Readers’ wildlife photos

February 27, 2017 • 7:30 am

We have a potpourri of Ceiling Cat’s creatures today; don’t forget to keep sending in your good wildlife photos (please, nothing out of focus).

Here’s a garden spider from reader Kevin Eisken; does anyone know the species?

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Reader Roh Shaw sent a photo that may be a a Clark’s spiny lizard (Sceloporus clarkii) from Tucson, Arizona.

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Reader Garry VanGelderen sent three pictures of a red fox (Vulpes vulpes), the first on February 20.

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The next day we got another shot:

The same fox  (that I sent you a pic of yesterday) showed up again this morning. Got 2 shots of through a (dirty) window. In the first pic he is crouching to listen for a prey animal (most likely a vole) that is somewhere under the snow. In the second pic he is getting ready to do the classic jump-dive. Missed that last shot of the dive: he didn’t get his target. Saw him do it later again further away from the house and he did get something. I couldn’t identify what it was.

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And a bunch of nature photos from reader Nicole Reggia, who lives in eastern Pennsylvania. I’ll leave it to you to identify the species:

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Chipmunk!

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My favorite is this picture of damselflies mating en masse:

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17 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. American dogwood (Cornus florida), Water lily (Nymphaeaceae family), Sassafrass (Sassafras albidum), Coneflower (Echinacea), Dandelion (Taraxacum), Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) are my guesses for the plants.

  2. The fox looks just so handsome with it’s rich dark coat. It’s tempting to see it as a creature you could make into a pet. But that would be wrong.

    1. Very nice pictures and as you say, healthy looking Red. The red fox has gone thru some tough times in the Midwest, particularly with mange.

  3. The last photo shows damselflies laying eggs. The males use their abdominal tips to clasp the females behind the head when they mate. In the photo the males retained the grip, most likely to ward off other males, while the females deposit their eggs in/on plant stems below the surface. I am not familiar with Pennsylvania damselflies but these look like genus Ischnura.

    1. @harrync I’m not a lizardologist, but I looked up the Desert Spiny Lizard & it’s clear that the tail is normally longer than the body. I also found this on a spiny lizard site:

      Many lizards have expendable tails that can be sacrificed to a predator if necessary. The wiggling detached tail will distract the predator and allow the lizard to escape. The ability to shed a tail is made possible by tiny fracture planes in the vertebrae which allows it to break easily.

      The lizard can help the split with muscular contractions when a predator grabs the tail. Blood vessels constrict quickly to minimize blood loss. The tail can regenerate over several weeks, but it is usually smaller and lighter colored. There is no bone regeneration; the new tail is supported by cartilage. If the original tail was only partly detached, a new one grows anyway, and you may see a double or triple-tailed lizard.

  4. Very nice photographs, everyone!

    I’d say the spiny lizard from Tucson is a Desert Spiny Lizard Sceloporus magister, because the forelimb barring is pretty indistinct, and because of that broad bluish-purple dorsal stripe.

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