Tree of Life


Marietta College Illustrated Guide to Living Organisms



Many of the images below are taken from the Marietta College Biology and Environmental Science Department's great field trips or from our field station, the Barbara A. Beiser Field Station. Check them out!


About Tree Of Life Biomes of the World Beiser Field Station
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Kingdom Pages
Animalia Plantae Fungi Protista Monera
Phyla Pages
Arthropoda Chordata      
Insects Crustaceans Arachnids    
Fish Amphibians Reptiles Birds Mammals
Kingdom Animalia
         Phylum Annelida
                   Class Clitellata
                             Order Haplotaxida
                                      Family Lumbricidae
                                       Genus Lumbricus

                                                 Lumbricus terrestris -- Earthworm coccoon
This is the cocoon of an earthworm; eggs are contained within it. Note also the small mite crawling on the cocoon.

                                                 Lumbricus terrestris -- Earthworm
This is probably the common European Earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris. But that's not certain. It has been introduced to North America and is now common in many areas, even some that didn't have earthworms before the introduction.

                   Class Hirudinida
                             Order Arhynchobdellida
                                      Family Hirudinidae
                                       Genus Macrobdella

                                                 Macrobdella decora -- North American Leech
Leeches exhibit pseudosegmentation; internally much of the body cavity has been filled with muscle so there isn't segmentation as there is in other annelids. Leeches are ectoparasites of vertebrates and predators of invertebrates.

                   Class Polychaeta
                             Order Aciculata
                                      Family Amphinomidae
                                       Genus Hermodice

                                                 Hermodice carunculata -- Bearded fireworm
The fireworm is well-named, since a brush against it will create a burning sensation as the venomous spines inject neurotoxins under the skin.

                             Order Canalipalpata
                                      Family Sabellarididae
                                       Genus Phragmatopoma

                                                 Phragmatopoma attenuata -- Sandcastle worm
These worms use a glue to bind sand grains into tubes in which they live. Hundreds of worms form colonies of connected tubes to form a reef-like structure. They are filter feeders.

                                      Family Sabellidae
                                       Genus Eudistylia

                                                 Eudistylia vancouveri -- Feather Duster Worm
These tube worms have a leathery tube that they secrete. They have tentacles they use for filter feeding; these tentacles resemble an old-fashioned feather duster.

                                      Family Serpulidae
                                       Genus Spirobranchus

                                                 Spirobranchus giganteus -- Christmas tree worms
These worms, up to a foot long, live in burrows excavated into large living corals. Only the highly branched tentacles (which look like Christmas Trees) extend from the burrow and these can be withdrawn in a heartbeat.

                             Order Terebellida
                                      Family Terebellidae
                                       Genus Eupolymnia

                                                 Eupolymnia crasscornis -- Spaghetti worm
Most of this worm is buried in the coral reef; all you can really see are the feeding tentacles which are extended to gather food.

         Phylum Arthropoda
                   Class Arachnida

                                                  -- Mite
Mites are placed in the subclass Acari.

                             Order Amblypygi

                                                  -- Tailless Whip Scorpion
Tailless Whip Scorpions look horrifying, but are harmless to people.

                             Order Aranae
                                      Family Araneidae
                                       Genus Araneus

                                                 Araneus marmoreus -- Marbled Orbweaver
The Marbled Orb Weaver is common in the fall and is sometimes called the Halloween Spider.

                                       Genus Argiope

                                                 Argiope aurantia -- Black and yellow garden spider
These spiders spin large webs; they are most noticeable in the fall.

                                       Genus Micrathena

                                                 Micrathena sagittata -- Arrowshaped Micrathena
We have found specimens of this species at the Beiser Field Station in Ohio and in Costa Rica!

                                      Family Nephilidae
                                       Genus Nephila

                                                 Nephila clavipes -- Orb Weaver
This orb weaver is common in the southern US. The female is the larger spider towards the bottom; the smaller male is above her. This is an example of sexual dimorphism.

                                      Family Salticidae
                                       Genus Phidippus

                                                 Phidippus audax -- Bold Jumper
The Bold Jumping Spider is common and lives up to its name despite its tiny size.

                                      Family Theraphosidae
                                       Genus Megaphobema

                                                 Megaphobema mesomelas -- Costa Rican redleg tarantula
The Red-kneed Tarantula is common in Costa Rica, where it lives in the ground.

                                      Family Thomisidae
                                       Genus Misumenoides

                                                 Misumenoides formosipes -- Whitebanded Crab Spider
This species of crab spider can take on the color of the plant it is living on as it waits for prey.

                             Order Ixodida
                                      Family Ixodidae
                                       Genus Dermacentor

                                                 Dermacentor variabilis -- American Dog Tick
The American Dog Tick is common in Ohio and can transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.

                             Order Opiliones

                                                  -- Harvestman
One of the Harvestmen, sometimes called daddy long-legs.

                                      Family Cosmetidae
                                       Genus Vonones

                                                 Vonones sayi -- Harvestman
This interesting harvestman, common at the Beiser Field Station, fluoresces under UV light.

                             Order Pseudoscorpiones
                                      Family Cheliferidae
                                       Genus Chelifer

                                                 Chelifer cancroides -- House Pseudoscorpion
This is PROBABLY the House Pseudoscorpion - they look a lot like this, and this one was in fact in the basement of a house. They cannot sting and feed on small insects. They get from place to place by attaching themselves to larger insects.

                             Order Scorpiones
                                      Family Buthidae
                                       Genus Centruroides

                                                 Centruroides limbatus -- Scorpion
Probably Centruroides limbatus - this species seems to be common at Santa Rosa NP in Costa Rica.

                                                 Centruroides limbatus -- Scorpion
This is probably Centruroides limbatus. Although we have never formally keyed it out. It is shown here under normal and UV illumination; the UV causes it to fluoresce blue. Santa Rosa NP, Costa Rica.

                                      Family Caraboctonidae
                                       Genus Hadrurus

                                                 Hadrurus arizonensis -- Giant desert hairy scorpion
This is PROBABLY Hadrurus arizonensis; the picture was taken with UV light at the Valley of Fire campsite in New Mexico.

                   Class Branchiopoda
                             Order Anostraca
                                      Family Artemiidae
                                       Genus Artemia

                                                 Artemia salina -- Brine Shrimp
This specimen is from the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The brine shrimp live there in huge numbers, feeding on algae and cyanobacteria. Their eggs are harvested and sold as fish food; at a markup they are also marketed as Sea Monkeys.

                   Class Chilopoda

                                                  -- Centipede
Despite the name, centipedes do not have 100 legs.

                             Order Scolopendromorpha
                                      Family Scolopendridae
                                       Genus Hemiscolopendra

                                                 Hemiscolopendra marginata -- Florida Blue Centipede
Here it is attacking a Polistes wasp on its nest. Florida Blue Centipede don't care.

                                                 Hemiscolopendra marginata -- Florida Blue Centipede
This specimen was seen at the Edge of Appalachia Preserve in Adams County, Ohio. They can get up to about 3 inches long; this one was attacking a nest of Polistes wasps, so you know he's bad.

                   Class Collembola

                                                  -- Springtails
Springtails are named for a unique structure, the furcula, on their abdomens which enables them to jump into the air. They are tiny; most live in leaf litter or on the surface of water.

                                                  -- Springtail
Most springtails are minute.

                   Class Crustacea
                             Order Maxillipoda
                                      Family Balanidae
                                       Genus Balanus

                                                 Balanus nubilus -- Giant Acorn Barnacle
This species was described by none other than Charles Darwin in 1854.

                                      Family Pollicipedidae
                                       Genus Pollicipes

                                                 Pollicipes polymerus -- Goose Barnacle
The flexible neck-like region of this barnacle helps them absorb the energy of crashing waves.

                             Order Ostracoda

                                                  -- Ostracod
Ostracods are Crustaceans with extensions of the body that form a bivalved shell. They are often found in puddles and temporary bodies of water as these were.

                   Class Diplopoda
                             Order Polydesmida
                                      Family Euryuridae
                                       Genus Euryurus

                                                 Euryurus leachii -- Millipede
A number of millipedes fluoresce under UV light.

                                                 Euryurus leachii -- Millipede
A millipede common at the Beiser Field Station, normally seen crawling on downed logs. It also fluoresces under UV light.

                                      Family Xystodesmidae
                                       Genus Apheloria

                                                 Apheloria virginiensis -- Millipede
This millipede, common at the Beiser Field Station, can secrete cyanide to protect itself. It also fluoresces when exposed to UV light.

                                       Genus Semionellus

                                                 Semionellus placidus -- Millipede
This species, common at the Beiser Field Station, is another that fluoresces under UV light. We are not sure why, but we're working on it!

                                                 Semionellus placidus -- Millipede
Semionellus placidus is protected by noxious chemicals it secretes when it is handled.

                                       Genus Sigmoria

                                                 Sigmoria sp. -- Millipede
A pretty little millipede.

                             Order Spirolobida
                                      Family Spirobolidae
                                       Genus Narceus

                                                 Narceus americanus -- Millipede
One of the larger species in the eastern US, this specimen was found at the Beiser Field Station. They can get to be about 6" long; they eat detritus.

                   Class Insecta
                             Order Blattodea

                                                  -- Cockroach
Most of the over 4,000 species of cockroaches live in outdoor habitats; less than 50 routinely occupy human structures and less than a dozen are considered to be serious pests.

                             Order Coleoptera
                                      Family Buprestidae

Most Buprestid larvae, like this one, live in wood.

                                       Genus Agrilus

                                                 Agrilus planipennis -- Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer was introduced to the US from Asia and is decimating ash trees.

                                       Genus Euchroma

                                                 Euchroma gigantea -- Ceiba Borer
This is a mature Ceiba Borer without the yellow wax.

                                                 Euchroma gigantea -- Ceiba Borer
This Ceiba Borer is newly emerged and still bears a yellowish waxy coating.

                                      Family Cantharidae
                                       Genus Chauliognathus

                                                 Chauliognathus pensylvanicus -- Goldenrod Soldier Beetle
Soldier Beetles of this species are usually seen in late summer on goldenrod. Their orange color is probably a warning of toxic substances they picked up as larvae; the larvae are predators on other insects.

                                      Family Carabidae
                                       Genus Colliuris

                                                 Colliuris pensylvanica -- Long-necked Ground Beetle
Most of the ground beetles are much larger than this species. BTW - early naturalists often spelled Pennsylvania without the double N and there's nothing we can do about it today.

                                                 Colliuris pensylvanica -- Long-necked Ground Beetle
This small, predatory ground beetle came in to a mothing sheet illuminated at night at the Beiser Field Station.

