The Lizard Log

The Langkilde Lab in Action

Spring Break Herpin’

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While on a quick Spring Break trip, I needed to get a herp fix since I’ve been stranded in a land of ice and snow (errr, State College) for the past four months. Alabama to the rescue. While I mostly just hiked in the glorious (to me) 65-70 degree weather (and did manage to actually get a sunburn on my pasty white arms), I did see some herps along the way, whether by flipping a random rock and log or just stumbling across the odd lizard. Here are some quick pics to tide you over the next month or two until spring unleashes warm enough weather for the herps to come out in force a little farther north.

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My first fence lizard of the year! This lady was quite cold but basking at the base of a tree trying to get a jump on her activity season.

After quickly catching the fence lizard (hands only...how a real lizard ninja does it!) I contemplate just how the heck I'll set up my projects this summer.

After quickly catching the fence lizard (hands only…how a real lizard ninja does it!) I contemplate just how the heck I’ll set up my projects this summer.

Fire ants were still active as well, although they needed a little motivation (errr, an attacking stick) to get them to show themselves in the cooler weather.

Fire ants were still active as well, although they needed a little motivation (errr, an attacking stick) to get them to show themselves in the cooler weather.

A seal salamander (Desmognathus monticola) works on its tan streamside in the mountains of northern Georgia.

A seal salamander (Desmognathus monticola) works on its tan streamside in the mountains of northern Georgia.

Another desmog takes a peek out of the stream to cast a wary eye at the bumbling human who just pulled a rock away from it's burrow mouth (I put the rock safely back).

Another desmog takes a peek out of the stream to cast a wary eye at the bumbling human who just pulled a rock away from its burrow mouth (I put the rock safely back).

A marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) squints its eyes in the bright light after being found underneath a log in southern Alabama.

A marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) squints its eyes in the bright light after being found underneath a log in southern Alabama.

Welp, that’s all for now! Hopefully a panoply of critters will be out here in PA soon enough, and we’ll be rolling in fence lizards (and hopefully not fire ants!) in the near future.

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Author: Chris Thawley

Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Rhode Island; ecologist, herper, discslinger

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