Category: REPTILES


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Serpentes
Family: Viperidae

Genus/species: Crotalus adamanteus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have a large head with a light bordered dark stripe running diagonally through the eye and a large pit between the nostril and eye.. The body is bulky with a row of large dark diamonds with brown centers and cream borders down its back. The ground color of the body ranges from olive, to brown, to almost black. The tail has a well-developed rattle. Maximum length to 7 feet (average length 33 to 72 inches).

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Endemic to the southeast of the United States. Found in in the coastal lowlands, barrier islands. Occasionally it may venture into salt water, swimming to the outlying Keys off the Florida coast.

DIET IN THE WILD; C. adamanteus is crepuscular and are most active in the evening or early morning. They feed primarily on small mammals, from mice to rabbits. Location of the prey is by odor, as well as by sensing the infrared waves (heat) given off by their warm-blooded prey.

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REPRODUCTION: Brood size ranges from 6 to 21. The gestation period is six to seven months. Young are born live, in retreats such as gopher tortoise burrows or hollow logs and can live over 20 years.

PREDATORS: Young are taken by hogs, carnivorous mammals (the gray fox), raptors (the red-tailed hawk), and other snakes (especially king snakes). Adults have no natural predators.

CONSERVATION: Red List (LC) Least concern but the population is decreasing due to fragmentation by agriculture, forestry practices and urbanization.

REMARKS: It preys on rats, mice, rabbits, and other small mammals, many of which are pests to humans.
It can strike up to 2/3 its body length; a 6-foot specimen may strike 4 feet. It has potent venom with a mortality rate for humans is nearly 40 percent. The only acceptable treatment for venomous snakebite, involves the use of antivenom.

Color of Life note: Pit vipers, boas and pythons have heat sensing organs which detect infrared (IR) wavelengths on their face.  The snake can tell the direction from which a signal originates, depending on where the nerve signal strikes a membrane. This partnership between heat detection and visual sensory inputs allows the snake to detect its warm-blooded prey, even when it is too dark to pick out prey from the background.

Ref: California Academy of Sciences Color of Life Exhibit 2015.

References 

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/8359753686/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1yT

Florida Museum of Natural History www.flmnh.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/crotalus-ada…

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/64308/0

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Crotalus_adamanteus/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata (chordates with backbones)
Class: Reptilia (turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards and tuatara
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Suborder: Serpentes (snakes)
Family: Pythonidae (pythons)

Genus/species: Morelia viridis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are green with a distinct ridge of scales that is usually white to yellow in coloration and forms a broken or continuous line down the length of the body.
Ventrally, the scales are generally yellow. Juveniles may be either bright yellow or brick-red. They have series of white blotches edged in black or brown. A white streak edged in black runs from the nostril through the eye and to the back of the head.
Average length of 1.5 m (5 ft); with the largest up to 2.2 m (7.2 ft).

 

Morelia viridis18399138824_510cf00ea1_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Mainland New Guinea, its offshore islands, and in eastern Indonesia and in the northeast Cape York Peninsula of Australia. Found mainly in moist forests from lowland to mid-montane altitudes.

DIET IN THE WILD: They are nocturnal hunter when larger nocturnal prey are active as well. M. viridis changes color when it changes its diet from small reptiles and invertebrates to rodents and birds in the rainforest canopy.

Morelia viridis19021843505_b2a60523a7_o

REPRODUCTION: M. viridis exhibit some maternal care by brooding their eggs before they hatch. Females have been observed coiling around their clutches. They will often shiver and contract their coils, apparently to produce metabolic heat and thus maintaining a temperature, which ranges from 84 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.
Yellow and red individuals averaging 30.5 cm (12.8 inches) in length hatch out of 6 to 32 eggs in captivity but colors are separate on different islands.

PREDATORS: Main predators of green tree pythons are rufous owls, black butcherbirds, and an assortment of diurnal raptors.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)
Threats: It is becoming increasingly popular in the pet trade.