                                      Family Cerambycidae
                                       Genus Acrocinus

                                                 Acrocinus longimanus -- Harlequin Beetle
This large beetle is the best in its family at using human technology.

                                                 Acrocinus longimanus -- Harlequin Beetle
One of the largest beetles in the world, at least in terms of reach. MaLisa Spring's hand for scale. This is an adult male, it is recognized by the enlarged forelegs.

                                                 Acrocinus longimanus -- Harlequin Beetle
The Harlequin Beetle is actually pretty well camouflaged when it is on tree bark. The larvae tunnel through the wood, eating the wood and any fungus growing through it.

                                       Genus Megacyllene

                                                 Megacyllene robinae -- Locust Borer
This large long-horned beetle feeds on locust trees as a larva. It is a wasp mimic often seen on goldenrod in late summer obtaining nectar. We find them often at the Beiser Field Station where there are goldenrods and locust trees.

                                       Genus Tetraopes

                                                 Tetraopes tetrophthalmus -- Red Milkweed Beetle
Tetraopes means 4-eyes, and like other members of the family Cerambycidae, the Milkweed Beetles' eyes wrap around the antennae. In this species they do so to the extent that the eyes are divided in two. The beetles are toxic.

                                      Family Chrysomelidae

                                                  -- Tortoise Beetle
The elytra and pronotum of this Tortoise Beetle form an elaborate shield over the beetle. This one was seen in Santa Rosa National Park, Costa Rica on our 2009 field trip.

                                       Genus Chrysochus

                                                 Chrysochus auratus -- Dogbane leaf beetle
The Dogbane Leaf Beetle feeds on Dogbane, a species of milkweed.

                                       Genus Diabrotica

                                                 Diabrotica undecimpunctata -- Spotted Cucumber Beetle
These beetles have 11 spots on the elytra, hence the undecimpunctata. The adults feed on the leaves of plants, including crops like cucumbers. The larva is called the southern corn rootworm and as the name implies, is a major pest of corn.

                                      Family Cincindelidae
                                       Genus Cicindela

                                                 Cicindela oregona -- Western Tiger Beetle
This beetle was on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, feeding on the famous brine flies emerging from the water.

                                                 Cicindela duodecimguttata -- 12 spotted Tiger Beetle
There are a total of 12 spots on the elytra (6 on each), hence the species name duodecimguttata. In one Ohio stream downstream from a strip mine, pieces of coal darken the substrate and the beetles of this species are darker as well.

                                                 Cicindela oregona -- Western Tiger Beetle
Tiger Beetles often have metallic iridescence on parts of their bodies.

                                                 Cicindela hirticollis -- Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle
Hirticollis means hairy-necked. These beetles were on the shore of Lake Erie with their larvae nearby in the sand.

                                                 Cicindela hirticollis -- Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle Larva
This is the larva in its burrow. The hole is about the diameter of a pencil and can be several inches deep. The larva may retreat deep in the burrow or remain in the hunting position shown here, with the pronotum covering the hole.

                                                 Cicindela hirticollis -- Hairy-necked Tiger Beetle Larva
Here is the larva of a tiger beetle. The pronotum is right behind the eyes and can be used to plug their burrow in the sand. There are a pair of dorsal hooks on the back that anchor the larva in the burrow in case its prey decides to put up a fight.

                                       Genus Cylindera

                                                 Cylindera unipunctata -- One-spotted Tiger Beetle
This tiger beetle was seen at the Beiser Field Station. It is quite iridescent on the underside.

                                      Family Coccinellidae
                                       Genus Harmonia

                                                 Harmonia axyridis -- Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle
This species was introduced to the US from Asia to control aphids and has since spread explosively. While it might be beneficial to some farmers in some situations, it is a pest for most homeowners as the adults like to overwinter in structures.

                                      Family Curculionidae
                                       Genus Oedophrys

                                                 Oedophrys hilleri -- Weevil
This weevil was introduced from Japan; it feeds on maples and other trees. There is concern it may become a pest of peach and pear trees.

                                      Family Elateridae
                                       Genus Alaus

                                                 Alaus oculatus -- Eyed Click Beetle
This large (almost 2") beetle has two eyespots which presumably act to deter predators. Like all click beetles, it can snap its body suddenly, adding to the surprise. The adults only take sugar in the form of nectar and plant sap.

                                      Family Lampyridae
                                       Genus Ellychnia

                                                 Ellychnia corrusca -- Diurnal Firefly Beetle
Although its larvae have bioluminescent organs, the adult does not. As the common name implies, it is active during the day.

                                      Family Lucanidae
                                       Genus Lucanus

                                                 Lucanus capreolus -- Reddish-brown Stag Beetle
The larvae feed in decaying wood (as do the larvae of many large beetles). The "horns" are mandibles used by the males to wrestle with each other in a competition for mates.

                                      Family Meloidae
                                       Genus Epicauta

                                                 Epicauta vittata -- Striped Blister Beetle
The larvae of this species feed on grasshopper egg pods - that's good for farmers. But the adults feed on a variety of plants, and are very toxic. If they wind up in hay, just a few of these beetles can make horses sick and 40 or so could kill a horse.

                                       Genus Meloe

                                                 Meloe campanicollis -- Oil Beetle Blister Beetle
We commonly find these beetles near Halloween at the Mound Cemetery in Marietta. This cemetery is built around a ceremonial site of pre-historic native tribes and the beetles may have been using the grounds for centuries.

                                                 Meloe campanicollis -- Oil Beetle Blister Beetle
Blister beetles are so-called because they can exude an oily substance which raises blisters on the skin. This is a defensive mechanism for these large and slow-moving beetles.

                                                 Meloe campanicollis -- Oil Beetle Blister Beetle
These beetles have tiny larvae which seek out bees and attach themselves to the bees. At the hive, they drop off and feed on pollen, honey and even bee larvae. In this way, they are considered to be parasites.

                                      Family Passalidae
                                       Genus Odontotaenius

                                                 Odontotaenius disjunctus -- Horned Passalus
These beetles are also known as bessbugs. The larvae feed on decaying wood.

                                                 Odontotaenius disjunctus -- Horned Passalus
This distinctive beetle is often called the Patent-leather Beetle because its surface resembles patent leather, whatever that it.

                                      Family Phengodidae
                                       Genus Phengodes

                                                 Phengodes plumosa -- Glowworm Beetle Larva
Here is the glowworm beetle larva in full light. These larvae eat large millipedes like Narceus.

                                                 Phengodes plumosa -- Glowworm Beetle Larva
This larva was photographed in a darkroom to show off the bioluminescence.

                                                 Phengodes plumosa -- Glowworm Beetle Larva
This large glowworm beetle larva has bioluminescent organs along the side of its body - it produces light just like fireflies do.

                                      Family Scarabaeidae
                                       Genus Cotinis

                                                 Cotinis nitida -- Green June Beetle
This is a relatively large beetle seen mid-summer in Marietta. Like Japanese Beetles the larvae feed on grass roots and can damage lawns. The adults eat fruit.

                                                 Cotinis nitida -- Green June Beetle
The coloration of the Green June Beetle varies from almost all green to almost all golden bronze.

                                                 Cotinis nitida -- Green June Beetle
Green June Beetles are members of the Scarabaeidae, or scarabs, a type of beetle which fascinated the Egyptians.

                                       Genus Dynastes

                                                 Dynastes hercule -- Hercules Beetle
Reaching almost 7 inches in length and able to lift 850 times their own weight, these large beetles are aptly named. We saw this one at El Zota Biological Station on a Costa Rica field trip. This is a male; females lack the horns.

                                                 Dynastes hercule -- Hercules Beetle
A side view of the Hercules Beetle, showing the horns of the male.

                                                 Dynastes hercule -- Hercules Beetle
Dorsal view of the Hercules Beetle. The adults do not feed other than to sip nectar or tree sap.

                                       Genus Megasoma

                                                 Megasoma elephas -- Elephant Beetle
We almost always see at least one of these massive beetles on our Costa Rica trips. This is a female; the males have long horns on their heads. The larvae develop in decaying wood.

                                       Genus Popillia

                                                 Popillia japonica -- Japanese Beetle
Japanese beetles are major pests in North America. Their grubs live in the soil and feed on plant roots, damaging lawns; the adults feed on the leaves of ornamental and fruit plants. They got to the US in the early 1900's.

                                      Family Staphylinidae
                                       Genus Creophilus

                                                 Creophilus maxillosus -- Hairy Rove Beetle
This specimen was one of 2 adult rove beetles - of different species - found on a groundhog carcass. Many rove beetles are attracted to carrion in the later stages of decomposition where they (and their larvae) feed on the carrion and on maggots.

                                       Genus Ontholestes

                                                 Ontholestes cingulatus -- Goldandbrown Rove Beetle
Rove Beetles are quick and hard to photograph. They are often attracted to carrion; their larvae may feed on maggots. This specimen was at the Beiser Field Station.

                                       Genus Platydracus

                                                 Platydracus maculosus -- Rove Beetle
This is one of many species of Rove Beetles. It was found on a groundhog carcass where its young will feed on fly maggots. The small elytra make them very flexible and fast.

                                      Family Tenebrionidae

                                                  -- Darkling Beetle
Many Darkling Beetles assume this characteristic head-down tail-up posture when threatened (these beetles are too large and clumsy to escape on foot and many can't fly). Usually they release a defensive chemical at this point.

                             Order Diptera
                                      Family Asilidae
                                       Genus Efferia

                                                 Efferia albibarbis -- White-bearded Robber Fly
Robber Flies are predators, but what we have here is a mating pair. For some reason, in this group the males grab the females by the eyes. These were on the shores of Lake Erie.

                                                 Efferia aestuans -- Robber Fly
Robber Flies are predaceous on other insects. This one is one of the bolder ones and, according to Herschel Raney, will often land on humans.

                                       Genus Promachus

                                                 Promachus rufipes -- Red-footed Cannibalfly
This is a big, predatory Robber Fly. They have a loud buzzing flight, and it seems this helps them ward off potential predators (or collectors). Common at the Beiser Field Station in late fall.

                                      Family Bombyliidae
                                       Genus Dipalta

                                                 Dipalta serpentina -- Bee Fly
Larvae of this bee fly are parasites of ant lion pupae. Other bee flies parasitize tiger beetle larvae; it seems like this group doesn't like subterranean ambush predators.

                                      Family Chironomidae

                                                  -- Midge
Midges are flies in the order Diptera. The males, such as the one pictured here, have fuzzy (plumose) antennae. They are tiny, and almost all of them have aquatic larvae. They often emerge in large numbers and come to lights.

