Lucas and I went adventuring today and found a couple of northern redback salamanders (Plethodon c. cinereus). There was a bunch of broken glass in the area we found the first little guy in, so his tail somehow got cut off in the process of us finding him, but the second little cutie was fully intact.
They’re carnivorous amphibians that prey on worms, insects, spiders, and small mollusks. Considering it is where their prey is found, they spend most of their time in dark, damp forested areas, such as among leaf litter. They do not have lungs, but they breathe through their skin and mouth lining.
The blotched boulder-frog (Cophixalus petrophilus), a species newly found from the Cape Melville rainforest, lives deep in the labyrinth of a boulder-field where conditions are cool and moist during the dry season, allowing female frogs to lay their eggs in wet cracks in the rocks. In the absence of water, the tadpole develops within the egg and a fully formed frog hatches out.
The recently discovered Cape Melville shade skink (Saproscincus saltus) is restricted to moist, rocky rainforest on the Cape Melville plateau. It is highly distinct from it’s closest relatives, which live in rainforest found to the south.
Highly camouflaged, the newly found Cape Melville leaf-tailed gecko (Saltuarius eximius) sits motionless, head-down, waiting to ambush passing insects and spiders. With huge eyes and a long, slender body, it is highly distinct from its relatives.
Three new species were found on a recent expedition to the Cape Melville mountain range in northeastern Australia. The newly found Cape Melville leaf-tail gecko (Saltuarius eximius), Cape Melville shade skink (Saproscincus saltus), and blotched boulder-frog (Cophixalus petrophilus) are three herps previously undiscovered by science among several other animals found on the expedition that may be new to science. These species are expected to have existed in isolation for millions of years.
Black rat snake (Pantherophis obsoletus), commonly found in the northeastern US. They are the largest species of snake in New York and can reach lengths of over two meters, though that is rare. Thankfully, they are nonvenomous. When they feel threatened, like this one did, they shake their tails (in a manner similar to rattlesnakes) in dead leaves, making a rattling noise to ward off predators.
I found this shy, magnificent specimen this afternoon when I went out to lay in the sun. I saw him moving from a distance and thought he was a woodchuck due to his size. After I came upon him, he wouldn’t extend his head back out, but seemed amicable enough to allow me to take his picture a few times. I’m pretty sure he was a common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and a rather large one at that. I assume he was a very slow-moving gentleman because virtually his entire body was covered in one sort of slime or another.
EDIT: I’ve been informed it was probably a lady turtle. Unfortunately, I tend to identify all animals as males unless I know for certain they’re a female, and in this case I was too lazy to keep writing “him/her.”