Sunday, 15 July 2018

Florida Tussock Caterpillars






These cool caterpillars are everywhere in South Florida now.  Not sure what caused their population to explode. But they do look pretty cool.  These are Orgyia detrita or Florida Tussock Caterpillars.  Very fuzzy animals.  But, be careful because touching them can cause dermatitis. 






Must of have been pretty hungry.  Check out those holes in the leave)))   They need all the energy they can get to spin their cocoon.  They usually spend four to six weeks eating as much as they can before cocooning themselves and emerging as moths.  Here is some scientific descriptions: Florida Tussock Caterpillars are characterized by hair pencils of black setae that extend forward from the prespiracular verrucae of the prothorax, a dorsal hair pencil of black setae on the eighth abdominal segment, dorsal tussocks on the first four abdominal segments, and mid-dorsal glandular structures on abdominal segments six and seven.



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Their cocoons are constructed of silk and are usually found in protected places  such as in bark furrows, undersides of limbs, in tree cavities, under loose bark, and often under the soffits of buildings. Also, they are commonly spun in dense masses among the foliage of epiphytic bromeliads (Tillandsia spp.).






Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Baby Sea Turtles






My friend senŠµ me these photos of green sea turtles.  They were collected from the nests on Hollywood Beach, Florida.  Local volunteers watch the sea turtle nests and dig them up after 3 days to save the week baby turtles, the ones that couldn't crawl out on their own. They keep them for a few days for observations and then release them into the ocean at night.   








Friday, 8 June 2018

Some Aquarium Photos from Amsterdam Zoo




Some Aquarium Photos from Amsterdam Zoo



Finally, organized my Amsterdam Zoo photos.  They did not have a lot of fish there, but everything was super healthy and neat. I would say, it's a perfect example of Dutch quality)))  Oh, and it's the oldest Zoo in Europe (or so they claim).  I was taking all photos with my crappy phone, so please excuse the graininess.  





Super Giant African Lungfsh:   Now, I kind of wish the gave him a bigger tank. He is monsterous. Like really huge. I bet, it can eat a dog or a small child, if it really wanted to





My friend Kristine in front of the lung fish: the lung fish seemed interested))))





The lungfish and me)))






A close up of the massive lung)))








Monday, 28 May 2018

Upside Down Jelly Fish in Amsterdam Zoo


So, I just got back from Amsterdam. Just like any other fish fanatics, I went straight for the zoo. Forget the red light district or coffee shops with their stupid pot))). The Amsterdam Zoo isn't very big, but all the animals are pretty well taken care of. I really liked it. The aquarium selection isn't that large either, but I did see these amazing upside down jelly fish there. It is the first time seeing these amazing animals in person.

Cassiopea xamachana or Upside Down Jellyfish




This specific upside down jelly fish are Cassiopea xamachana.   Like other upside down jellies, these guys get their food from  the symbiotic zooxanthellae inside their bodies.  Which themselves get nutrition from photosynthesis. I am not if this guys are being fed in this specific aquarium or not.  It would be interesting to see they require additional feedings while in captivity.  Unfortunately, there no information listed.


They are also capable of absorbing nutrients from sea water and catching microscopic organisms with their cnidocytes (which are explosive cells containing one giant secretory organelle)



Cassiopea xamachana or Upside Down Jellyfish



Just like all other jellyfish, Cassiopea xamachana alternates between polyp forms and medusa phases.  During reproduction, they release gametes are released and the fertilized eggs hatch into planula larvae, which attaches to decomposing red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle).  There, it develops into a hydra like creature (a polyp).  Polyps can bud off and multiply.  Under favorable conditions, they release medusa, or what we tend to associate jellyfish with.



Cassiopea xamachana or Upside Down Jellyfish



These species of jellyfish would probably be a lot easier to keep in an aquarium since they are very sedentary.  They don't require any kind of special filtration or round jellyfish tank.   Here is a short video I shot.  These guys are so cool. It would be super relaxing to watch them at home with a cup of coffee.