                                       Genus Chironomus

                                                 Chironomus riparius -- Midge Larva (Bloodworm)
These larvae are also called bloodworms because they contain a form of hemoglobin not very different from out own (although theirs is not contained in red blood cells). The hemoglobin allows them to survive in polluted waters with little oxygen.

                                      Family Copnopidae
                                       Genus Physocephala

                                                 Physocephala tibialis -- Wasp-mimic Fly
Apparently, the female of this species grabs a bee and places an egg into it between the abdominal segments. The larvae that hatches out then consumes the bee from within. Some species in this genus parasitize bumblebees.

                                                 Physocephala tibialis -- Wasp-mimic Fly
These small flies are wasp mimics. They have only 2 wings (4 for a real wasp). Unlike many flies that mimic wasps or bees, this one has antennae that are more wasp-like.

                                      Family Ephydridae
                                       Genus Ephydra

                                                 Ephydra cinerea -- Brine Fly
Here you see a brine fly and its larva amidst a host of brine shrimp eggs on the shore of the Great Salt Lake in Utah.

                                                 Ephydra cinerea -- Brine Fly
Larvae of the Brine Fly are among the few animals able to exist in the hypersaline waters of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. They feed on algae and bacteria; the adults (pictured here) emerge in large numbers.

                                      Family Rhagionidae
                                       Genus Chrysopilus

                                                 Chrysopilus thoracicus -- Golden-backed Snipe Fly
These attractive flies are seen in moist forests from late spring to early summer. Little is known about the larval stages; the adults are supposedly predators but few if any observations have been published on this.

                                      Family Syrphidae
                                       Genus Mallota

                                                 Mallota bautias -- Flower-Fly
This Flower-fly looks an acts much like a bumblebee. It even buzzes louder than the actual bumblebees. It's eyes, antennae and the lack of a 2nd pair of wings give it away as a fly.

                                       Genus Spilomyia

                                                 Spilomyia longicornis -- Syrphid Fly
This striking wasp mimic has been seen a number of times at the Beiser Field Station. As a fly, of course, it is harmless.

                                      Family Tachinidae
                                       Genus Trichopoda

                                                 Trichopoda pennipes -- Tachinid Fly
These flies (part of a large family of parasitic flies) attack hemipterans such as stink bugs and leaf- footed bugs. They were introduced to Europe to control pests there. This one was at the Beiser Field Station.

                             Order Ephemeroptera

                                                  -- Mayfly
Mayflies start out as aquatic larvae that live in the water for up to 3 years. They emerge from the water and molt to a winged subimago stage that quickly molts again to the adult stage. The mayfly is the only insect to molt after it has wings.

                             Order Hemiptera

                                                  -- Scale Insect
Scale insects feed by sucking juices from plants. In some cases, they are attended by wasps or ants who lick excess sugar water off their bodies; in other cases the water falls as honeydew.

                                      Family Cicadellidae
                                       Genus Graphocephala

                                                 Graphocephala coccinea -- Red-banded Leafhopper
Sometimes called the candy-stripe leafhopper. All leafhoppers feed on plant juices through sucking mouthparts.

                                      Family Flatidae

                                                  -- Nymph
This young planthopper has extruded waxy filaments to cover itself and the plant it is feeding on. These filaments help protect the nymph from predators and desiccation.

                                      Family Fulgoridae

                                                  -- Lanternfly
Lanternflies are members of the hemipteran family Fulgoridae which bear a process that sticks out in front of the head. In some species it resembles a lantern, but it does not produce light. This one was seen at Tortuguero in Costa Rica.

                                      Family Gerridae

                                                  -- Water Strider
Water Striders walk or skate on the water by a neat truck. The legs are coated with wax, which repels water and this keeps them from breaking the surface tension. The surface of the water is depressed, and the displaced water offsets the insect's weight.

                                      Family Lygaeidae
                                       Genus Oncopeltus

                                                 Oncopeltus fasciatus -- Large Milkweed Bud
These bugs primarily feed on milkweed, including milkweed seeds, and gain protective chemicals from the plant, which they advertise with bright coloration (aposematism). They can also prey on other insects or scavenge.

                                      Family Membracidae

                                                  -- Treehopper
Many treehoppers look like thorns as they sit and suck juices from the plant stem.

                                       Genus Enchenopa

                                                 Enchenopa binotata -- Two-marked Treehopper
Treehoppers feed by sucking juices from plants.

                                                 Enchenopa binotata -- Two-marked Treehopper
Treehoppers attempt to blend in by resembling thorns. In doing so, they may actually serve to protect the tree if the sight of these "thorns" keeps a herbivore like a deer from feeding. Binotata means two marks.

                                      Family Miridae
                                       Genus Lygus

                                                 Lygus lineolaris -- Tarnished Plant Bug
Plant bugs feed by sucking juices from plants through modified mouthparts.

                                      Family Pentatomidae
                                       Genus Chinavia

                                                 Chinavia hilaris -- Green Stink Bug
This is the common green stink bug found in Ohio. There are others which are green, but they differ in details such as the shape of the corners of the pronotum. Marmorated stinkbugs are a mottled brown. This species feeds on plants.

                                      Family Rhopalidae
                                       Genus Arilus

                                                 Arilus cristatus -- Wheel Bug
This is one of the true bugs in the order Hemiptera. It is big and has a nasty bite. No one is sure what the "cog" or wheel on the back does.

                                       Genus Boisea

                                                 Boisea trivittata -- Box Elder Bug
This bug feeds on Boxelders and other maples in the genus Acer. They can release defensive chemicals when threatened. This female has just laid eggs on the side of our van on a field trip.

                                      Family Thyreocoridae
                                       Genus Corimelaena

                                                 Corimelaena -- Negro Bug
These small bugs are typically found in the inflorescences of plants where they suck juices from new growth.

                                      Family Tingidae

                                                  -- Lace Bug
Lace bugs feed on the sap of trees. We commonly find them under the bark of sycamore trees on the Marietta College Campus.

                             Order Hymenoptera
                                      Family Crabonidae
                                       Genus Bicyrtes

                                                 Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus -- Sand Wasp
Sand Wasps like this female sting a pentatomid bug and fly back with it to a nest they dig in the sand. The nest is provisioned with one or more of the paralyzed bugs and an egg is laid; the larvae will feed on the bugs.

                                                 Bicyrtes quadrifasciatus -- Sand Wasp
In this image, you can see the female Sand Wasp beginning to excavate a nest in which she will bury paralyzed stink bugs as food for her larvae.

                                      Family Diprionidae
                                       Genus Neodiprion

                                                 Neodiprion sertifer -- European pine sawfly
It might look like a caterpillar, but this is a sawfly; it will grow up to be a wasp. Count the number of prolegs on the abdomen; there are 7 as opposed to the 5 or fewer in Lepidoptera. The European pine sawfly was introduced to North America in 1925.

                                      Family Formicidae
                                       Genus Atta

                                                 Atta cephalotes -- Leafcutter Ant
These are PROBABLY in the species Atta cephalotes; they certainly are in the genus Atta. The soldier is noticeably larger than the other two castes. The media do most of the leaf carrying and carrying. Minimas work mostly in the nest.

                                       Genus Paraponera

                                                 Paraponera clavata -- Bullet ant
These ants are big - over 1 inch long - and relatively common in the rainforests of Costa Rica. Supposedly the sting is like being shot, begging the question of how many people have been both shot and stung.

                                      Family Halictidae
                                       Genus Agapostemon

                                                 Agapostemon virescens -- Bicolored Agapostemon
Halictids are also called "sweat bees" since they are attracted to human sweat. They gather pollen and nectar and place it in a cell constructed underground or in wood along with an egg. The egg hatches and consumes the stored material.

                                      Family Mutillidae
                                       Genus Dasymutilla

                                                 Dasymutilla sp. -- Velvet Ant
Velvet Ants are not ants at all, but a type of wasp. Females, like this one, are wingless. The bright coloration, and a tendency to squeal when touched, warn of the nasty sting. They are also called cow-killers, but they can't kill a cow.

                                      Family Pelecinidae
                                       Genus Pelecinus

                                                 Pelecinus polyturator -- Pelecynid Wasp
These wasps are common in late summer at the Beiser Field Station. Living primarily in the woods, they use the long ovipositor to probe the soil for the larvae of scarab beetles, which they then parasitize. They can't sting humans.

                                                 Pelecinus polyturator -- Pelecynid Wasp
We see a lot of these mid-summer at the Beiser Field Station.

                                      Family Vespidae
                                       Genus Dolichovespula

                                                 Dolichovespula maculata -- Baldfaced Hornet
This is actually one of the largest yellowjackets in North America, that is it belongs to one of two genera that constitute the yellowjackets. Hornet technically refers to a member of the genus Vespa.

                                       Genus Polistes

                                                 Polistes dominula -- European paper wasp
The European Paper Wasp has been showing up increasingly in the United States. These were photographed near Cleveland in 2003; at that point they were the most common Polistes in suburban areas.

                                                 Polistes fuscatus -- Northern Paper Wasp
There are about 14 or so species of Paper Wasps in Ohio; getting a species ID isn't necessarily easy. We were able to identify this species, seen on goldenrod at the Beiser Field Station. Polistes are the paper wasps that build open nests under eaves.

                                       Genus Vespa

                                                 Vespa crabro -- European Hornet
The European Hornet is the largest wasp in North America - but it is an introduced species. It is protected as an endangered species back in parts of Europe. They feed on other insects, including honey bees.

                             Order Isoptera

                                                  -- Termites
Termites are eusocial insects, order Isoptera. They feed on wood with the aid of a endosymbiotic protistan in their guts (in turn aided by an endosymbiotic bacterium). Here a colony has been disturbed and nozzle-headed soldiers protect rushing workers.

                             Order Lepidoptera
                                      Family Arctiidae
                                       Genus Cisseps

                                                 Cisseps fulvicollis -- Yellowcollared Scape Moth
These moths are difficult to separate from the Virginia Ctenucha.

                                       Genus Cycnia

                                                 Cycnia tenera -- Delicate Cynia
This moth was attracted to lights at the Beiser Field Station.

                                                 Cycnia inopinatus -- Unexpected Cycnia Caterpillar
I was surprised to find this caterpillar.

                                       Genus Haploa

                                                 Haploa lecontei -- Leconte's Haploa
Larvae of this moth feed on a variety of plants.

                                                 Haploa clymene -- Clymene Moth
The larvae of this distinctive moth feed on a variety of plants.

                                       Genus Hyphantria

                                                 Hyphantria cunea -- Fall webworm
These larvae live under communal webs as they feed on a variety of deciduous trees. They have been introduced to Europe and Asia through Yugoslavia in the 1940's. By 2014 it occupied much of Europe and Asia, as well as Japan.

