Category Archives: Species

The Australian Brush-Turkey is one of only three megapodes still living wild in Australia today. It has black plumage, a bald red head and yellow wattles, and a tail that fans out vertically like a fish tail, so that it looks rather crazy from any angle! 🙂

See more pics & learn more about this strange bird!
Wikipedia   |   EOL
iNaturalist   |   IBC
Birds in Backyards
Oiseaux Birds
Queensland Government

The Eastern Screech Owl, Megascops asio, is one of North America’s most common yet most variable owls. This little 6 to 9 inch owl can be red, grey, brown, or a combination — with varying amounts of white as well! Screech owls are nocturnal carnivores that live in open forests throughout the eastern half of the United States and neighboring areas of Canada and Mexico.

megascops asio eastern screech owl grey morph north america tufts ears eared birds of prey

Wikipedia   |   The Owl Pages
All About Birds   |   Audubon
EOL (pics!)   |   BirdNote
Beauty of Birds

The olingo, Bassaricyon spp, is sometimes mistaken for the kinkajou, but lacks the prehensile tail of that better-known species. In fact, olingos and kinkajous are competitors in their forest habitat. Both eat fruit and small vertebrates, but olingos will more readily hunt for small prey species. Olingos are nocturnal carnivores in the racoon family, but are currently undergoing a taxonomic revision, sometimes being held as a single species, sometimes divided into 4 or even 5 separate species. All live in the rainforests of Central and South America, from Nicaragua to Peru.

olingo bassaricyon south central america raccoon family nocturnal creatures eyes arboreal

Wikipedia   |   ADW
ARKive   |   EOL

Tarsiers have some of the largest eyes relative to their body size of any animal. This comes at a cost, however — they cannot rotate their eyeballs within the sockets but must rotate their entire heads instead. The Philippine tarsier, Carlito syrichta, lives only on a handful of islands in the Philippines. See where the other species live.

Carlito syrichta philippine tarsier tarsius islands endemic tiny primate mammals big eyes

Wikipedia   |   Flickr pics!
Endangered Species International
Bohol, Philippines   |   IUCN Red List
Tarsier Sanctuary   |   Philippine Tarsier Foundation on Facebook

The Philippine eagle, Pithecophaga jefferyi, is one of the largest and most rare birds in the world, and is found only on the Philippine islands. This critically endangered species mates for life and only produces offspring every other year. They typically live for about 30 years in the wild, feeding on medium-size animals such as monkeys, civets, lemurs, flying squirrels, other birds, and even small deer. Click the links below to learn more!

Wikipedia   |   ADW   |   ARKive
National Geographic   |   EDGE
Eagle Directory   |   HBW Alive
Peregrine Fund   |   BirdLife Intn’l

Philippine Eagle

The banded linsang, Prionodon linsang, is so elusive that most clear pictures of it feature a stuffed specimen, like the one below. Pictures of live linsangs tend to be either blurry or partially blocked by vegetation – however there are a few decent pics in the links below. Banded linsangs are the rarest species of civet and are sometimes called the tiger-civet due to its stripes or “bands”. These bands break up into spots along the sides, but are still distinct on the long tail. There are two species of linsang — one living on the mainland of southeast Asia, and this one living further south at the edge of the mainland and onto the islands of Indonesia and Malaysia. This species has a body about 15 inches long with a tail about 13 inches. Not much is known about its reproductive habits except that male offspring wander off away from mom soon after weaning, while females tend to hang around a bit longer. Linsangs are mostly carnivorous, eating birds, lizards, squirrels, and rats.