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Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Amazing Giant Moth




Amazing Giant Moth
Add caption


I saw this amazing super giant moth right outside of Tiraspol.  Not sure on the specie name, but it looks amazing. I have never seen a moth this big before.  It was just sitting on a plant, minding its own business))  It did not seem to care that I came close and too some photos of it.  




Amazing Giant Moth




 You can tell how huge it really is compared to my hand.  I am kind of surprised that it was so docile. I wonder if it is at the end of its life. I have heard that a lot moths don't eat in their adult form.



Amazing Giant Moth


It's so fat)))  Its body is huge!!! I wonder how it flies. If it even flies.  It did not care to move when I was taking pictures.  If anybody knows what kind of  moth this is, please let me know.



Amazing Giant Moth


Amazing Giant Moth











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Friday, 4 May 2018

Hedgehogs near my House)



European Hedgehog or Erinaceus europaeus




So, I was hanging around my apartment building last night and what do I hear?  Some weird puffing sounds.  I looked around and saw this fat guy sitting around and screaming.  That's right.  It's a huge European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus).  I guess, he lives close my.  There are lots of hedgehogs in Tiraspol, but it's the first one I saw this spring.





European Hedgehog or Erinaceus europaeus



Well, it turned out, there was a second hedgehog in there.  I am not sure what they were doing, either fighting or trying to mate.  I watched them for a minute and left them be.  I guess, they need privacy.  The second hedgehog was much smaller.



European Hedgehog or Erinaceus europaeus



Here is the a short video of these two hedgehog.  Notice the weird noises larger hedgehog is making. Kind of amusing.  Oh, and they did not really care for me being there))
















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Friday, 13 April 2018

Spring is Here!!!



It's super springy here.  Finally!!!  I went back to Tiraspol just in time for the fruit trees to flower out. Best time of the year, for sure.  I wish it would stay like this year round.














These are apricot trees.  Yes, they have pink flowers.  Pretty cool.  








I was going to write more on this topic, but there isn't much more to say. Just enjoy the photos. I am going outside to enjoy the nature some more.












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Thursday, 8 March 2018

Some Interesting Barnacles I found on the Beach


 Goose barnacles  (order Pedunculata)



I found a small colony of these weird looking barnacles on the Hollywood Beach near West Lake Park.  All of them were attached to this little stick that washed up on the beach.  They were still alive and moving around a little bit.  I thought that they were some sort of clams at first, but no, they were barnacles.  More surprising is the fact that barnacles are actually crurstaceans. They are related to crabs and lobsters.  The start out free swimming and have two nektonic (active swimming) larval stages. 




These guys turned out to be Goose barnacles  (order Pedunculata).  Not sure on exact specie name

 Goose barnacles  (order Pedunculata)




Here is my, being amused by these creatures.  They are so unusual.  I need up throwing the stick back into the ocean. I hope these guys survive and won't wash up again on the beach.



 Goose barnacles  (order Pedunculata)











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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Creative Hermit Crabs



Creative Hermit Crabs


Everyone is talking about human impact on nature, but it appears that hermit crabs actually enjoying all the extra garbage with provide for them.  As you may now, Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans from the Paguroidea family.  There are over 1000 different species of these guys.  They hide their soft spiral abdomen inside shells for protection.   However, looks like they catching up with the time.  They have figured out that there are plenty of much better alternatives.





Some hermits have been very fond of used beer bottles.  These two were seen wearing broken bottles instead of shells.  Very creative, but probably heavy)) Can't imaging carrying it all day long.

Hermit Crab Wearing Beer Bottles



Another alcoholic hermit crab.  This one is wearing a champagne cap.  


Hermit Crab Wearing Beer Bottles




These two hermit crabs would make good mascots for Home Depot.  Looks like they are into plumbing equipment .   These would probably make petty good homes because the plastic is very light.




Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Went out to scoop fish, but caught a Turtle





I went fish collecting today.  There are walking catfish, oscars, and tilapia in this little pond.  But I managed to catch none of them.  They turned out to be be way smarter than me.






 Instead, I ended up catching this water turtle.  Not sure what of turtle this is.  But it looked pretty neat.  I am not a turtle expert, so I am clueless about it.