                                                 Hyphantria cunea -- Fall webworm Moth
Here you can see the Fall Webworm Moth laying eggs on the underside of a leaf.

                                       Genus Hypoprepia

                                                 Hypoprepia fucosa -- Painted Lichen Moth
As the name implies, caterpillars of this brightly colored species feed on lichens (as well as mosses).

                                                 Hypoprepia sp. -- Lichen Moths
Here are two species of lichen moths. They are so named because the larvae feed on lichens.

                                      Family Crambidae
                                       Genus Desmia

                                                 Desmia funeralis -- Grape Leaffolder Moth
This is PROBABLY Desmia funeralis; there is another species which is very similar.

                                                 Desmia sp. -- Leaffolder Moth
This is probably Desmia funeralis, but there are two similar species which cannot be separated with a single dorsal photograph.

                                                 Desmia funeralis -- Grape Leaffolder Moth
This moth is somewhat unusual in that it flies by day. The larvae feed on grapes.

                                       Genus Pyrausta

                                                 Pyrausta acrionalis -- Mint-loving Pyrausta
As the name implies, larvae of this species feed on mint.

                                                 Pyrausta bicoloralis -- Bicolored Pyrausta
A small, brightly colored moth. Little is known about them.

                                       Genus Urola

                                                 Urola nivalis -- Snowy Urola
The larvae feed on grasses.

                                      Family Erebidae
                                       Genus Apantesis

                                                 Apantesis phalerata -- Harnessed Tiger Moth
Larvae feed on a variety of plants.

                                       Genus Halysidota

                                                 Halysidota tessellaris -- Banded Tussock Moth
Technically, this could be Halysidota harrisii, the Sycamore Tussock Moth; the adults differ only in details of their genitalia. Marietta College student Rachel Shoop is trying to separate the species using DNA techniques.

                                       Genus Hypercompe

                                                 Hypercompe scribonia -- Great Leopard Moth
The Giant Leopard Moth is one of the more beautiful moths. Note the iridescent blue scales on the thorax and the legs. These moths can reflexively bleed a noxious hemolymph (blood) to deter predators.

                                       Genus Orgyia

                                                 Orgyia definita -- Definite Tussock Moth
The tussock moth caterpillars like this one have long urticating hairs which break off in the skin and cause great discomfort.

                                                 Orgyia definita -- Definite Tussock Moth Caterpillar
These caterpillars feed on a variety of hardwoods. The hairs are urticating, which means they can irritate the skin.

                                       Genus Palthis

                                                 Palthis angulalis -- Dark-spotted Palthis
The larvae of this species feed on a variety of plants, mostly hardwoods.

                                       Genus Scolecocampa

                                                 Scolecocampa liburna -- Dead-wood Borer Moth
As the common name implies, larvae of this species feed on dead wood.

                                      Family Geometridae
                                       Genus Eubaphe

                                                 Eubaphe mendica -- The Beggar
The Beggar is one of the moths with a cool common name. The larvae feed on small herbaceous plants like violets.

                                       Genus Eutrapela

                                                 Eutrapela clemataria -- Curve-toothed Geometer
A native of the eastern deciduous forests, the larvae of the Curve-toothed Geometer feed on many of the trees of the forest.

                                       Genus Haematopis

                                                 Haematopis grataria -- Chickweed Geometer
Geometers are also called inch-worms; Geometer literally means "Earth-Measurer" so the terms are similar and refer to the looping motion the caterpillars make, as if they were measuring the distance they cover.

                                       Genus Lytrosis

                                                 Lytrosis unitaria -- Common Lytrosis
This moth is adapted to blend into tree bark during the day (it flies at night). The larvae feed on Pin Oaks, Hawthorns and Sugar Maples.

                                       Genus Patalene

                                                 Patalene olyzonaria -- Juniper Geometer Moth
The larvae feed on … wait for it…. Junipers!

                                       Genus Prochoerodes

                                                 Prochoerodes lineola -- Large Maple Spanworm
Spanworm is a term applied to many of the larger geometers which are too big to really be called inchworms. It feeds on a variety of trees, herbaceous plants and even grasses.

                                       Genus Speranza

                                                 Speranza pustularia -- Lesser Maple Spanworm Moth
Larvae of this moth feed mostly on Maple, but also on a wide variety of other plants.

                                      Family Hesperiidae
                                       Genus Epargyreus

                                                 Epargyreus clarus -- Silverspotted Skipper
This small skipper is known by the silvery spot on the underside of the hindwings.

                                      Family Limacodidae
                                       Genus Acharia

                                                 Acharia stimulea -- Saddleback Caterpillar
This striking caterpillar, photographed at the Beiser Field Station, has sharp spines which produce a painful sting.

                                       Genus Lithacodes

                                                 Lithacodes fasciola -- Yellowshouldered Slug Moth Caterpillar
This Slug Moth Caterpillar also fluoresces under UV light. Naturalist John Howard finds that fluorescence in caterpillars in general is more pronounced in late fall. This photograph was from late October.

                                                 Lithacodes fasciola -- Yellowshouldered Slug Moth Caterpillar
You can see why they are called slug moths in this image. Seen at the Beiser Field Station.

                                       Genus Parasa

                                                 Parasa indetermina -- Stinging Rose Moth Caterpillar
This caterpillar, though beautiful, is well protected by stinging (urticating) hairs. The bright red color warns of this danger. Such warning coloration is called aposematism.

                                      Family Lycaenidae
                                       Genus Strymon

                                                 Strymon melinus -- Gray Hairstreak Butterfly
Larvae often found on members of the Pea family.

                                      Family Noctuidae
                                       Genus Acronicta

                                                 Acronicta oblinta -- Smeared Dagger Moth Caterpillar
Between the bright colors and the spines you know this guy is trouble.

                                       Genus Basilodes

                                                 Basilodes pepita -- Gold Moth Caterpillar
The larvae feed on wingstem. The adults are not nearly as colorful.

                                       Genus Eudryas

                                                 Eudryas grata -- Beautiful Wood-Nymph
Well, it IS an attractive moth!

                                                 Eudryas grata -- Beautiful Wood-Nymph
Mothman is real; it's just that he's one inch tall.

                                                 Eudryas grata -- Beautiful Wood-Nymph
Larvae feed on Virginia Creeper. This adult came to lights at the Beiser Field Station.

                                       Genus Morrisonia

                                                 Morrisonia confusa -- Confused Woodgrain
This is the caterpillar of the confused woodgrain moth.

                                       Genus Polygrammate

                                                 Polygrammate hebraeicum -- The Hebrew
Many moths have strange common names. The Hebrew in both the common and scientific names refers to the fact that some of the black markings on this moth resemble written Hebrew.

                                      Family Notodontidae
                                       Genus Nadata

                                                 Nadata gibbosa -- Whitedotted Prominent Moth Caterpillar
The yellow mandibles and green body help identify this caterpillar. It feeds on oaks and a variety of other trees.

                                                 Nadata gibbosa -- Whitedotted Prominent Moth
Many moths are attracted to lights. This one was, and I took its picture.

                                      Family Nymphalidae
                                       Genus Caligo

                                                 Caligo eurilochus -- Forest Giant Owl
Owls of this type are actually butterflies with owl-eye like markings on their wings. They are found in Central America; this one was from the Costa Rica cloudforest exhibit at the botanical gardens in Cleveland.

                                       Genus Danaus

                                                 Danaus plexippus -- Monarch Butterfly
Adult Monarchs feed on the nectar of many flowers, not just milkweed. Nectaring in moths, butterflies and many other adult insects simply provides sugar to fuel the flight muscles. Protein must be obtained as a larva or from other sources, if needed.

                                                 Danaus plexippus -- Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar
Monarch caterpillars pick up toxins from the milkweed they feed on. The toxins are retained in the adult, which advertises its protection with bright red coloration.

                                       Genus Heliconius

                                                 Heliconius charithonia -- Zebra Longwing
The longwings are more common in tropical areas.

                                       Genus Junonia

                                                 Junonia coenia -- Common Buckeye Butterfly
The eyespots on the wings may help confuse predators.

                                       Genus Limenitis

                                                 Limenitis archippus -- Viceroy Butterfly
Until recently, it was assumed that the Viceroy was a palatable Batesian mimic of the toxic Monarch butterfly. It is now known that in nature at least some Viceroys are also toxic, making them Müllerian mimics with Monarchs.

                                                 Limenitis archippus -- Viceroy Butterfly
Recent research has shown that at least some Viceroy Butterflies are toxic and thus they are Müllerian Mimics (not Batesian mimics) with the Monarchs. The Viceroy is smaller than the Monarch and has a black bar running across its hindwing.

                                       Genus Vanessa

                                                 Vanessa atalanta -- Red Admiral
Like the monarchs, this species migrates. Our area of Ohio is recolonized by migrants from the south. Unlike the monarchs, these butterflies don't make the return trip south. They can also be found in Europe and Asia.

                                                 Vanessa cardui -- Painted Lady
This butterfly has an almost worldwide distribution; they are not found in South America or Australia. They migrate extensively throughout their range. The larvae feed on members of the aster family.

                                      Family Papilionidae
                                       Genus Papilio

                                                 Papilio troilus -- Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar
This lateral view of a young Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar shows it making the transition from a bird-dropping mimic to a snake mimic.

                                                 Papilio polyxenes -- Black Swallowtail
The Black Swallowtail is supposedly a palatable mimic of the unpalatable Pipevine Swallowtail.

                                                 Papilio troilus -- Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
This is the adult Spicebush Swallowtail. It is one of several dark swallowtails whose larvae feed on toxic plants, making the adults toxic as well. Several toxic organisms sharing a color scheme is called Müllerian Mimicry.

                                                 Papilio glaucus -- Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
Here we see a situation where the unpalatable Spicebush Swallowtail is mimicked by the palatable Red- spotted Purple and the Tiger Swallowtail. The latter is normally yellow, but some are dark and are Batesian mimics.

                                                 Papilio troilus -- Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly
The spicebush swallowtail is generally considered to be a Batesian mimic of the Pipevine Swallowtail. However, the large numbers of spicebush and other mimics, as well as the aromatic compounds found in spicebush make me wonder…

                                                 Papilio troilus -- Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar
At this stage, the Spicebush Swallowtail is defended by its resemblance to a snake.

                                                 Papilio troilus -- Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar
In early instars, Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars are protected as they feed by resemblance to bird droppings, although this resemblance is not as clear in this side view. The eyespots that will enable the later instars to resemble a snake.

                                      Family Saturniidae
                                       Genus Hyalophora

                                                 Hyalophora cecropia -- Cecropia moth
The Cecropia is the largest moth in Ohio. The larvae feed on trees, primarily maples and birches.