Prionodon linsang banded asia borneo malaysia java indonesia sumatra thailand mammals viverids civets tiger-civet arboreal carnivores

Wikipedia   |   ADW   | ARKive
Nature Picture Library   |   Ecology Asia

I went out on my porch to take pics of my artwork and found this little guy crawling happily along the porch railing. Knowing my daughter would love to see such a furry little thing, I put him gently on a leaf and carried him inside. I noticed he looked very grub-like beneath his fur, so I put him on a transparent lid and took some pics from both sides. Curious, I looked him up online and found out he is the most venomous caterpillar in America! If I’d have been more aggressive with him, even petting him, the spines buried in his fur might have injected enough poison into me to cause me pain that has been likened to a broken bone, even worse than a scorpion or jellyfish sting! Check out the links below, and be sure to warn the kids around you to NOT pet this furry little dude!!

furry grub caterpillar hair hairy megalopyge opercularis puss southern flannel moth larva

iNaturalist   |   Featured Creatures
BugGuide   |   Daily Mail
National Geographic

The colorful and unique Christmas Tree Worm, Spirobranchus giganteus, adds to the excitement of diving in tropical coral reefs all around the world. Their colorful plumes, always appearing as an identical pair, are used for both breathing and feeding. The plumes are covered with tiny hairs that trap food in the water and sweep it towards the animal’s mouth.

Spirobranchus giganteus christmas tree worm colorful coral reef plumes

EOL   |   Wikipedia
Caribbean Reefs
Great Barrier Reef
Mother Nature Network

The Moonrat, Echinosorex gymnura, is an insectivore that lives in Indonesia and nearby Malaysia — in southeast Asia. It is neither a rodent nor a rat, but rather is related to hedgehogs. Two subspecies exist, with one being mostly white like the picture below. The other subspecies has more black on it. Moonrats sleep in burrows or dens during the day and come out at night to hunt worms and insects, especially those close to water. These critters are notorious for their STINK! Naturalists have documented the ability to smell them coming, and being awoken when one passes beneath the structure they are sleeping in! 😛

echinosorex gymnura gymnurus moonrat indonesia sabah malaysia southeast asia mammals insectivores stinky

Wikipedia   |   EOL   |   ADW   |   ARKive
Let’s do some Zoology!
Moonrat Art!

Dik-diks are not quite the smallest hoofed critters on the planet, but they are pretty close! The Kirk’s Dik-dik, Madoqua kirkii, lives as pairs of mates with their children, in the savannahs of eastern and southwestern Africa. There are three other dik-dik species, all in Africa. These tiny little horned antelope stand right around one foot (12 to 14 inches) at the shoulder — smaller than most dogs and lighter than many cats! Female dik-diks are larger, but males have horns, often showing distinct rings. Dik-diks are herbivores but do not eat grass, preferring other green plants, plant shoots (new growth), berries, and other fruits.

dikdik

Encyclopedia of Life (lots of pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
Our Beautiful World
Nature Watch NZ
9 Fun Facts about the Dik-dik

The Bat Eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis, is about the size of your average domestic house cat, and eats a diet of insects in the African savannah. Check out the video and links below for more on this endearing fox species.

Siyabona Africa
ARKive (fox kit pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
The Animal Files

Bat Eared Fox

The Banded Demoiselle, Calopteryx splendens, is a very common and easily identifiable species of damselfly in the UK and adjacent parts of Eurasia, with a range extending all the way to northern China. The video below shows the process of mating and egg laying, while the links below the video will give you much more information about this intriguing species. Check out how the mating couple form the shape of a heart!

Encyclopedia of Life (lots of pics!)
First Nature
ARKive
Nature Spot

Banded Demoiselle Mating

As with many species of fungi, this one has no official common name. It is Lactarius uvidus, what I am calling the Purple-Staining Milkcap. This species thrives in North American and European forests around birch, aspen, spruce, and willow trees. The cap is either flat or indented, and it gives off a milky secretion that turns purple or lilac wherever it sticks on the fruiting body. Click the links below to find out more about this interesting fungus.

