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.

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Pool Frog

The Pool Frog (Pelophylax lessonae) is a freshwater wetlands amphibian in the Ranidae family of water frogs.

The Pool Frog is green, olive or brown. On its back is a green line that runs from head to tail. There are small warts on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a plump body with long hind (back) legs, and no tail. It has large, round, protruding eyes. It has webbed feet.

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Do birds hibernate?

Do birds hibernate?

Hibernation is a state when animals sleep during winter, especially where the winters are extremely cold and/or snowy. Not all animals hibernate. Animals such as bears, squirrels, bats, and hedgehogs hibernate. Some lizards and snakes hibernate.

When these animals hibernate, they will eat a lot of food and gain body weight beforehand to enable them to sleep throughout the winter. For example, squirrels can gain 50% of their body weight before hibernating. 

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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Garden Snail

The Garden Snail (Cornu aspersum) is an air-breathing pulmonate gastropod mollusc in the Helicidae 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 Garden Snail can be varied in colour, but its shell is mainly dark-brown, with stripes, flecks, or streaks in a lighter colour. The shell has a right-handed whorl, which is called a dextral shell.It has 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. 

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Spider Tortoise

The Spider Tortoise (Pyxis arachnoides) is a reptile in the Testudinidae family. It is named after the pattern on its shell. 

The Spider Tortoise has a web-like pattern of yellow lines on its dark-brown carapace (upper shell). It has a dark head with yellow spots. It has a yellow, semi-hinged underbelly – the under shell is called a plastron. It pulls its head into its shell for protection. Its legs and tail are brown. 

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Himalayan Brown Bear

The Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus) is a large mammal in the Ursidae family of brown bears. It is also known as the Himalayan Red Bear, the Isabelline Bear or the Dzu-Teh. It is an ursid.

The Himalayan Brown Bear has dense sandy-brown to reddish-brown fur. It has a round head, wide skull, small ears, small eyes, and a mouth with 42 sharp teeth. It also has large, powerful paws with ten long, sharp claws.

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Changing colour for winter

What animals change colour for winter?

Many animals, especially mammals, hibernate (sleep) in winter. Some animals lie dormant (similar to sleep, but lie still). Other animals, such as butterflies and moths and other insects, turn into cocoons and chrysalises in winter, waiting to emerge as adults in spring. Other animals grow their winter fur to keep them warm.

But some animals change colour to camouflage into their autumn and winter environment – brown among dry leaves and leaf litter, white in snowfields, and grey in clouded habitats.

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German Wasp

The German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is an insect in the Vespidae family of social wasps. It is a vespid. It is also called the German Yellowjacket in America, although the Yellowjacket is in the Dolichovespula genus, whereas the German Wasp is in the Vespula genus. The German Wasp is related to the Common Wasp.

The German Wasp has a smooth black and yellow segmented body with smoky-coloured wings. The yellow stripes on its body have black marks that look like arrows. It has yellow spots on its thorax. Its legs, called tarsi, are yellow. Its antennae are long, thick, and black. Its head is black with a yellow-orange face. The female has a smooth barbless stinger that can repeatedly sting an animal.

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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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CREATURE FEATURE: Common Leopard Gecko

The Common Leopard Gecko (Eublepharis Mascularis) is a small ground-dwelling reptilian lizard. 

The Common Leopard Gecko is pale beige with dark-brown markings and spots. Its back is covered with small lumps. It has short legs with short nails on its toes, which are used for gripping objects (it does not have sticky pads on its feet). It has movable eyelids. It has about 100 small teeth. It has a thick, fleshy tail.

It can regenerate its tail if if drops off. This is called caudal autotomy. It regularly sheds its skin (about once a month). This is called moulting. 

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Asian Black Bear

The Asian Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus) is a medium-sized mammal. It is also known as the Asiatic Black Bear, Moon Bear, and White-Chested Bear. It is closely related to the American Black Bear.

The Asian Black Bear is stocky and muscular with black, silky fur. It has a light brown nose and a distinct white patch on its chest. It has bell-shaped ears, which stick out sideways from its head. It has powerful jaws. Its heel pads are large, and it has long, hooked claws for climbing and digging. It has dark eyes, but its eyesight is poor.

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Perez’s Frog

The Perez’s Frog (Pelophylax perezi) is a freshwater wetlands amphibian in the Ranidae family of water frogs. It is also known as the Iberian Waterfrog, the Iberian Green Frog, or the Coruna Frog.

The Perez’s Frog is green, olive or brown. On its back is a green line that runs from head to tail. There are small warts on its back. Its underbelly is creamy-white. It has a slender body with long hind (back) legs, and no tail. It has protruding eyes with vertical pupils. It has webbed feet.

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