                                      Family Sphingidae
                                       Genus Hemaris

                                                 Hemaris thysbe -- Hummingbird Clearwing Moth
The Hummingbird Clearwing is a type of Sphinx Moth. Unlike most sphinx moths it is active during the day; it does share their habit of feeding while hovering in front of the flower.

                                                 Hemaris diffinis -- Snowberry Clearwing Caterpillar
The adult of this caterpillar is a moth with clear wings that flies like a hummingbird.

                                       Genus Manduca

                                                 Manduca sexta -- Carolina Sphinx Caterpillar
This hornworm was feeding on tomato; tobacco, potatoes and other members of the nightshade family are also host plants. It is sometimes called the Tobacco Hornworm. Another species is called the Tomato Hornworm, but both eat tomatoes.

                                      Family Yponomeutidae
                                       Genus Atteva

                                                 Atteva aurea -- Ailanthus Webworm Moth
The larvae of this moth feed on the invasive "Tree of Heaven" or Ailanthus. But not enough.

                             Order Mantodea
                                      Family Mantidae

                                                  -- Praying Mantis
This mantid has caught a bee. It is probably a Chinese Mantid, but we don't have a really good view here. There is some controversy over whether they should be called Praying (after the prayer-like movements they make) or Preying Mantids.

                                       Genus Stagmomantis

                                                 Stagmomantis carolina -- Carolina Mantis
Mantids are predators which will eat just about any moving insect in the right size range.

                                                 Stagmomantis carolina -- Carolina Mantis
This is one of the few native mantids in Ohio. The European and Chinese Mantids are far more common here.

                             Order Mecoptera
                                      Family Panorpidae
                                       Genus Panorpa

                                                 Panorpa sp. -- Scorpionfly
With over 50 species in this genus, we haven't figured out exactly which one this is. Scorpionflies are found in moist forests and are named for the male appendages which are curled over the abdomen like a scorpion's stinger (but these can't sting).

                             Order Neuroptera
                                      Family Chrysopidae

                                                  -- Green Lacewing
Lacewings are small insects that prey on other insects, particularly as larvae. Some supply houses raise and sell them to gardeners and greenhouses to help control pests.

                                      Family Mantispidae
                                       Genus Dicromantispa

                                                 Dicromantispa sayi -- Mantispid
It looks like a cross between a preying mantis, a damselfly and a lacewing. Actually, it is a relative of the lacewing and shows convergent evolution with the mantid (as well as the mantis shrimp and the water scorpion, among others).

                                                 Dicromantispa sayi -- Mantispid
This species is named in honor of Thomas Say, often called the father of American Entomology. A naturalist at the beginning of the 19th century, Say stopped in Marietta once on his way to his new home in New Harmony, Indiana.

                                                 Dicromantispa sayi -- Mantispid
Rarely seen in the daytime, these interesting insects are not infrequently seen at lights at night.

                                      Family Myrmeleontidae

                                                  -- Ant Lion Larva
Lateral view of the ant lion larva. Many of the hairs are directed forward to help the larva stay in place in the soil if it grabs a particularly pugnacious prey item. The jaws speak for themselves.

                                       Genus Myrmeleon

                                                 Myrmeleon mobilis -- Antlion
This is PROBABLY Myrmeleon mobilis based on the appearance nearby of an adult which was probably Myrmeleon mobilis. In any event, this is a larval antlion. They are normally hidden at the bottom of a pit in the sand.

                                                 Myrmeleon mobilis -- Antlion
This is an adult antlion, PROBABLY Myrmeleon mobilis. The larvae make pits in the sand into which other insects fall and are consumed by the antlion. The adults resemble damselflies except for the antennae.

                             Order Odonata
                                      Family Aeshnidae
                                       Genus Epiaeschna

                                                 Epiaeschna heros -- Swamp Darner
Females of this species, one of the largest in North America, deposit their eggs in decaying wood in woodland swamps.

                                      Family Coenagrionidae
                                       Genus Argia

                                                 Argia apicalis -- Blue Fronted Dancer
This is a female Blue-fronted Dancer. Normally, they are brown, but sometimes females have a blue coloration which resembles the males and presumably cuts down on unwanted attention from them.

                                       Genus Chromagrion

                                                 Chromagrion conditum -- Aurora Damsel
Unlike most damselflies, the Aurora Damsel has the habit of holding its wings partially open when it perches, usually close to the ground. In this way, it more resembles a lestid damselfly than one of the coenagrionids.

                                       Genus Enallagma

                                                 Enallagma basidens -- Double-striped Bluet
If you look carefully on the thorax, just in front of the wings, you will find a broad black thoracic stripe almost divided into two by a thin blue line - this apparent double stripe gives the species its common name.

                                      Family Gomphidae
                                       Genus Dromogomphus

                                                 Dromogomphus spinosus -- Black-shouldered Spinyleg
This dragonfly is relatively common, yet always seems to make a surprising appearance.

                                      Family Lestidae
                                       Genus Lestes

                                                 Lestes eurinus -- Amber-winged Spreadwing
Damselflies mostly hold their wings over their back, while dragonflies usually hold their wings outstretched. But the damselflies in the family Lestidae hold their wings at a 45 degree angle.

                                                 Lestes dryas -- Emerald Spreadwing
Spreadwings hold their wings at a 45 degree angle, unlike other damselflies which fold them completely over the back, or dragonflies, which hold them outstretched.

                                      Family Libellulidae
                                       Genus Erythemis

                                                 Erythemis simplicicollis -- Eastern Pondhawk
The pondhawk is one of the most common dragonflies seen at still waters in the eastern US. The green thorax (which becomes covered, in males, by a waxy blue pruinosity as the male ages) and the white terminal appendages are diagnostic.

                                                 Erythemis simplicicollis -- Eastern Pondhawk
All dragonflies are predators both as larvae and as adults. This one has just caught a leafhopper.

                                      Family Macromiidae
                                       Genus Macromia

                                                 Macromia illinoiensis illinoiensis -- Swift River Cruiser
The brilliant green eyes and the yellow spots on the abdomen help identify the river cruisers. Several species can be found at the Beiser Field Station along the Little Muskingum River.

                             Order Orthoptera
                                      Family Romaleidae
                                       Genus Romalea

                                                 Romalea guttata -- Eastern Lubber Grasshopper
The Lubber Grasshopper is large - up to 3 inches - and brightly colored. It has a chemical defense, explaining the bright colors. The young are black with red trim. They are found in the southern US.

                                      Family Tetrigidae

                                                  -- Pygmy Grasshopper
This Pygmy Grasshopper, as yet unidentified, was living in the scrub habitat of Florida.

                                      Family Tettigoniidae
                                       Genus Conocephalus

                                                 Conocephalus brevipennis -- Shortwinged Meadow Katydid
This is the female, as evidenced by the long ovipositor. This species is common at the Beiser Field Station.

                                       Genus Orchelimum

                                                 Orchelimum campestre -- Duskyfaced Meadow Katydid
This small katydid is common in late summer at the Beiser Field Station. A male is pictured.

                                       Genus Scudderia

                                                 Scudderia furcata -- Fork-tailed Bush Katydid
Katydids are grasshoppers in the family Tettigonidae. They are characterized by long antennae; most also attract mates by calling, usually at night.

                             Order Phasmatodea

                                                  -- Walking Stick
Walking Sticks are elongate insects; most rely on crypsis and many are mimics of sticks. Often the mimicry is developed to a surprising degree. They are herbivores.

                                                  -- Walking Stick
This insect is a bit stout to be mistaken for a branch, but it is cryptic; its surface even suggests bits of moss growing from it. We saw this one in the cloud forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica in 2007.

                             Order Plecoptera

                                                  -- Stonefly
This is an adult Stonefly. Like mayflies, the larvae are aquatic. Adult stoneflies do not feed; they simply mate and fly upstream to lay eggs. Some emerge in the dead of winter. The larvae need clean, unpolluted water.

                             Order Thysanura

                                                  -- Bristletail
Bristletails are morphologically primitive insects; this group never evolved wings and retain a number of other ancestral characters. Most are detritivores; some are pests who attack the glue used in binding books.

                   Class Malcostraca
                             Order Decapoda
                                      Family Gecarcinidae
                                       Genus Gecarcinus

                                                 Gecarcinus quadratus -- Halloween crab
A land-dwelling crab found near the seashore in places like Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica.

                                      Family Ocypodidae
                                       Genus Ocypode

                                                 Ocypode gaudichaudii -- painted ghost crab
We see these bright red crabs on the Pacific beaches of Costa Rica on our trips there.

                                                 Ocypode gaudichaudii -- painted ghost crab
We see the Painted Ghost Crabs - sometimes in large numbers - on the Pacific beaches of Costa Rica.

                                      Family Palaemonidae
                                       Genus Palaemonetes

                                                 Palaemonetes kadiakensis -- Mississippi Grass Shrimp
This freshwater shrimp was found at its northernmost limit of distribution at the Beiser Field Station by Keira Hambrick and Lauren Martin.

                                      Family Palinuridae
                                       Genus Panulirus

                                                 Panulirus argus -- Caribbean spiny lobster
This species is described by most scientists as delicious.

                   Class Symphyla

                                                  -- Symphyla
Adult symphyla have 12 pairs of legs.

         Phylum Chordata
                   Class Actinopterygii
                             Order Beloniformes
                                      Family Hemiramphidae
                                       Genus Hemiramphus

                                                 Hemiramphus brasiliensis -- Ballyhoo
Ballyhoo live near the surface and jump out of the water to escape predators.

                             Order Beryciformes
                                      Family Holocentridae
                                       Genus Holocentrus

                                                 Holocentrus rufus -- Longspine squirrelfish
The Longspine squirrelfish, like other squirrelfish, prefers deeper parts of the reef.

                                                 Holocentrus adscensionis -- Squirrelfish
Their big eyes probably help this nocturnal fish find food at night.

                             Order Lepisosteiformes
                                      Family Lepisosteidae
                                       Genus Lepisosteus

                                                 Lepisosteus osseus -- Longnose gar
Gar are among the more primitive ray-finned fishes; other fish have evolved more advanced scales, swim bladders, etc. They are predators and can reach lengths to almost 2m.

                             Order Percifomes
                                      Family Acanthuridae
                                       Genus Acanthurus

                                                 Acanthurus coeruleus -- Blue Tang
The Blue Tang gleans algae from the coral reef. They may also act as a mutualist, cleaning parasites and other growth from sea turtles.

                                                 Acanthurus chirurgus -- Doctorfish
Like the tangs, the Doctorfish has a pair of sharp spines on the sides of its body just in front of the tail.