REMARKS: Each color stage appears to provide camouflage suitable to its immediate habitat. As a young snake, the red or yellow color blends in better in forest gaps or edges, where smaller animals reside. Adult green coloration blends in best in the closed canopy of the rainforest, where larger prey live.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Color of Life exhibit June 2015

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/177524/0

Animal Diversity Web  animaldiversity.org/accounts/Morelia_viridis/

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18399138824/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1xT

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata (chordates with backbones)
Class: Reptilia (turtles, crocodilians, snakes, lizards and tuatara
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles)
Suborder: Serpentes (snakes)
Family: Boidae (boas)

Genus/species: Corallus caninus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Adults are typically emerald-green, juveniles are yellow to orange to brown. This individual has striking white markings occurring along the dorsal midline, but some populations lack them. C. caninus has two tiny spurs on either side of its cloaca opening thought to be the evolutionary remnants of hind legs.

Length up to 2.2 m (7.2 feet).

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. caninus are found lowland tropical rainforests in the Amazonian and Guianan regions of South America.They are arboreal species that spend most of their time in the rainforest canopy foliage. 

They Use the “concertina” method of tree climbing. It holds on to the trunk with its tail and lower part of its body, reaches up with its head and hooks its neck around the trunk. Then it releases its hold with the tail and pulls the rear part of its body up to the level of the neck.

Corallus caninus5252794466_c85c5e40ef_b
DIET IN THE WILD: They perceive prey primarily through sight and infrared heat receptors located in the labial scales. Carnivore Nocturnal predators of rodents, lizards, marsupials and an occasional bird.
Nocturnally they remain coiled on its branch, but will extend its neck pointing beneath it, curled as if about to strike. It will then hold still in this position, waiting for prey to approach directly underneath it. Their highly developed front teeth that are proportionately larger than those of other non-venomous snakes.

 

Corallus caninus5099438187_af0d2a4e3b_b

REPRODUCTION; Viviparous with a gestation period of 6 to 7 months. They typically give birth 10 young at a time and by 4 months, they begin to develop their adult, green coloration.

LIFE EXPECTANCY: 15 years in captivity.

PREDATORS; Guianan crested eagles (Morphnus guianansis)

CONSERVATION: CITES; no special status.

Corallus caninus4770065279_923bce3efd_b

REMARKS: They are slow-moving but when collected in the wild have been described as making no effort to escape until seized, whereupon they strike viciously and apply constriction at full force.

References:

Animal diversity Web animaldiversity.org/accounts/Corallus_caninus/

Encyclopedia of life eol.org/pages/454883/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1×3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/18399138824/in/album-72157652559028013/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Lacertilia
Family: Polychrotidae

Genus/species: Norops oxylophus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Stream anoles are moderately large, about 8 cm (3 in) snout to vent, short-legged lizards. Females are slightly smaller than males. They are chocolate-colored with a pair of cream-colored lateral stripes that run from the shoulder down about 2/3 the length of the body. The irises of their eyes are a coppery color. This is one of the characteristics that distinguish N. oxylophus from N. aquaticus, a blue-eyed anole that lives in the same area.

Norops oxylophus 5389062001_ef78684622_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Honduras to northwestern Panama. Found in lowland forest and streams.

DIET IN THE WILD: Invertebrates. Anoles are visual lizards with excellent eyesight. They have color vision that includes ultraviolet wavelengths. Unlike many lizards, their sense of smell is poor, and they use their tongues to capture prey, rather than to sense them.

Norops oxylophus 5389664708_63b917acef_o

REMARKS: May dart across water to escape predators.

Rainforest Costa Rica CR04

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1sN

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5389062001/in/album-72157620708938680/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class; Reptilia
Order; Squamata (scaled reptiles, all lizards and snakes)
Suborder; Iguania
Family: Chamaeleonidae (Chameleons)

Genus/species: Brookesia stumpffi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: This small chameleon grows up to 9 cm (3.5 in).

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northern Madagascar and on several offshore islands. Commonly found in primary rainforest, dry forests, and secondary vegetation.

