Wrinkled Dune Snail

The Wrinkled Dune Snail
(Xeroplexa intersecta previously Candidula intersecta) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Geomitridae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Wrinkled Dune Snail is yellowish-beige with dark-brown and copper bands. The round, globular, coarse (not glossy) shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. There are five whorls with a slightly raised central spire. Its shell aperture (opening) does not have a lip. The body is bluish-grey with long upper tentacles and short lower tentacles on ts head. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles.

Continue reading “Wrinkled Dune Snail”

Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form

The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form (Cepaea nemoralis) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae family of terrestrial (land) snails. It is a variant of the Grove Snail, also known as the Brown-Lipped Snail. It is an invertebrate, because it does not have a backbone. Its shell is its exo-skeleton (outside skeleton).

The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form can be varied in its appearance. The surface of its shell is semi-glossy. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell. The colour of the Grove Snail’s shell can be reddish, brownish, yellow, or creamy-white, with or without bands. The Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form has a light, creamy yellow shell. It does not have prominent dark-brown bands or stripes. It has a white lip, not a brown lip. Its head extends to form a snout (proboscis). It has tentacles on its head. Its eyes are at the tip of the tentacles. 

Continue reading “Grove Unbanded Snail – Yellow Form”

CREATURE FEATURE: Dama Mhorr Gazelle

The Dama Mhorr Gazelle (Nanger dama mhorr) is a mammal in the Bovidae family of bovines, including gazelles and antelopes. It is also known as the Mhorr Gazelle, the Mohor Gazelle, and the Addra Gazelle. It is a sub-species of the Dama Gazelle (Nanger dama). It is extinct in the wild and was last seen in the wild in 1968, therefore it is a critically endangered species. It exists in breeding programs in zoos and reserves.  

The Dama Mhorr Gazelle is white below with a reddish-brown head and neck. It has a small head with a narrow muzzle (nose). It has large eyes. The male and the female have medium-length curved horns in the shape of an S. It has longer legs and a longer neck than other gazelles. It is an artiodactyl because it has cloven (split) hooves.

Continue reading “CREATURE FEATURE: Dama Mhorr Gazelle”

Common Prawn

The Common Prawn (Palaemon serratus) is a marine (saltwater) crustacean in the Palaemonidae family of invertebrate ten-footed shrimp (decapod). It is related to the crab and the lobster.

The Common Prawn is transparent (see-through) to pinkish-brown with reddish striped-liked markings and patterns. It has an exo-skeleton (outside skeleton) called a carapace or shell. Its forward extension of the carapace in front of its eyes, called the rostrum, curves upwards. The rostrum is also bifurcated at the tip, which means that it is split into two parts. It has long, white antennae. It has bulging eyes. It has ten legs.

Continue reading “Common Prawn”

Tree-Crevice Skink

The Tree-Crevice Skink (Egernia striolata) is a reptile in the Scincidae family of skink lizards. It is a squamate. It is also called the Tree Skink.

The Tree-Crevice Skink has a thick, flattened body with small eyes. It has 26-36 rows of scales. It is dark-black to grey-brown with a pale stripe of scales down its body from its head to its tail. Its underbelly is pale or cream-coloured. It eyes have vertical, narrow pupils.

Continue reading “Tree-Crevice Skink”

Tadpole of the Phantasmal Poison Frog

The Phantasmal Poison Frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is an endangered amphibian in the Dendrobatidae family of Poison Dart Frogs. 

The Phantasmal Poison Frog begins its life as an egg. The adult female frog is oviparous, laying eggs. The female lays 10-30 eggs, which hatch after about 14 days. The male cares for the eggs. 

The eggs hatch into tadpoles, and the male carries them on his back and takes them to a river or stream. 

Continue reading “Tadpole of the Phantasmal Poison Frog”

What is the difference between the European Hare and the Patagonian Mara?

What is the difference between the European Hare (Lepus europaeus) and the Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)?

The European Hare is a lagomorph, specifically a leporid mammal, related to rabbits. It is also known as the Brown Hare. The Patagonian Mara is a large rodent. It is also known as the Patagonian Hare or the Patagonian Cavy, but it is not a hare and it is not related to hares or rabbits. The Patagonian Mara is a cavid, related to the guinea pig. 

Continue reading “What is the difference between the European Hare and the Patagonian Mara?”

Clark’s Anemonefish

The Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacentridae family of clownfish and damselfish. It is also known as the Yellowtail Clownfish.

The Clark’s Anemonefish has an oval-shaped, flat, compressed body. It is vivid black with white and yellow stripes. The black areas become wider with age. It has two vertical white bands, one behind the eye and one above the tail. The dorsal (back) fins are orange-yellow. 

