Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reptiles @ The Garden ...

Five-lined skinks, Plestiodon fasciatus are common throughout the Garden ... particularly the Parterre Garden
Two issues of 'Clippings' ago ... we featured Reptiles in the Rotunda — highlighting some of the reptilian species lurking in the trop house and conservatory. There are many reptile species in the conservatory. The orchid center, including the high elevation house, orchid house and atrium also provide refuge for many native and non-native reptile species.

In this post we feature some of the scaly critters here as well as some of the folks that love them....
Amphibian Specialist, Leslie Philips and Conservatory Director, Ron Determann checking out some new hatchling turtles
Ron inspecting Carmine, our conservatory resident Alligator Snapper, who was being weighed while we cleaned out his pond
Can you spot the Oustalet's Chameleon (Furcifer oustaleti) in this picture? (see below) There are a bunch of them in the conservatory and they are doing great.
Zoom in on the picture posted above
It isn't often one gets to see these guys (they are chameleons, after all) but it's so exciting when we do!
Dead center of this image shows another adult Oustalet's chameleon sneaking through the canopy
Dave Manser, of Ponds and Plants (Dayton, TN) is a long standing friend and collaborator of the Garden. Here he is in the orchid house helping us sex our Pink-belly sideneck turtles (Emydura subglubosa)
Almost impossible to see from the top, Emydura subglubosa have beautiful, salmon colored plastrons
Here Dave is verifying that we have one male and two females in the front orchid center pond
There is also a sneaky Eastern painted turtle (Chrysemmys picta) in the front pond with the side necks. Sometimes, she will sneak to the back pond as well
Last weekend, a yearling Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) snuck into the high elevation house ... can you see it stretching across the pitcher plants?
After the snake chewed on my hand for a while,  I brought it down to the bog and released it. Water snakes will bite you 10 times out of 10.