Non-birds of the field III: herps Posted on October 22, 2012 by toughlittlebirds We didn’t see very many herps (reptiles and amphibians) this summer, and I managed to get pictures of just three. At least they were all pretty charismatic. Tree frog Tiny tree frog Outta here That big gopher snake I keep posting pictures of Hide! Alligator lizard Rawrr! Pretty sure this is me he’s biting Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
Nice to see other inhabitants of the environment where your birds are being studied. What impact do herps have on the birds?
Cool question. For the juncos, snakes and large lizards might eat eggs, nestlings, and even unwary adults. More indirectly, some herps compete with the juncos for food, since both eat arthropods; others may benefit juncos by eating other junco predators like small rodents.
For birds in general, herps may be prey as well as predators: herons and egrets will eat frogs, and shrikes will eat anything.
I’m impressed by the red spot on the Alligator Lizard’s tongue: is that typical? Or did he just eat a lady bug?
Some photos of alligator lizards (courtesy of that great scientific authority, Google) have that red spot, some don’t. Alligator lizards have forked tongues that they use for chemosensing (smelling), like snakes; I can’t find any explicit mention of the red spot though. Any herp experts out there, please chime in!