Continue reading “Clark’s Anemonefish”

Diablito Frog

The Diablito Frog (Oophaga sylvatica) is a small venomous amphibian in the Dendrobatidae family of poison dart frogs. 

The Diablito Frog varies in colour, from red and yellow to orange. The female has circular, round toe discs or pads that can stick to surfaces, whereas the male has heart-shaped toe discs. The female has an arched back, and the male has a curved back.

Continue reading “Diablito Frog”

Crowned Lemur

The Crowned Lemur (Eulemur coronatus) is a mammal in the Lemuridae family of lemurs.

The Crowned Lemur has a brown-orange crown on the top of its head. The female has a grey body with an orange crown, and the male has a darker reddish-brown body with a black and orange crown. It has a long non-prehensile tail which it uses to balance itself when jumping from branch to branch. It has opposable thumbs for gripping branches. It has long, slender arms and legs.

Continue reading “Crowned Lemur”


The Gudgeon (Gobio gobio) is a freshwater fish in the Cyprinidae family. It is a cyprinid. 

The Gudgeon has a long, slender body with a flat, wide head. It is usually greenish-brown with silvery sides. It has a row of 6-12 faint black-grey blotches running lengthwise on the side of its body. Its underbelly is white. Its fins are greyish-white with a brownish tinge. The dorsal (back) fin is pale-brown with small, dark spots. It has a barbel at the corner of each side of its mouth. It has two rows of teeth.

Continue reading “Gudgeon”

Vineyard Snail

The Vineyard Snail (Cernuella virgata or Helicella virgata) is a pulmonate air-breathing gastropod mollusc in the Geomitridae family of terrestrial (land) hairy snails. It is also known as the Common White Snail.

The Vineyard Snail usually has a creamy-white shell with fine growth lines. It has a darker line and white line along the outside of its shell. However, its shell can be variable. It has whorls, and the last whorl is slightly rounded. It has a brown mouth with pink inside. It shell is faintly glossy. Its body is grey.

Continue reading “Vineyard Snail”

Green Shield Bug

The Green Shield Bug (Palomena prasina) is an insect in the Pentatomidae family of shield bugs. 

The Green Shield Bug is solid, bright-green to bronze. It has a hard, hairless, smooth exoskeleton that looks like a shield. The shield is called a scutellum. Its underbelly is light-coloured. It has a small head with its eyes on the side of its head. It has forewings (front wings) called hemelytra, and it also has hind wings (back wings). Although it has wings, it is not a strong flyer. Its six green legs, called tarsi, have three segments. It has a sucking mouthpart. 

Continue reading “Green Shield Bug”

Nose-Horned Viper

The Nose-Horned Viper (Vipera ammodytes ammodytes) is a highly venomous reptile in the Viperidae family of viper snakes. It is a viperid. It is also known as the Horned Viper and Western Sand Viper. Scientists think it might be the most dangerous snake in Europe.

The Nose-Horned Viper has a head covered with small, irregular scales that can be smooth or slightly keeled (ridged). It has 10-13 small scales around its eyes. The nasal (nose) scale is large that looks like a horn with 9-17 smaller scales along it, but it is soft and flexible. 

The male has irregular dark-brown, dark-grey, or black markings and a thick black stripe from its eye to its jaw. The male has V-shaped markings on its back like a zig-zag pattern. The female lacks the dark V-shaped markings on its body, and is browner and more bronze-coloured than the male. Its underbelly can be grey, yellowish-brown, or pinkish. Both have a black tongue and golden or copper-coloured eyes.

Continue reading “Nose-Horned Viper”

Southern Lechwe

The Southern Lechwe (Kobus leche) is an ungulate (hoofed) mammal in the Bovidae family of cattle and antelopes. It is also known as the Red Lechwe.

The Southern Lechwe is golden brown with a white belly. The male is darker than the female. The male has long, spiral horns. The female does not have horns. Its hind legs (back legs) are longer than those of other antelopes – perhaps to be able to walk in the marshy soil. Its legs have a water-repellent substance on its legs, which enables it to run in knee-high water.

Continue reading “Southern Lechwe”

Spanish Gatekeeper Butterfly

The Spanish Gatekeeper Butterfly (Pyronia bathseba) is an insect in the Nymphalidae family of brush-footed butterflies.

The Spanish Gatekeeper Butterfly is brown and cream with orange on its forewings (front wings). On its forewings, it has a black circle with one or two white spots inside, called an eyespot. The underside of its hind wings (back wings) is brown with four or five orange-rimmed eyespots. The female has four eyespots on the underside hind wing, whereas the male has five. Its body is fluffy, thick, and brown. It has club-shaped antennae.

Continue reading “Spanish Gatekeeper Butterfly”