameleon even it is not a true chameleon), another similar characteristic to chameleons is that the green anole can move its eyes independent of each other. This species of anole is native to Florida, but has been displaced by the brown anole (previous entry) which seems to be wining territory on its green cousin, the green anole. You can read more about the green anole in this Wikipedia article.

Florida Redbelly Turtle - Trachemys scripta elegans
Species
Trachemys scripta elegans

Location
University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620

Date of sighting
16 Sep 2006

Very interesting how these turtles rush to the water in the pond when they hear a person approaching the little bridge that crosses it, they share the limited "breadcrump landing site" in the water with softshell turtles and ducks. My friends pointed out that some of these turtles were missing limbs, as many had only three limbs plus a stump, who knows who or what caused this damage. May have to do with the fact that they use gator nests to lay their eggs. Although there is not much information about these turtles, you can read just a bit more in Wikipedia.

Cuban Tree Frog - Osteopilus septentrionalis
Species
Osteopilus septentrionalis

Location
Tampa, FL 33647

Date of sighting
16 Sep 2006

These little things are actually the largest tree frogs in North America. They are known for their voracious appetite making their diet almost anything they can fit in their mouths. Their diet includes mainly insects, but adults frogs are known to consume other frogs, small lizards, snakes, young mice, and hatchling birds. A very balanced carnivorous diet if you ask me. This fact sheet from SeaWolrd has some good information on this species of amphibian.