                                      Family Carangidae
                                       Genus Caranx

                                                 Caranx latus -- Horse-eye jack
These fish are predators.

                                      Family Centrarchidae
                                       Genus Micropterus

                                                 Micropterus salmoides -- Largemouth bass
Largemouth bass are popular freshwater gamefish. They are also fierce, territorial predators.

                                      Family Labridae
                                       Genus Bodianus

                                                 Bodianus rufus -- Spanish hogfish
Juveniles of this species act as cleaner fish for others on the reef.

                                       Genus Lachnolaimus

                                                 Lachnolaimus maximus -- Hogfish
The hogfish is a wrasse and like the blue-headed wrasse it is a protogynous sequential hermaphrodite, which means it starts out life female and becomes a male later in life.

                                       Genus Thalassoma

                                                 Thalassoma bifasciatum -- Bluehead wrasse
The Bluehead Wrasse exhibits sequential hermaphroditism; they start out female and become male when the male leading a group of females (a harem) is killed.

                                      Family Mullidae
                                       Genus Pseudupeneus

                                                 Pseudupeneus maculatus -- Spotted Goatfish
The "whiskers" that look like legs on this Spotted Goatfish are technically called barbels and are used to sense prey in the sand.

                                      Family Pomacanthidae
                                       Genus Holacanthus

                                                 Holacanthus tricolor -- Rock beauty
This reef fish eats sponges and may have a monogamous mating system.

                                       Genus Pomacanthus

                                                 Pomacanthus paru -- French Angelfish
Much of the French Angelfish's diet comes from sponges gleaned from the reef.

                                      Family Scaridae
                                       Genus Scarus

                                                 Scarus coeruleus -- Blue parrotfish
Parrotfish use their beak to scrape algae off coral reefs.

                                                 Scarus vetula -- Queen parrotfish
One of the prettier Parrotfish.

                                                 Scarus guacamaia -- Rainbow parrotfish
One of the larger parrotfish.

                                                 Scarus coelestinus -- Midnight parrotfish
Another parrotfish which feeds by scraping algae from the reef.

                                       Genus Sparisoma

                                                 Sparisoma viride -- Stoplight parrotfish
This is the initial phase coloration of the fish (or a mature female). Males of the species are mostly green with a yellow spot on the tail.

                                                 Sparisoma viride -- Stoplight parrotfish (male, terminal phase)
This is an adult male of the species. Whoever named it apparently thinks yellow means stop.

                                                 Sparisoma rubripinne -- Yellowtail Parrotfish
This is the initial phase; the mature fish is blue with a yellow tail.

                                      Family Sphyraenidae
                                       Genus Sphyraena

                                                 Sphyraena barracuda -- Great barracuda
Barracuda rarely attack humans.

                                                 Sphyraena barracuda -- Great barracuda
This barracuda has taken a vertical position in the water near a huge, centuries-old brain coral. In this position it will attract cleaning fish which hang out in this prominent location to come out and remove parasites and dead skin from the barracuda.

                             Order Pleuronectiformes
                                      Family Bothidae
                                       Genus Bothus

                                                 Bothus lunatus -- Peacock flounder
The Peacock Flounder can change color to match its background.

                             Order Scorpaeniformes
                                      Family Scorpaenidae
                                       Genus Pterois

                                                 Pterois volitans -- Red lionfish
Lionfish are native to the Indo-Pacific region, but some brought to the US as pets escaped and are now spreading through the Caribbean. The long spines are venomous, so there are few predators and these fish in turn are decimating other fish species.

                             Order Siluriformes
                                      Family Loricariidae
                                       Genus Pterygoplichthys

                                                 Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus -- Vermiculated Sailfin Catfish
This armored catfish - one of the types commonly found in tropical aquariums - has become a pest species in various springs in Florida and elsewhere.

                             Order Syngnathiformes
                                      Family Syngnathidae
                                       Genus Phycodurus

                                                 Phycodurus eques -- Leafy seadragon
This sea dragon feeds by suction. Its body form provides camouflage in the seaweed it inhabits off the coast of Australia.

                             Order Tetraodontiformes
                                      Family Diodontidae
                                       Genus Diodon

                                                 Diodon hystrix -- Spotted Porcupinefish
The Porcupinefish can inflate its body; it is also protected by a toxin, tetrodotoxin.

                                                 Diodon holocanthus -- Long-spine porcupinefish
Balloonfish are also called porcupinefish or puffer fish. They swallow water or air to inflate.

                                      Family Monacanthidae
                                       Genus Aluterus

                                                 Aluterus scriptus -- Scrawled Filefish
This fish can be found worldwide in tropical waters.

                                      Family Ostraciidae
                                       Genus Rhinesomus

                                                 Rhinesomus triqueter -- Smooth trunkfish
Protected by poisons in its skin, the trunkfish squirts jets of water from its mouth at the sand on the bottom to uncover its prey.

                   Class Amphibia
                             Order Anura
                                      Family Bufonidae
                                       Genus Bufo

                                                 Bufo marinus -- Giant Toad
The Giant Toad is an introduced, invasive pest in Australia. Unlike many amphibians, they will eat food that is not moving, such as kibbles in a dog bowl.

                                                 Bufo leutkenii -- Central American Toad
This toad is common at Santa Rosa National Park in Costa Rica.

                                                 Bufo fowlerii -- Fowler's Toad
Fowler's Toads typically have more than one wart per dark spot on the skin.

                                                 Bufo quercus -- Oak Toad
The Oak Toad is found in the Florida Scrub habitat.

                                                 Bufo americanus -- American Toad
The American Toad usually has just one wart per dark spot.

                                      Family Dendrobatidae
                                       Genus Dendrobates

                                                 Dendrobates auratus -- Green and Black Poison Dart Frog
One of 2 species we routinely see at the El Zota field station in Costa Rica.

                                                 Dendrobates auratus -- Green and Black Poison Dart Frog
Like many poison dart frogs, these are active during the daytime, protected by their poisonous skin.

                                       Genus Oophaga

                                                 Oophaga pumilio -- Strawberry Poison-dart frog
This female frog is carrying her tadpole up into the canopy where it will be deposited in the water tank of a bromeliad. She will return periodically to feed it unfertilized eggs.

                                       Genus Phyllobates

                                                 Phyllobates lugubris -- Striped Poison-dart Frog
This is the rarest of the poison dart frogs we see at El Zota.

                                      Family Hylidae
                                       Genus Agalychnis

                                                 Agalychnis callidryas -- Gaudy Leaf Frog
These are among our favorite frogs in Costa Rica. The smaller male is on top.

                                       Genus Hyla

                                                 Hyla versicolor -- Gray Treefrog
This is either the Gray Treefrog or Cope's Treefrog. You can only tell them apart by their calls or by their genes.

                                       Genus Pseudacris

                                                 Pseudacris crucifer -- Spring Peeper
Spring Peepers are pretty tiny and you usually don't notice them except in the spring when they are calling.

                                       Genus Trachycephalus

                                                 Trachycephalus venulosus -- Milk Frog Veined Treefrog
We see this treefrog in Costa Rica.

                                      Family Ranidae
                                       Genus Rana

                                                 Rana sylvatica -- Wood frog
The Wood Frog is the most terrestrial of the ranids in Ohio. They can tolerate freezing over the winter.

                                                 Rana pipiens -- Leopard Frog
As opposed to the Pickerel Frog, the spots of the Leopard Frog are more rounded. Both species like wet meadows.

                                                 Rana clamitans -- Green Frog
The dorsolateral line on the Green Frog runs along the back.

                                                 Rana catesbeiana -- Bullfrog
Bullfrogs have a dorsolateral line that curves down behind the ears.

                                                 Rana vaillanti -- Web-footed Frog
Another Costa Rican treefrog.

                                                 Rana palustris -- Pickerel Frog
As opposed to the Leopard Frog, the spots of the Pickerel Frog are more squarish, and there is yellow on the underside of the legs. Both species like wet meadows.

                             Order Caudata
                                      Family Plethodontidae
                                       Genus Eurycea

                                                 Eurycea longicauda -- Longtail Salamander
The Longtail Salamander is among the prettiest.

                                      Family Salamandridae
                                       Genus Notophthalmus

                                                 Notophthalmus viridescens -- Eastern Newt
This is the juvenile, terrestrial Red Eft stage of the life cycle. After a year or so of walkabout on land, it will return to the water, turn green, and begin to breed.

                   Class Ascidiacea

                                                  -- Tunicate
You can see the siphons through which this tunicate pumps water to filter out food.

                             Order Aplousobranchia
                                      Family Didemnidae
                                       Genus Didemnum

                                                 Didemnum vanderhost -- Black Overgrowing Tunicate
This encrusting tunicate from Belize lives in a colony.

                             Order Enterogona
                                      Family Perophoridae
                                       Genus Ecteinascidia

                                                 Ecteinascidia turbinata -- Mangrove Tunicate
Mangrove Tunicates live in colonies.

                   Class Aves
                             Order Accipitriformes
                                      Family Accipitridae
                                       Genus Buteo

                                                 Buteo jamaicensis -- Red-tailed Hawk
The Red-tail is one of the larger and more common hawks in eastern North America. They migrate thousands of miles to Central and South America every year, feasting on dragonflies migrating along the same route.

                                       Genus Haliaeetus

                                                 Haliaeetus leucocephalus -- Bald Eagle
Fun fact: The Bald Eagle is the symbol of the United States.

                             Order Anseriformes
                                      Family Anatidae
                                       Genus Aix

                                                 Aix sponsa -- Wood Duck
Certainly one of the most beautiful birds in the world. The Wood Duck nests in trees (including one outside the Rickey Science Center).

                                       Genus Anas

                                                 Anas platyrhynchos -- Mallard
Mallards have sexual dimorphism; the male is more brightly colored than the cryptic female. Other forms of sexual dimorphism can be seen in deer (males with antlers) or spiders (males usually smaller than females).

                                       Genus Branta

                                                 Branta canadensis -- Canada Goose
Goslings are precocial, which means they are able to walk and swim very shortly after hatching.

                                       Genus Cygnus

                                                 Cygnus buccinator -- Trumpeter swan
The Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl in terms of size and weight.

                             Order Charadriiformes
                                      Family Charadriidae
                                       Genus Charadrius

                                                 Charadrius vociferus -- Killdeer
Killdeer adults are well-known for feigning injury to draw predators away from their well-concealed nests. Killdeer traditionally nested on graves bars near rivers but today may be found on gravel roads, driveways or even roofs.

