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FAU Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
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News and Events from the College of Science at FAU.
News and Events from the College of Science at FAU.

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The Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) is native to the Southeastern United States and can change its color from green to brown. The color change can be used to match its background, but is also a function of its body temperature and stress level. Photographed with a Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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A Southeastern Five-lined Skink (Plestiodon inexpectatus) basks in the warm sun. Photographed with a Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Om nom nom. A Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus) swallows an exotic and invasive Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis). Cuban Treefrogs harm Florida's native ecosystem by eating the native frogs, lizards, and small snakes. Photographed with a Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
In Florida, the Gopher Tortoise is listed as a threatened species. They are also a keystone species as more than 100 other species rely on them or their burrows for survival. In the dry scrub habitat they are one of the few animals that can dig, and their burrows can extend up to 50 ft. underground. Many other animals in the scrub use these burrows to escape the heat, as nesting sites, or to take shelter from wildfires. Photographed with a Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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4/28/16
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Tarflower (Bejaria racemosa)
Tarflower gets its name from a sticky coating on the flower stems, flowers, and fruit. The fluid will capture insects that touch it. In the past, Tarflower was used as flypaper indoors to catch insects. I grows naturally in scrub environments throughout most of Florida, and can reach a height of 10 feet. These plants require excellent drainage and will not tolerate water saturation for any length of time. Photographed with at Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Southern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus)
I found this cooperative one that stayed curled up and motionless long enough to get a few photos. Normally they race off very quickly when they see someone. They are the most common snake in Florida and are usually easy to encounter during March and April when they are out searching for mates. Photographed with at Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum flagellum)
What a surprise to find this snake peeking out of a hole on the side of a Gopher Tortoise burrow entrance. The Eastern Coachwhip is one of the largest snakes in North America. Adults are typically 6 to 7 feet long. They have black or dark reddish brown heads that fade to a tan color about one third down the body. They are very fast moving snakes that hunt during the day primarily by eyesight and smell. They feed on birds, mammals, lizards, and other snakes. Photographed with at Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus)
One of the two species of rabbits that occur in Florida. They prefer habitats of heavy brush on forest borders. Photographed with at Canon EOS 60D and Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens at the FAU Tortuga Trail, Boca Raton, Florida, USA.
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Summer in South Florida is a great time to look for Atala Butterflies (Eumaeus atala) laying eggs on their host plant the Coontie (Zamia pumila). The Florida population of Atalas was once thought to have been extirpated, but the rise in popularity of butterfly gardens has allowed this beautiful butterfly to make a remarkable comeback. Photographed at the FAU Boca Raton campus preserve. Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro lens and Sigma EM-140 DG Macro Flash.
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