Lactarius uvidus lilac staining milkcap milky mushroom north america europe aspens birch willow forest fungi

Wikipedia   |   EOL
Mushroom Expert
First Nature
Rogers Mushrooms
Mushroom Observer

A short video featuring the beautiful Pine Grosbeak and its call:

More on the Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak’s Call

The Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator, is one of the largest of the true finches, Fringillidae. This fruit eating bird lives at the top of the world, in the subarctic reagions of Asia, Europe, and North America. In years where the fruit harvest is low, this species will adapt by extending its range further south to wherever enough fruit can be found, even as far south as the midwest and prairie states.

Pinicola enucleator pine grosbeak finch subarctic asia europe north america canada birds red

ARKive   |   Wikipedia
BirdWeb   |   All About Birds

The Kellet’s Whelk, Kelletia kelletii, is a type of sea snail that is common to the middle and southern coast of California, on down to Baja California. This seemingly harmless shelled creature is both a predator and a scavenger, and it has quite a strange feeding apparatus: a long proboscis twice the length of its shell can dangle down to reach its prey that may be hiding in a rock crevice or on the sea floor. It uses a handy rasp to scrape off tissue, and sucks it up into its shell for digestion. Each whelk has only one of these feeding tubes, and you’d be amazed how many creatures have some type of proboscis!

Kelletia kelletii kellets whelk proboscis feeding rasping sucking shells california

iNaturalist
Encyclopedia of Life
SiMoN

Like other deciduous larches, the subalpine larch, Larix lyallii, sheds its needles each year. The trees make a grand show up there near the treeline, with their yellow needles and often twisted form. Further down the mountains, they tend to be taller and grow straighter. Fresh new twigs have single needles, whereas older twigs have clusters of needles growing from a little raised knot along the twig. Cones are spherical with long bracts extending out past each scale, giving the cones a shaggy appearance. These trees grow along with their very close and very similar relative, Larix occidentalis, in the upper Rocky Mountains and Cascade range in the northwestern United States and nearby regions of Canada.

Larix lyallii subalpine alpine larch northwest canada united states trees treeline mountains deciduous needles

The Gymnosperm Database
The Wild Garden
Burke Museum
Virginia Tech

The Dhole or Asiatic Wild Dog, Cuon alpinus, is an endangered canine with only about 2500 to 3000 individuals left in the wild. This unique species does not fit neatly into either the wolf-like nor fox-like canids, and therefore has its own genus. Dholes have two extra teets… and two less teeth than other wild dogs! They hunt in packs like wolves, but communicate with a whistle rather than a howl. Dholes are now mostly found in India and parts of China, but also can be found on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java.

dhole Cuon alpinus asiatic indian wild dog red canids asia indonesia china

ARKive   ADW
A to Z Animals
Dhole Fact File

Kenilworth Ivy or Ivy-Leaved Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis, was originally native to Mediterranean Europe but has been naturalized to the UK and parts of the USA for hundreds of years. It is widely planted in rock gardens and along garden pathways. This hardy snapdragon-like plant is an edible and a Stepable Plant that matures to just a few inches tall, but is often found creeping along or cascading over a stone wall or ledge, the whole plant being several feet long. The purple toadflax-like flowers have two lips with bright yellow spots on the lower one. Flowers draw back into the soil or rock crevice once fertilized.

Cymbalaria muralis climbing toadflax kenilworth ivy vine purple lipped wildflowers rock garden steps

Climbers by U of M
First Nature
Wild Plants of Malta
Get seeds on Amazon!

Common Heather, Calluna vulgaris, is a dominant plant in European moorland, and can also be found in some bog areas and pine forests. This hardy species of heath has come to be naturalized in parts of North America and Asia and is often cultivated in rock gardens around the world. There are close to 1000 different cultivars of this once-humble species, varying in growth form, flower color, flowering time, and other features. The natural species has tiny scale-like leaves and mostly pink flowers, and blooms in late summer.

 
Calluna vulgaris common scotch heather heath flowers wildflowers moor europe

ARKive   —   Wikipedia   —   EOL
YouTube video   —   UCONN Plants
How to Grow Heathers and Heaths