Posted in Animals

Snake Species of Ohio at a Glance

This post is meant as an aid to snake identification. In addition to posting photos of all the snakes, I try to point out color variations within a species, where the species is found in Ohio, and what the typical length of an adult is. I have tried to group snakes to make it easier to distinguish between similar-looking species. I focus on the visual characteristics of the snakes; for a more detailed description of the snake (its habitats, behavior, etc.), I have provided links to three sources Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

Beginning of the amphibian life cycle

After a walk at Wahkeena Nature Preserve, Bob and I stopped to chat with Robyn. Robyn is one of the naturalists at Wahkeena, and she was the original author of the Wahkeena Nature Preserve blog. Robyn asked us how our walk went. I mentioned that I had seen lots of amphibian eggs in pools of water, but I didn't know how to tell the difference between frog eggs and salamander eggs. She offered then and there to show us the difference. We went to a little pool and Robyn lifted up two groups of eggs Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

Wild Turtle with Shedding Shell

I was really surprised when I saw the turtle pictured above. First, this species of turtle, a Red-eared Slider, is not known to occur in the wild in Franklin County. Second, what on earth is wrong with its shell? Let's look at it more closely. The turtle's shell is subdivided into sections called scutes. In my photo there is a front scute that's a lighter color, almost a light brown, toward the front of the shell. It seems to be raised above the surrounding scutes. Toward the Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

Ohio’s 12 species of turtles at a glance

In the following post, I note the distinguishing characteristics of Ohio's turtle species, plus the counties in which they've been sighted. Family Emydidae Midland Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta marginata) If you've seen a turtle basking in the sun in Ohio, and you're wondering what kind of turtle it is, the odds are that it's a Midland Painted Turtle. This is one of the most common turtles in Ohio, plus it's easy to spot because it enjoys basking on logs or other objects Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

A lucky turtle

When I caught sight of this turtle trailing a skirt of algae, I was immediately reminded of the similar turtles that are often depicted in Asian art. In China such a turtle is supposed be one of four sacred animals: the turtle, the tiger (or kirin or rhino), the dragon, and the phoenix. The Japanese adopted the mythos surrounding the sacred turtle whom they refer to as the minogame. Not every turtle gets to become a minogame, just the lucky ones who have been blessed with long Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

Amphibians at the Inniswood pond

Whenever I'm at Inniswood Metro Gardens, I stop by to see what's happening in this tiny, municipal wetland. And right now, tadpoles are what's happening. These two, very different types of tadpoles were co-existing in the pond. I wonder if they are different species of frog, or the same species born at different times? Let's take a look at some prospective parents. The happy threesome above are Eastern American Toads. You can distinguish toads from frogs because the skin Read more ➜
Posted in Animals

Ohio’s 15 species of frogs and toads at a glance

An article entitled, Ohio's Frog and Toad Species, states that there are 15 species in our state. To help me to learn to identify these species, I wanted to see photos of all 15 on one page. I selected a representative photo, but be aware that there can be a lot of variation in color for frogs of the same species. Below each photo, I note the range of colors that are possible for that species. Toads The "True" Toads Eastern American Toad (Bufo americanus americanus) The Eastern American Read more ➜