Striped Mud Turtle

This is the time of year where every creature, little or small, is moving. So it is  important to watch where you are going especially in areas where you can drive through. Caught this one crossing the limestone road.

Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

This turtle doesn’t grow very big.. maybe 3-5 inches and can easily be mistaken for a pinecone. So again, it’s important to look ahead when you are driving in places like Chassahowitzka WMA. 

Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

From the above photo, you can see the three stripes along the back of its shell. This one looks like it has been here for a while. Let’s hope this turtle can live for many more years.


Links:

https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/reptiles/freshwater-turtles/striped-mud-turtle/

https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/turtles/striped-mud-turtle/striped_mud_turtle.php

http://srelherp.uga.edu/turtles/kinbau.htm

Advertisements

Spanish Moth Caterpillar

So far there are two Spanish Moth Caterpillars recorded in Hernando County, both at Chassahowitzka WMA, myself and Pete Kleinhenz, according to Inaturalist.

Caterpillars feed on Spider Lillies and other Amaryllidaceae so I am assuming can be found more wetland habitats.

Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden
Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

Larvae have six instars, (transformations) emerges out of the pupa stage around eight days and feeding for 17 days and last pupal stage around 19 days. Adults live around 8-10 days that include up to three days of flight and mating.

They don’t live very long, only about two months. Hopefully, I can time it just right to get photos of the moth, because it’s a beauty!

 

Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden
Spanish Moth Caterpillar | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

It was pretty cool how I spotted these because they are very easy to overlook.

 

Every time I would try to photograph a damselfly, it would fly away. I would have back up and follow where it landed,  it happened three times until that last stop I noticed the caterpillars. Kind of neat how nature leads you to the best spots!


Links

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/orn/flowers/spanish_moth.htm

http://florida.plantatlas.usf.edu/Genus.aspx?id=368&display=photos

 

 

Swollen Bladderwort

Along Cow Creek Rd. in Goethe State Forest are areas of flowing water that is filled with beautiful spectacles of yellow. The swollen bladderwort, a Florida native plant, is another species in the bladderwort family as well as an aquatic carnivorous plant.

Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden 

Great video about the Swollen Bladderwort, it’s such a neat plant!


What really would be neat if people would contain their trash!Swollen Bladderwort 2.jpg There’s nothing like coming across the beauty of nature and seeing how humans diminish that beauty.


Links:

https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2017/09/06/swollen-bladderwort.pdf

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/utricularia-species/

https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Goethe-State-Forest

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=UTIN