Florida - March 11-18, 2006

Day 3 - Sunday, March 12, 2006
We got up and moved south this morning. Tim knew of a pond near Gainsville where we might be able to seine some aquatic salamanders out of the floating vegetation.
When we got there we we found this Kinosternon bauri crossing the road...
The pond was an open water area.....
within a beautiful cypress swamp.
This young alligator didn't seem to be bothered by our close presence.
We seined up the vegetation for a few passes, sorting through the roots to look for aquatic amphibians or other interesting critters (I was hoping for Regina alleni, but was disappointed). Tim noticed that the hyacinths that used to float here had been replaced by another form of aquatic vegetation. This may explain the lack of success.

We did find some killifish, Gambusia, lots of crawfish and a few big leeches. We also found a few herps
We found a couple of these cute juvenile Stinkpots (Sternotherus odoratus) among the roots.
This little stinkpot was less than one inch in diameter.
We found a clutch of amphibian eggs...
that possibly contained young of the species of Siren (Siren sp.)...
You could see amazing details of the developing embroys inside the pea-sized eggs.
These pictures were taken next to the pond in a small 5 gallon aquarium set on the guardrail post.

While seining, we heard Green Treefrogs (Hyla cinerea), Southern Leopard Frogs (Rana sphenocephala), Pig Frogs (Rana grylio), and Southern Cricket Frogs (Acris gryllus).
As we left the area we found a DOR Ribbon Snake (Thamnophis sauritus).
We headed out, stopped for lunch, then moved on southward.
We stopped in some of the canefields around Lake Okeechobee and flipped some rocks. Didn't see anything for the few minutes we flipped. We did find some American Golden Plovers and other "grasspipers" in some of the turf fields between the sugar cane fields.
We then moved over towards the Palm Beach area. We were hoping to find Knight Anoles (Anolis equestris) sleeping in the branches of trees. We searched around the trees for several hours, and found....
several Cuban Treefrogs, (Osteopilus septentrionalis)
and of course, nothing says "south Florida" like an imported Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) sleeping on an imported rubbertree leaf!
This newly metamorphosed Sphinx Moth was found clinging to a Palmetto waiting for its wings to dry.
It was huge for a sphingid moth.
I think it is a Gaudy Sphinx (Eumorpha labruscae).
The moth had a cool elongate snout that stuck out over the coiled tongue.

I also saw a small Indo-Pacific Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus) in the litter around the base of a large tree, but couldn't catch it for a photo.
We finally decided to call it a night, so we headed back to Belle Glade where rooms could be had for less than the $125 per night being asked by the beach city hotels. When we got checked in, we found our room came with herps at no extra charge!
Here's a female Hemidactylus mabouia on the outside of our room,...
and a big male inside our shower.
Apparently, not everyone appreciates geckos in their room.
This was on the ceiling.

Go on to Day 4

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