Fossa

The Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is a carnivorous mammal in the Eupleridae family of euplerids and mongooses.

The Fossa looks like a cross between a large mongoose and a small cougar. It has cat-like features, but with a longer, slimmer body than a cat. Its fur is short, straight, and reddish brown, or light and dark-brown. It has large, rounded ears, brown eyes, and a short, rounded nose with whiskers.

It has semi-retractable claws – it can extend its claws but they cannot retract fully into their big paws. It has flexible ankles that enable it to climb up and down trees head-first. It can also jump from tree to tree. It has a long tail. It has scent glands.

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Florida Horse Conch

The Florida Horse Conch (Triplofusus papillosus) is a large tropical marine (saltwater) gastropod mollusc in the Fasciolariidae family of sea spindle snails and tulip snails. It is not a true conch shell from the Strombidae family of sea snails.

The Florida Horse Conch is greyish-white or brownish with a light-brown or dark-brown periostracum, which is the thin coating on its shell. It has a long siphonal canal and up to 10 whorls around its shell. It can retract the soft part of its body entirely into its shell and close the operculum (lid). The soft part of its body is bright orange. 

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Pine Ladybird Beetle

The Pine Ladybird Beetle (Exochomus quadripustulatus) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Pine Lady Beetle.

The Pine Ladybird Beetle has black elytra (two wing cases) with two large reddish-orange comma-shaped spots and two smaller red round spots near its tail. Therefore, it has four medium-to-large spots in total. Its shiny body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. 

It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little black legs. 

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Round Mouthed Snail

The Round Mouthed Snail (Pomatias elegans) is a small, air-breathing, terrestrial (land) gastropod mollusc in the Pomatiidae family of operculate land snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Round Mouthed Snail has a thick, whitish, conical shell and wide mouth with a chalky operculum (lid) at the rear of its body. The shell forms a whorl. The top of the spire points upward and the opening of its mouth is on the right – so it has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. It can close its shell’s mouth with its lid. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has only one pair of tentacles on its head (instead of two pairs). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

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CREATURE FEATURE: Seven-Spot Ladybird

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of ladybird beetles and ladybugs. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Seven-Spotted Lady Beetle, the Seven-Spotted Ladybug, or the Seven-Spot Ladybug Beetle.

The Seven-Spot Ladybird Beetle has red elytra (two wing cases) with three black spots each and another black spot on the junction of the wing cases (to total 7 spots). Its body is oval-shaped and slightly domed. Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are light-brown, quite long, and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield has white spots and usually covers its head. It has little reddish-brown legs. 

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Dog Whelk Sea Snail

The Dog Whelk Sea Snail (Nucella lapillus) is a marine (saltwater) mollusc gastropod in the Muricidae family of rock sea snails. It is also called the Atlantic Dogwinkle. 

The Dog Whelk is usually whitish-grey, but it can be a variety of colours, such as orange, yellow, brown, black, or banded. It has a hard, external shell, called an exo-skeleton, that is smooth with a pointed spire. It has a short, straight siphon canal. The shell shape varies, depending upon the tidal waves, but it is usually rounded and spirally corded. Most of its body is made of whorls. The aperture (hole or lip) is quite wide.

The Dog Whelk, like other Sea Snails, has a single auricle (chamber) in its heart, and a single pair of gill slits for breathing. 

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Painted Comber

The Painted Comber (Serranus scriba) is a marine (saltwater) ray-finned fish in the Serranidae family of sea bass and groupers.

The Painted Comber has a laterally compressed, elongated body with a pointed snout (nose). It can be grey, purplish, or reddish with 5-7 dark-brown bars on its sides. Its head has narrow, wavy blue lines and red markings. Its dorsal (back) fin has 10 spines. Its fins are marked with red dots. It has a large mouth with sharp teeth.

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Lovely Vallonia Snail

The Lovely Vallonia Snail (Vallonia pulchella) is a very small, air-breathing, land pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Valloniidae family of land snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Lovely Vallonia Snail has an ivory-white round shell that spirals clockwise. Its shell has fine, irregular brownish streaks. Its shell has three whorls. The last whorl is next to the opening. The opening lacks a thick margin like other land snails have. Instead, its shell is thin and light. The tentacles are short, and the posterior end of the foot is round.

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CREATURE FEATURE: True Glass Snail

The True Glass Snail (Aegopinella nitidula) is a small, air-breathing, land pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Gastrodontidae family of glass snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The True Glass Snail has a spiral, heliciform shell that is flattened and disc-shaped with a low spire, like it is a bit squashed. The opening lacks a thick margin like other land snails have. Instead, its shell is thin and light. The shell is almost transparent, as if made of glass, but it usually has light-brown, amber, or dark-brown markings. 

