Posts Tagged 'lizards'

Lizards!

Two sightings of Northern Italian Fence Lizards in Green-Wood this summer.
I first became aware of this introduced species when a picture of an American Kestrel carrying one of the lizards made the rounds of the birding crowd years ago. The lizards seem to have gotten here via the animal slave — oh, sorry, I meant pet — trade.
I saw my first ones in a Queens cemetery, where Houdini is supposedly buried (hey, he got out of everything else, right?). They are a regular sight at the NYBG in the Bronx.
A couple of years ago, a very trustworthy source (Reader, I married her) spotted one on the edge of Green-Wood. But I hadn’t seen one in the scales in Brooklyn myself until this summer.

Skinks

Three species of Plestiodon skinks are found in southeastern Virginia.Juveniles of the Common Five-lined (P. fasciatus) and Southeastern Five-Lined (P. inexpectatus) have these amazing blue tails.Adults are harder to ID if they’re not in the hand. I originally thought this one might be a Broad-headed (P. laticeps) because of the red in the head, but all the males of these three species seem to get this coloration during mating season. (There’s a tick crawling on this one’s head.)“Skink” comes from the Greek skigkos which made it to Latin as scincus, “a small N. African lizard (Scincus officinalis), formerly used in medicine” (OED). Tail of skink? We found ’em in three separate locations. It’s a skinky state.We watched this one scout every nook and cranny in this rotting log.

City Bounty





(Not nearly enough, of course.)

Lizard City

Podarcis siculaDid you know that there are lizards living in New York City? Podarcis siculaNo, I don’t mean captive ones. As their name suggests, these Italian Wall Lizards (Podarcis sicula) originated elsewhere but seem to have adopted to our climate and habitat (NYC and Naples are on the same latitude, you know). Last week, when the temp got up to 70, several were sunning themselves in the NYBG Native Garden.Podarcis siculaThese were introduced on Long Island in the late 1960s. They’ve spread out. I’ve seen them in Queens’ cemetery belt, too. The Northern Fence Lizard was also introduced, on Staten Island, but I’ve never seen one. There are, however, native lizards living in the Hudson Highlands.img_1091There are at least four lizards visible here as this bold-as-brass feral cat wanders by.

Reptiles

There were a lot of lizards, which you would expect for a desert. They are tough subjects to photograph, though, being such dashers and darters. I got a few:r2lizardr1

r4This Garter subspecies was unfortunately run over by an earlier vehicle. Still kicking here, but extruding innards elsewhere, so it may not have made it.

Lizards!

Something I was not aware of. Didn’t think we had any lizards at all up here in New York, except for the introduced Italian Wall Lizards. But there are actually four species in the state, three natives and the Italian, which I’ve seen in Queens. Both the Five-lined Skink and the Eastern Fence Lizard are found in the Hudson Highlands (although why the parks people had to go to Ohio for a picture I don’t know). Now I have to find them. Stay tuned for a sunny day in the spring.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 590 other followers

Twitter

Nature Blog Network

Archives