                             Order Columbiformes
                                      Family Columbidae
                                       Genus Zenaida

                                                 Zenaida asiatica -- White-winged Dove
Just like the white winged dove Sings a song Sounds like she's singin' Whoo-whoo- whoo

                             Order Galliformes
                                      Family Cracidae
                                       Genus Penelope

                                                 Penelope purpurascens -- Crested Guan
The Crested Guan is a turkey-sized bird that lives in the trees of the tropical dry forest of Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

                                      Family Phasianidae
                                       Genus Meleagris

                                                 Meleagris gallopavo -- Wild Turkey
This is a hen, or female, turkey at the Beiser Field Station

                                                 Meleagris gallopavo -- Wild Turkey
A male turkey or Tom.

                             Order Passeriformes
                                      Family Bombycillidae
                                       Genus Bombycilla

                                                 Bombycilla cedrorum -- Cedar Waxwing
Waxwings have wax drops covering some of the secondary feathers on their wings.

                                      Family Corvidae
                                       Genus Corvus

                                                 Corvus corax -- Common Raven
Ravens are a large member of the corvid family, and, like the others, are very smart.

                                       Genus Cyanocitta

                                                 Cyanocitta stelleri -- Steller's jay
Stellar's Jay is yet another corvid. Many of these birds cache their food, burying it or otherwise hiding it. Keeping track of all that food requires a pretty good brain and may explain why corvids are acknowledged to be so intelligent (for birds).

                                       Genus Pica

                                                 Pica hudsonia -- Black-billed magpie
Magpies are members of the family Corvidae; corvids are among the most intelligent birds.

                                      Family Emberizidae
                                       Genus Melospiza

                                                 Melospiza melodia -- Song Sparrow
One of the more melodius sparrows.

                                      Family Hirundinidae
                                       Genus Tachycineta

                                                 Tachycineta bicolor -- Tree swallow
Tree Swallows feed mostly on insects they catch in the air.

                                      Family Icteridae
                                       Genus Agelaius

                                                 Agelaius phoeniceus -- Red-winged blackbird
The Red-winged Blackbird typically breeds in marshy areas.

                                      Family Paridae
                                       Genus Poecile

                                                 Poecile gambeli -- Mountain chickadee
This western chickadee was seen in Glacier National Park.

                                      Family Sittidae
                                       Genus Sitta

                                                 Sitta carolinensis -- White-breasted Nuthatch
Nuthatches move down the tree headfirst while feeding (most other birds work their way up).

                                      Family Sturnidae
                                       Genus Sturnus

                                                 Sturnus vulgaris -- European starling
This species of starling was introduced to New York city by someone who thought it would be great to have all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare living in New York. Good thing Shakespeare didn't write Jurassic Park.

                                      Family Turdidae
                                       Genus Turdus

                                                 Turdus migratorius -- American Robin
Note the white eye-ring characteristic of the robin. The sharp beak is adapted for catching insects and worms.

                             Order Pelecaniformes
                                      Family Ardeidae
                                       Genus Ardea

                                                 Ardea herodias -- Great Blue Heron
The great blue heron is a common summer resident of streams in the Midwestern US. They eat about anything they can catch, including fish, frogs and gophers (see YouTube).

                                                 Ardea alba -- Great egret
This egret is found in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia.

                                       Genus Butorides

                                                 Butorides virescens -- Green Heron
Green Herons eat fish, insects and small amphibians like this tadpole.

                                       Genus Egretta

                                                 Egretta caerulea -- Little Blue Heron
Generally found in warmer climates, Little Blue Herons start out white and as juveniles may mix with (and get protection from) flocks of snowy egrets.

                                      Family Pelecanidae
                                       Genus Pelecanus

                                                 Pelecanus erythrorhynchos -- American white pelican
This male pelican is ready to mate as indicated by the breeding tubercle on his bill.

                   Class Chondrichthyes
                             Order Myliobatiformes
                                      Family Dasyatidae
                                       Genus Dasyatis

                                                 Dasyatis americana -- Southern stingray
Like many of the Stingrays, this species is primarily a bottom-dweller which feeds on invertebrates and fish it finds in the sand.

                                      Family Myliobatidae
                                       Genus Aetobatus

                                                 Aetobatus narinari -- Spotted eagle ray
These rays can be up to 5m long with a wingspan of 3m. They feed on molluscs and other organisms they dig out of the sand.

                                      Family Urotrygonidae
                                       Genus Urobatis

                                                 Urobatis jamaicensis -- Yellow stingray
This stingray can change color to match its surroundings.

                             Order Orectolobiformes
                                      Family Ginglymostomatidae
                                       Genus Ginglymostoma

                                                 Ginglymostoma cirratum -- nurse shark
Nurse sharks are benthic - they live on the bottom and feed on polychaete worms and bivalves. They will bite stupid people who harass them.

                   Class Crocydylomorpha
                             Order Crocodylia
                                      Family Alligatoridae
                                       Genus Alligator

                                                 Alligator mississippiensis -- American Alligator
The American Alligator is actually a type of freshwater crocodile.

                                       Genus Caiman

                                                 Caiman crocodilus -- Spectacled caiman
These get up to 2m long and are not particularly aggressive towards humans. They are a type of crocodile and are placed in the same family as the alligators (also a type of crocodile). They can tolerate salt water but are usually found in freshwater.

                                      Family Crocodylidae
                                       Genus Crocodylus

                                                 Crocodylus acutus -- American crocodile
The largest of the crocodiles pictured here is about 12 feet long; they get a bit longer.

                                                 Crocodylus acutus -- American crocodile
The American Crocodile can live in saltwater or freshwater. In the US, it is found on the fringes of the Everglades.

                   Class Mammalia
                             Order Artiodactyla
                                      Family Antilocapridae
                                       Genus Antilocapra

                                                 Antilocapra americana -- Pronghorn
Pronghorn, male (left) and female (right).

                                                 Antilocapra americana -- Pronghorn
The fastest land animal in North America, it could outrun a cheetah with enough of a head start. Common in the west, Pronghorn are more closely related to goats than antelopes.

                                      Family Bovidae
                                       Genus Bison

                                                 Bison bison -- Bison
As mammals, Bison have hair and feed their young from mammary glands. Both traits are shown here.

                                                 Bison bison -- Bison
If you look closely in this picture you can see the majestic Teton range and also see where all the bison came from.

                                       Genus Bos

                                                 Bos taurus -- Cattle
Domestic cattle are descended from an extinct wild ancestor, Bos primigenius.

                                                 Bos taurus -- Cattle
Some of the Beiser Field Station was rented out as cattle pasture up until the time that the station was created. Even after the station was started, some cattle like these would occasionally make it through the fence.

                                       Genus Oryx

                                                 Oryx beisa callotis -- Fringe-eared oryx
Oryx are native to scrub and savanna in eastern Africa.

                                       Genus Ovis

                                                 Ovis aries -- Domestic sheep
There are over 1 billion sheep on the planet. This does not include human listeners to AM talk radio.

                                       Genus Taurotragus

                                                 Taurotragus oryx -- Common eland
This is a widespread type of antelope native to Africa. The Wilds in Ohio uses this common species as surrogate mothers for endangered species they are trying to rear.

                                      Family Camelidae
                                       Genus Camelus

                                                 Camelus bactrianus -- Bactrian camel
The Bactrian, or two-humped camel is the rarer of the 2 camel species, with very few remaining in the wild. Native to Asia, they can survive very cold winters as well as extreme heat.

                                      Family Cervidae
                                       Genus Cervus

                                                 Cervus elaphus -- Wapiti Elk
In Europe, this species is called a Red Deer, and what we call a moose they call an elk. Let's stick with a native American name, Wapiti (from the Cree). Wapiti are just really big deer. Technically, moose are even bigger deer.

                                       Genus Odocoileus

                                                 Odocoileus hemionus -- Mule Deer
Mule deer are more western in their distribution, unlike white-tailed which are found coast-to-coast. They are larger, have larger ears, and a black tip to their tails.

                                                 Odocoileus virginianus -- Whitetailed deer
Whitetail deer fawns are mottled to help them blend in when they lay on the forest floor while their mother forages.

                                                 Odocoileus virginianus -- Whitetailed deer
White-tailed deer can be found from Maine to Washington and down to Costa Rica (actually, they have an even bigger range than that).

                                      Family Giraffidae
                                       Genus Giraffa

                                                 Giraffa camelopardalis -- Giraffe
The reticulated pattern on the giraffe actually helps it blend in to the trees of the savanna where it feeds.

                                      Family Hippopotamidae
                                       Genus Hippopotamus

                                                 Hippopotamus amphibius -- Hippopotamus
Hippos - the name means river horse - actually aren't closely related to horses but rather are a sister group of the cetaceans, the whales. They are one of the more dangerous animals in Africa, and this picture shows why you shouldn't swim with them.

                             Order Carnivora
                                      Family Canidae
                                       Genus Canis

                                                 Canis latrans -- Coyote
According to Wikipedia, the coyote is also known as the American Jackal. I didn't know that. Did you? It sounds a lot more hard-core than coyote, which is a Native American word meaning "trickster".

                                                 Canis lupus -- familiaris Domestic Dog
Dogs are placed in the same species as wolves by many experts.

                                                 Canis lupus -- Wolf
Wolves come in a variety of colors.

                                       Genus Urocyon

                                                 Urocyon cinereoargenteus -- Gray fox
The gray fox is one of the few dogs that can climb trees. They prey on a variety of animals, particularly rabbits.

                                      Family Felidae
                                       Genus Acinonyx

                                                 Acinonyx jubatus -- Cheetah
The fastest land animal on earth, with a short snout to more efficiently get air to the lungs and forward directed eyes to accurately judge the distance to prey. Cheetah don't care who's behind him.

                                       Genus Lynx

                                                 Lynx rufus -- Bobcat
Bobcat are becoming more common in Ohio. Many people in southern Ohio routinely see them on game cameras.

                                       Genus Panthera

                                                 Panthera tigris -- Tiger
The tiger is the largest species of cat. They once ranged across almost all of Eurasia; they can survive in mangrove swamps and the cold taiga.

                                                 Panthera leo -- Lion
Actually, lions are the second largest cat; tigers are bigger. They are native to Africa and Asia, but in the past occupied Europe and the western Americas as well. Lions are sexually dimorphic.

                                      Family Mustelidae
                                       Genus Lontra

                                                 Lontra longicaudis -- Neotropical River Otter
These Neotropical River Otters were playing in the canals at Tortuguero during our 2009 Biology field trip there.

                                                 Lontra canadensis -- North American River Otter
A member of the same family as the mink and the weasel, the otter lives in a burrow near a body of fresh or brackish water. They feed on small animals including frogs, turtles, crayfish, mussels and fish. In Ohio, they have been reintroduced.

