Showing posts from September, 2013

Reptiles @ The Garden ...

Two issues of 'Clippings' ago ... we featured Reptiles in the Rotunda — highlighting some of the reptilian species lurking in the trop house and conservatory. There are many reptile species in the conservatory. The orchid center, including the high elevation house, orchid house and atrium also provide refuge for many native and non-native reptile species.

In this post we feature some of the scaly critters here as well as some of the folks that love them....

A beautiful new publication on the Conservation Status of Eurycea wallacei!

Conservation Biologist for the San Antonio Zoo, Dr. Danté Fenolio, just published a conservation assessment of a threatened salamander that lives in groundwater below the states of Georgia and Florida. The Georgia Blind Salamander, Eurycea wallacei, spends its life in the dark, cruising around flooded caves! The paper was published in Reptiles and Amphibians Conservation and Natural History, which is a free access journal. You can download the paper at no cost, visit

Ambystoma bishopi, Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander feeding

The Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander, Ambystoma bishopi is one of the most imperiled amphibian species in the US. Gone from Georgia and Alabama, A. bishopi is now restricted to a handful of puddles in Northern Florida. The Garden is working with USFW as well as biologists from VA Tech, to attempt to breed this species in captivity to boost population numbers in the wild.

This video (shot by Leslie Phillips, Amphibian Specialist @ ABG) shows a recent metamorph feasting on an earthworm. To see more of the work on this species, click here.

2008: Year of the Frog Campaign

Glass Frogs (and the Garden) to be featured on Unusual Creatures ... and PBS in the Fall

Earlier this summer, I was visited by Michael Hearst and his partner/camera man, Joe Beshenkovsky who were looking to film and learn about Glass Frogs (family: centrolenidae) for their show called Unusual Creatures (the first season of which has been picked up by PBS). Mike informed me they had been looking everywhere for a place that was working with Glass Frogs, and told me that the Garden may very well be the only institution with Glass Frogs on exhibit! Keep checking back and there will be a short video, featuring Glass Frogs at the Garden due out sometime this fall!

Michael has found a way to feature 'unlikely creatures' such as Glass Frogs with unlikely musical accompaniment, such as a Glass Armonica. Mike finds rare critters to feature and composes interesting musical pieces to celebrate them with. If you would like to hear the Glass Frog track, click here ....