DIET IN THE WILD: It hunts in the leaf litter of the forest floor during the day, where it feeds on insects such a crickets, cockroaches, grasshoppers, and moths. At night it sleeps on branches of small shrubs about 30–80 cm (1–3 ft) above the ground.

PREDATORS: Probably snakes, birds, small mammals.

REPRODUCTION: Females lay between 3 to 5 eggs in depressions under dead leaves on the forest floor. 

LIFE SPAN: About 3 years.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List) Least Concern (LC).   This chameleon occurs in a fairly large area and seems relatively adaptable to disturbed habitats; however, its popularity in the pet trade as well as pressure from slash and burn farming pose possible threats

REMARKS: Can rapidly change colors to blend with the forest leaf litter to avoid predators. 

When disturbed these chameleons will play dead, resembling a fallen leaf. The Brookesia species are often called “leaf chameleons” because their small body and morphology resembling a leaf makes them highly cryptic when on the ground. 

Madagascar MA14 

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/176297/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/1057220/details

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/16273325375/in/album-72157620708610230/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1sE

 

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Sauria
Infraorder: Gekkota
Family: Gekkonidae

Genus/species: Blaseodactylus salalava

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DISTRIBUTION: Southwest Madagascar.

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects.

Madagascar MA10

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia (snakes, worm lizards, lizards, alligators, caimans, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, and tuataras)
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles, all lizards and snakes)
Family: Gekkonidae
Subfamily: Gekkoninae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Phelsuma grandis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Largest species of the genus Phelsuma, 23–27 cm (9-10.6 in). They are bright green, with granular red spots on the body and a red line running from the eye to the tip of the nose. Eye color is much like the skin color. blending into their heads and surroundings. The eyes are surrounded by blue rings, have round pupils, indicative of a diurnal life style.

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Northern Madagascar, Seychelles, and smaller islands close to Madagascar. Found in the canopy of tropical rain forests and on the walls of buildings in towns and villages.

DIET IN THE WILD: Mostly insects and other invertebrates; also soft sweet fruit, nectar, and pollen.

REPRODUCTION: Breeding season is between November and the first weeks of May. During this period, the females lay up to 6 pairs of eggs which hatch after approximately two months.

MORTALITY AND LONGEVITY: They live up to 10 years in captivity.

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CONSERVATION: Widespread in northern common and tolerant of disturbance within its known range. There are no known major threats.

REMARKS Many geckos can make sounds to attract mates, to advertise their territories, to warn off unwanted intruders or to frighten predators. Geckos do not have eyelids. Instead the lids have fused, and the eye is covered with a large transparent scale. Geckos keep their eyes clean by licking them with their broad flat tongues.

Madagascar MA08

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC) www.iucnredlist.org/details/193490/0

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/2448279/details

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-U7

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/16492091872/in/set-72157620708610230/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia (snakes, worm lizards, lizards, alligators, caimans, crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, and tuataras)
Order: Squamata (Lizards and Snakes)
Suborder Sauria (Lizards)
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Uroplatus henkeli

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko 4226839485_62145bf20d_b

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS A master of camouflage: its grey-brown skin blends in with the colors of tree bark. The fringes of skin along its head and body mask shadows by breaking up the. outlines of its body. The charcoal/light grey patterns on some individuals’ bodies look like lichen. The short flat tail, for which the genus was named (uro – “flat,” platus – “tail”), looks like a dead leaf. The bulging eyes on its flat triangular head have pupils with vertical slits, an indication of a nocturnal life style. Size to 255 mm (10 inches).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT Madagascar rainforest vegetation just a few metres off the ground

DIET IN THE WILD Nocturnal predator, eats mainly insects.

Henkel's leaf-tailed  Gecko  Uroplatus henkeli IMG_0394

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are deposited on the forest floor hidden under fallen leaves, beneath pieces of wood, or among dead leaves still attached to a plant. Juveniles hatch following a three-month incubation period.

MORTALITY Life span in the wild believed to be 3–5 years. Species has lived up to 15 years in captivity.