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Mediterranean Banded Centipede

The Mediterranean Banded Centipede (Scolopendra cingulata) is a chilopod in the Scolopendridae family of banded centipedes. It is also known as the Megarian Banded Centipede. 

The Mediterranean Banded Centipede has a wide, flattened yellow-gold body with black bands. It has a pair of antennae on its head and a pair of spikes on its tail. It has a segmented body, with 15 to 177 segments. 

It has one pair of legs for each body segment (in total it has 30-354 legs). No centipede has exactly 100 legs even though centipede means a hundred legs. Each pair of legs is slightly longer than the pair immediately in front of it. 

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Egyptian Cricket

The Egyptian Cricket (Homoeogryllus xanthographus) is a small insect in the Phalangopsidae family of crickets. It is also knowns as the Beetle Cricket. It is related to grasshoppers.

The Egyptian Cricket has a black, oval-shaped body with a flat plate on its back. It has long, thread-like antennae. It has long hind legs (back legs). Near the tail of its body, it has a pair of light-beige tubes. It has transparent wings.

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Harlequin Ladybird Beetle

The Harlequin Ladybird Beetle (Harmonia axyridis) is a small insect in the Coccinellidae family of beetles. It is a coccinellid beetle. It is also known as the Multicolored Asian Beetle, the Asian Ladybeetle, the Harlequin Ladybug Beetle, or the Halloween Ladybeetle. 

The Harlequin Ladybird Beetle has many colours and varieties. It is domed with a smooth, oval-shaped body. It has a head, pronotum, and body with elytra (two wing coverings or cases). Its wings are hidden underneath the wing cases. It is usually red or orange with 0-21 black spots, with a dark underside. Extreme forms have a pattern of orange and white irregular-shaped spots on a black body, with white on its head. 

Despite its many colours, it always has six reddish-brown legs. It has black compound eyes. Its antennae are short, light-brown, and slightly thickened at the ends. Its neck shield usually covers the head and has white spots. 

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Jumping Spider

The Jumping Spider (Evarcha arcuata) is a small arachnid in the Salticidae family of jumping spiders.

The Jumping Spider has a domed, arched abdomen, a squarish or rectangular head, eight short legs, and a pair of pedipalps near its mouth. The male is dark-grey to black with a copper sheen. It has horizontal black and white stripes on its face. The female is brown and white with black diagonal spots. It has eight eyes and excellent vision. 

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Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle

The Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle (Cicindela tranquebarica) is a large insect in the Carabidae family of ground beetles. 

The Oblique-Lined Tiger Beetle has a small rounded head, a small thorax (chest), and a long brown-grey abdomen (body). It has yellowish lines on its back, on its wing covers, called elytra. One wing cover is called an elytron. It has wings and can fly. Its antennae are long, black, and ridged. It has a groove on its foreleg with a comb of hairs used for cleaning its antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has six long, thin, hairy legs. 

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Common Buzzard

The Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) is a medium-sized bird of prey, and a raptor, in the Accipitridae family of accipiters. It is related to the Balkans Long-Legged Buzzard and the Steppe Buzzard. 

The Common Buzzard can be varied in colour from light to dark, although it usually has orange-tinted feathers with dark lines, a red or orange tail, a pale head and white underwings. It has a rounded hear with a sharp, thin, hooked beak and large eyes. It has short legs and sharp claws, called talons. 

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Turkmenian Fox

The Turkmenian Fox (Vulpes vulpes flavescens) is a vulpine mammal. It is a sub-species of the Red Fox.

The Turkmenian Fox has greyish fur with reddish-yellow tints. Its winter fur is dense, long, soft, and silky. It sides are lighter than its back and its chin, lower lips, throat and front of the chest are white. The tip of its fluffy tail is white. It has a long body, long narrow head, and short legs. Its front paws have five toes and its back paws have four toes. Each toe has a strong claw. It has orange-brown, oval-shaped pupils with excellent vision.

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Desert Monitor Lizard

The Desert Monitor Lizard (Varanus griseus) is a large reptile in the Squamata order of monitor lizards.

The Desert Monitor Lizard can be a variety of colours from light-brown to yellowish to grey, with spots and 5-8 dark-brown bands. It also has dark-brown bands on its long, tapered tail. It has a large mouth. Its nostrils are close to its small, brown eyes. Its feet have toes with long, sharp claws. 

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Electric Eel

The Electric Eel (Electrophorus electricus) is a freshwater fish. It is not an eel. It is a Gymnotiforme in the knifefish family. It is relatd to the Catfish. 

The Electric Eel is an ostarophysan fish because its bladder has two chambers which keeps it buoyant (afloat). It is an air-breather, and must come to the surface to breathe. 

The Electric Eeel has a long, cylindrical, snake-like dark-grey to brownish body. Its underbelly is yellow or orange. It has a fin that runs along its underbelly. It does not have scales like fish. Its mouth is square-shaped. 

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