Presentation on theme: "Herpetofauna: Season by Season Compiled by the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory Eastern Hognose Snake Green Tree Frog Photos by J.D. Willson, K."— Presentation transcript:
Herpetofauna: Season by Season Compiled by the Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory Eastern Hognose Snake Green Tree Frog Photos by J.D. Willson, K Cecala, M.E. Dorcas, Pierson Hill, A. Heupel, Eric Stein, Wayne Van Devender, Tom Luhring
What do amphibians and reptiles do during the winter? Some Hibernate Spend part of the cold season in an inactive state Who Hibernates? Snakes Turtles Frogs Salamanders Common Garter Snake Eastern Box Turtle
Why hibernate? Protection from cold Less food resources Low energy requirements Eastern Mud Turtle Bullfrog Worm Snake
Where do they hibernate? Frogs: Bottom of ponds, under leaves, burrow under ground Snakes: Alone or in groups Use holes, burrows, termite mounds, cracks in rock walls, etc. Turtles: Burrow into dirt or mud Salamanders: Under logs, leaves or in burrows Ringneck Snakes Marbled Salamander
But some species are active in winter Frogs can be winter breeders Spring Peeper Call on warmer, wetter nights and during the day starting in January Stream Salamanders can be active Water temps can be warmer than air Dusky Salamander Very common and can be found year round Spring Peeper calling Dusky Salamander
Spring means breeding season! Many Frogs breed Pickerel Frog, Southern Leopard Frog, Green Tree Frog etc. Salamanders breed Reptiles come out of hibernation and breed Southern Leopard Frog Egg Mass Southern Leopard Frog Glossy Crayfish Snake
Bull Frog Common in ponds and lakes Males call after heavy rains Largest frog in the NC Piedmont area What do they eat?
Life cycle of a frog Upland Chorus FrogEgg Mass Cricket Frog calling Cricket Frog River Frog Metamorph Pine Woods Tree Frog Tadpole
Spotted Salamanders Wetland salamanders Breed in temporary ponds and wetlands Warm early spring rains bring many salamanders to the ponds Lay 200 eggs!
Eastern Hognose Snake Mate in Spring Lays 5-500 eggs in June or July Eggs hatch in 2 months and look just like smaller adults Hognose Snakes have the upturned nose to dig for their favorite food… toads!
Many reptiles and amphibians are active in the summer! Summer is the warmest season Sun provides warmth Other animals provide food Some frogs are still breeding Bullfrogs, Spadefoot toads, Grey Tree Frogs Reptiles are most active Eastern King Snake Spadefoot Toads Grey Tree Frog
Worm Snake Very common and abundant Lays eggs in early summer Hatch in late summer Usually found when digging or under logs or mulch
Black Rat Snake One of the BIGGEST snakes in the U.S. Largest are over 8 feet Live near humans Non-venomous and non-threatening Active during the day Eat rats, birds, and squirrels How do they kill and eat their prey? Squeeze prey to death by constricting it and then swallow it whole
Box Turtle Common residents of the woods in the Southeastern U.S. Males have red eyes, females have brown eyes Eat a variety of plants and animals Live for a very long time – for 50 years or more! Box turtles
In fall some salamanders breed Marbled Salamanders Females lay eggs in areas that become puddles when it rains Guard eggs until they get covered by water and hatch Give juvenile salamanders a head start on growing so they can be bigger than other salamanders in the spring! Marbled Salamanders
Snakes are most abundant in the fall! Snakes are more common in the fall than in any other season Most snakes are born between July and September Many baby snakes are around and going to find their first meals Adults move around looking for good places to hibernate Ringneck Snake Juvenile Black Rat Snake
The year ends… and starts over again In the fall many amphibians and reptiles find their homes to hibernate for the winter. And then the whole process starts over again! Smooth Earth SnakeFowler’s ToadGreen Anole