CONSERVATION IUCN Vulnerable from continued destruction of Madagascar forests. 

Listed in Appendix II of CITES.

 

REMARKS: To help escape predators. Like most lizard species, geckos can shed their tails. A new, shorter tail composed of cartilage will grow back. It can also frighten enemies by opening its mouth wide revealing a bright red interior. Also some geckos, including this one, have vocal cords, the only lizards that do. Its defensive behavior is often accompanied by loud distress calls.

Henkel's Leaf-tailed Gecko IMG_0742

Madagascar MAO7

References

California Academy of Sciences  Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/961880/details

IUCN Red List:  www.iucnredlist.org/details/178653/0

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-Uo

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449603666/with/4226839485/

TAXONOMY
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata (scaled reptiles, all lizards and snakes)
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Phelsuma standingi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Base color is usually light gray or brown with darker fine reticulations. If inactive, the coloration of this day gecko is often duller, giving it an overall grey appearance. When cool it takes on darker colors to help absorb light and heat and when hot it turns pale. Hatchlings have a yellowish-green head and typical light bands and bars on their backs. Large for a gecko, to 30 cm (11.75 inches) in length.

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They have a limited range within southwest Madagascar, preferring dry thorn forests and arid to semi-arid regions where vegetation consists of thorny succulent plants and baobab trees.    

DIET IN THE WILD: Diurnal; feeds on insects, fruit, nectar and possibly other lizards. 

 

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REPRODUCTION: Established adult pairs will tolerate juveniles until they reach sexual maturity. Eggs are most often laid in pairs that are “glued” to each other. As in many reptile species, sex of newborns is temperature dependent.

LONGEVITY: Captivity to 12 years, wild 5 years.

PREDATORS: Snakes and birds of prey.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red list: Vulnerable (VU) 

Populations numbers are thought to have declined in the 1990s due to heavy collecting for the pet trade.

Color of Life: Madagascar geckos are often either green or brownish, providing concealment in the rainforest.

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

ARKive  www.arkive.org/banded-day-gecko/phelsuma-standingi/

Encyclopedia of Life  eol.org/pages/791137/details

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/16947/0

Ron’s flickr  www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3268112303/in/set-72157…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3779080187/in/album-72157652559028013/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-1s3

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Family: Gekkonidae (Geckos)

Genus/species: Phelsuma klemmeri

IMG_0913

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dorsal color is brown to turquoise with turquoise bands. A black lateral line runs from the eyes to the hind legs. The head and neck are yellow. The ventral surface is whitish; scales are small and smooth. Adults are about 9 cm (3.5 in) long.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found only in northwest Madagascar among medium-sized bamboo in fragmented “bamboo islands.” When disturbed they hide in the cracks in older dead bamboo.

Phelsuma klemmeri 4813861605_40e1c52a37_b

DIET IN THE WILD: Insects, other invertebrates and soft sweet fruit, pollen and nectar. In the wild, they avoid the hotter part of the day and usually hunt and forage in the early morning, late afternoon, or right after a shower.

DIET IN CAPTIVITY: A variety of insects, including crickets and fruit flies, but will also eat fruit baby foods. They also eat fruits such as guava, papaya, and peaches.

REPRODUCTION: Females lay eggs every 3 to 5 weeks. Like most geckos, she usually lay two eggs at a time, often inside a hollow piece of bamboo. The babies are iridescent and look like tiny copies of the adults. Newborns weigh a mere 0.1 g at birth.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Endangered (EN)
it is known from only two locations and occurs as a severely fragmented population, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of forest habitat within its range.

REMARKS: First described in 1990.

Geckos have very special feet that contain millions of hairs capable of producing electrical forces, probably van der Waals forces. These forces, which are molecular and not caused by a sticky substance, allow the gecko to attract any surface, even polished glass.

Rainforest Madagascar with Madagascar Tree Boa MA06

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

IUCN Red List  www.iucnredlist.org/details/172981/0

phelsumania www.phelsumania.com/public/systematics/species/phelsuma_k…

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-TM

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3707689563/in/set-72157620708610230

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