After a relaxing afternoon, Jason, his dad, and I headed out to a friend’s ranch to see what we could find. Just before leaving, we found a scorpion in the kitchen:
Scorpion in the kitchen. Is this a desert bark scorpion?
We donned our PPEs and headed out into the field, where we saw a number of bird species (including a barn swallow nest), kangaroo rats, packrats, bullfrogs, cottontails, common side-blotched lizards, an ornate box turtle, texas brown tarantulas, coyotes, dung beetles, tiger beetles, tarantula hawks, a fulvous harvest mouse, and (by far my favorite animal of the trip) a texas horny lizard. Seeing a horned lizard had been on my bucket list since I first saw them in my zoo books as a child.
PPE, courteousy of mom and dad. Thanks!
Barn Swallow nest with chicks in it
Texas Brown Tarantula (male, if I’m not mistaken). The males have longer, thinner legs, a thinner abdomen, and “love spurs” (which have a real name, but I forgot it at the moment) on their front legs
A male Common Side-blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana, caught and held by Jason. You can see the blotch on it’s side, for which the get their common name
Ornate Box Turtle, Terrapene ornata
Texas Horny Lizard, Phrynosoma cornutum, my favorite animal of the trip so far. This species is threatened, due to over-harvesting for the pet trade. Horned lizards primarily eat ants and they have a very unique defense behavior: when agitated, they puff their bodies and may try to bite, but in some cases, they squirt blood out of their eyes. Really beautiful animals
No snakes today, but still a great day.