The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action


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Phase 2: Juvenile Fence Lizards

(Originally posted on our 2012 Field Blog —  by Jill Newman)

For the past couple weeks, our efforts have focused on catching juvenile fence lizards. Chris is looking at survival rates, morphology, and behavior of these little guys in response to fire ants (as we did with adult fence lizards earlier in the summer). Some lizards will be in fire ant enclosures and some lizards will be in fire ant-free enclosures.

Catching juvenile lizards is a lot different than catching the adult lizards. At first when Chris told me we were going to be hand-catching all of them (all 48 of them), I thought he was kidding. He was not. The fishing pole/noose combination does not work very well for these little lizards so you need to catch them by hand. Luckily, they don’t tend to climb high up on trees so me being 5ft 4in wasn’t an issue in most cases.

Juvenile fence lizards tend to be located closer to the ground on cover objects like wooden pallets, tree branches, woodpiles, and tree stumps. We typically worked together to catch the lizards because they are small, fast, and easy to lose track of when they run around.

The two sites where we caught these juvenile fence lizards are considered “fire ant invaded sites” as there are fire ants coexisting with the lizards. In a few weeks, Chris will be traveling to Tennessee (where there are no fire ants) and will be catching juvenile fence lizards at two more sites.

Juvenile fence lizard in the Lizard Room

Juvenile fence lizard in the Lizard Room

-The Intern

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How is it already July?

(Originally posted on our 2012 Field Blog —  by Jill Newman)

July marks the fourth month that I have been on co-op with the Langkilde Lab. It’s hard to believe that it’s gone by this fast! It seems like just yesterday I was working with Lindsey, Jenny, and Brad (PhD candidates who work in PA) on their wood frog projects back in Pennsylvania. It’s been a lot of fun so far and I expect the last month and a half to be no different.

Here are some cool things I have gotten to do so far while working here (besides herping):

  • Submitted two distribution notes to Herpetological Review (a third is on the way)
  • Submitted a natural history note (an envenomation note) to Herpetological Review
  • Visited the Auburn University Museum herp collection with Sean and met his PhD advisor, Dr. Craig Guyer
  • Tracked indigo snakes with Jimmy Stiles as part of his radio telemetry project
  • Currently working on a paper with Brad involving tadpole behavior
  • Currently working on an independent research project

In other news, we have adopted another intern who will be working with us down in Alabama until September. His name is George and he is an undergraduate zoology student from England who wanted to come to the U.S. to work with Sean and learn about herps (what was he thinking??? Haha just kidding!). Welcome aboard, George 🙂

-The Intern