                                       Genus Neovison

                                                 Neovison vison -- American Mink
Mink carrying its young. Mink have been introduced into Europe where they are an invasive species, killing and displacing the native European mink.

                                                 Neovison vison -- American Mink
This mink is carrying, not killing, its baby. It moved a whole litter of kits from one den to another over the course of 15 minutes or so. Mink are predators of animals such as muskrat.

                                      Family Otariidae
                                       Genus Zalophus

                                                 Zalophus californianus -- California sea lion
You can distinguish sea lions from seals by the presence of external ears on a sea lion. This is PROBABLY a California Sea Lion.

                                      Family Procyonidae
                                       Genus Nasua

                                                 Nasua narica -- Coati
The Coati is a raccoon-like animal we often see in Costa Rica.

                                       Genus Procyon

                                                 Procyon lotor -- Raccoon
This little guy (girl?) was at the Beiser Field Station. Raccoons are omnivores, feeding on a wide variety of plants and small animals.

                                                 Procyon lotor -- Raccoon
Raccoons extend their range into Central America. This little guy was on the beach at Manuel Antonio during the 2014 Costa Rica trip. Like many species extending from north to south, raccoons in Central America seem smaller than their northern peers.

                                      Family Ursidae
                                       Genus Ursus

                                                 Ursus arctos -- Grizzly Bear
Grizzly bears are so named because of the grizzled look of their coats.

                                                 Ursus arctos -- Brown Bear
The Brown bear is distributed around the northern hemisphere where it seems to fall into several subspecies. These are (supposedly) brown bear cubs; brown bears live near the coast while grizzlies (another subspecies) are more inland.

                                                 Ursus maritimus -- Polar Bear
Polar bears actually have black skin - the better to absorb heat from the sun - but the hairs break up and reflect most visible light to give them a white appearance (usually). Zoo bears like this one can have their fur discolored by algae.

                                                 Ursus americanus -- American black bear
The black bear comes in many colors from blond to black. It is smaller than the grizzly.

                                                 Ursus arctos -- Grizzly Bear
A considerable portion of the grizzly's diet is comprised of plant material.

                             Order Cetacea
                                      Family Delphinidae
                                       Genus Tursiops

                                                 Tursiops truncatus -- Atlantic bottlenose dolphin
Dolphins are mammals in the order Cetacea. The order is divided up into tooted and baleen whales; dolphins are considered toothed whales.

                                                 Tursiops truncatus -- Atlantic bottlenose dolphin
Much of the head of a dolphin is occupied by the "melon", a sac of oil and wax whose shape can be changed by the muscles surrounding it. This allows the dolphin to steer and focus the sound waves it produces for echolocation.

                             Order Chiroptera

                                                  -- Bats
These bats were living in the casona at Santa Rosa in Costa Rica.

                                      Family Emballonuridae
                                       Genus Rhynchonycteris

                                                 Rhynchonycteris naso -- Proboscis bat
These bats sleep during the day on the underside of a tree trunk.

                                      Family Pteropodidae
                                       Genus Rousettus

                                                 Rousettus aegyptiacus -- Egyptian fruit bat
Believe it or not, these nocturnal African bats eat fruit.

                             Order Cingulata
                                      Family Dasypodidae
                                       Genus Dasypus

                                                 Dasypus novemcinctus -- 9-Banded Armadillo
This armored mammal is from South America and gradually coming north. Projections indicate it could live in Ohio!

                             Order Didelphimorphia
                                      Family Didelphidae
                                       Genus Didelphis

                                                 Didelphis virginiana -- Virginia Opossum
The Opossum is unique in that it alone of all the South American marsupials is moving north into the territory occupied by placental mammals. Otherwise it's pretty much been the placentals moving south and displacing the South American marsupials.

                                                 Didelphis virginiana -- Virginia Opossum
This possum was on the rail over the air chillers outside Erwin Hall on the Marietta College campus.

                             Order Diprotodontia
                                      Family Macropodidae
                                       Genus Macropus

                                                 Macropus rufus -- Red kangaroo
The Red Kangaroo is the biggest kangaroo, the largest native Australian mammal, and the largest living marsupial.

                                      Family Phascolarctidae
                                       Genus Phascolarctos

                                                 Phascolarctos cinereus -- koala
The Koala is a marsupial. It looks like a small bear, but they do not have a placenta and the underdeveloped young are born and move into a pouch on the mother to complete development.

                             Order Hyracoidae
                                      Family Procaviidae
                                       Genus Procavia

                                                 Procavia capensis -- Rock hyrax
The Rock hyrax is native to Africa and the Middle East. It is a herbivore and lives in colonies.

                             Order Lagomorpha
                                      Family Leporidae
                                       Genus Lepus

                                                 Lepus californicus -- Blacktailed Jackrabbit
Jackrabbits have very large ears to help them dissipate heat in their desert environment.

                             Order Monotremata
                                      Family Ornithorhynchidae
                                       Genus Ornithorhynchus

                                                 Ornithorhynchus anatinus -- Platypus
The flat bill is lined with sensors that detect the electrical signature of the small animals the platypus eats. Males are the only venomous mammals.

                             Order Perissodactyla
                                      Family Equidae
                                       Genus Equus

                                                 Equus ferus -- Horse
This is a wild, or feral horse in North Dakota.

                                                 Equus ferus -- Horse
In the wild, horses form themselves into herds.

                                                 Equus zebra -- Zebra
Zebras are in the same genus as horses.

                                      Family Rhinocerotidae
                                       Genus Ceratotherium

                                                 Ceratotherium simum -- White rhinoceros
A newly born white rhino nursing from its mother. The rhinos are born without horns, something their mothers give thanks for every day.

                                                 Ceratotherium simum -- White rhinoceros
The White Rhino has a broad, square-lipped mouth ideal for grazing on grass, in contrast to the black rhino which has a more pointed mouth used for browsing. Both species have an overlapping range in Africa.

                             Order Pilosa
                                      Family Bradypodidae
                                       Genus Bradypus

                                                 Bradypus variegatus -- Brownthroated Sloth
This is the 3-toed sloth as seen on our 2009 Costa Rica trip at Cahuita on the Caribbean coast. It is holding a baby in case you were wondering about the excessive number of limbs.

                                                 Bradypus quintedigitata -- 5-toed Sloth
This is the rare 5-toed sloth, seen here in the mountains of Costa Rica near San Gerardo del Dota. This species is larger than the others (perhaps due to cooler temperatures) and camouflages itself by stealing clothes from tourists.

                                      Family Megalonychidae
                                       Genus Choloepus

                                                 Choloepus hoffmanni -- Hoffmann's two-toed sloth
You can see the algae living in this sloth's fur. The algae help the sloth blend in and thus give it some protection.

                                      Family Myrmecophagidae
                                       Genus Myrmecophaga

                                                 Myrmecophaga tridactyla -- Giant Anteater
Giant in this case refers to the size of the anteater and not to the size of the ants it eats.

                             Order Pinnipedia
                                      Family Phocidae
                                       Genus Phoca

                                                 Phoca vitulina -- Harbor Seal
Harbor Seals are found along most of the ocean coastline in the northern hemisphere in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. They mostly eat fish.

                             Order Primates
                                      Family Atelidae
                                       Genus Alouatta

                                                 Alouatta palliata -- Mantled Howler Monkey
Howler Monkeys travel in troops along with their young. They defend their territory through their vocalizations, which they employ to ward off other troops, the sun, thunderstorms and diesel engines.

                                                 Alouatta palliata -- Mantled Howler Monkey
Howler monkeys are named for the sound they make, although it's really not a howl. Imagine the noise that the guard dogs in hell would make and you have a start.

                                       Genus Ateles

                                                 Ateles geoffroyi -- Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
It can be unnerving to be by yourself in a rainforest and encounter a small group of these monkeys.

                                                 Ateles geoffroyi -- Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
The spider monkeys are the most acrobatic of the monkeys we see in Costa Rica. They travel in smaller groups and are not seen as often as capuchins or howlers.

                                                 Ateles geoffroyi -- Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
Spider monkeys are mammals, not arachnids.

                                                 Ateles geoffroyi -- Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
Their long limbs and prehensile tails make these monkeys very good climbers.

                                      Family Cebidae
                                       Genus Cebus

                                                 Cebus capucinus -- Whiteheaded Capuchin
White-faced Capuchins (Caro Blanco in Espanol) are common in the rainforests and tropical dry forests of Costa Rica.

                                                 Cebus capucinus -- Whiteheaded Capuchin
Capuchins travel in troops.

                                                 Cebus capucinus -- Whiteheaded Capuchin
Like many animals, capuchins have learned to associate humans with food. Unlike most animals, they have the intelligence and dexterity to operate zippers and take it out of packs. Never feed wild animals, even if they're cute.

                                      Family Hominidae
                                       Genus Gorilla

                                                 Gorilla gorilla -- Western Gorilla
He's thinking about it.

                                       Genus Pan

                                                 Pan troglodytes -- Common Chimpanzee
Chimpanzees are among the closest living relatives to humans. This one is your great-uncle Lemuel.

                                       Genus Pongo

                                                 Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus -- Bornean orangutan
Deforestation both for lumber products and for palm oil plantations are major threats to this species.

                                      Family Lemuridae
                                       Genus Lemur

                                                 Lemur catta -- Ring-tailed lemur
The Ring-tailed Lemur is a primate, the same order humans are in. Despite its raccoon-like appearance, it is more closely related to humans than to raccoons. Lemurs are only found on Madagascar; there are nearly 100 species of them.

                             Order Proboscidea
                                      Family Elephantidae
                                       Genus Loxodonta

                                                 Loxodonta africana -- African Elephant
Elephants normally have long tusks; this one's tusks have been trimmed.

                                                 Loxodonta africana -- African Elephant
One of 2 extant species of elephants, the African is known by its larger size and larger ears. It spends more time in the open than its Asian counterpart and the large ears contain many blood vessels into which blood can be shunted to cool the animal.

                             Order Rodentia
                                      Family Castoridae
                                       Genus Castor

                                                 Castor canadensis -- North American Beaver
The beaver is a rodent which creates its own habitat. It is like humans and some ants in this regard.

                                      Family Caviidae
                                       Genus Hydrochoerus

                                                 Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris -- Capybara
The capybara is the largest rodent in the world (the beaver is #2). They are from South America, apparently some have escaped and are living wild in the Everglades, but the escaped pythons there may have something to say about that.

                                      Family Cricetidae
                                       Genus Ondatra

                                                 Ondatra zibethicus -- Muskrat
Muskrats are wetland rodents native to North America. They have been introduced to Europe, where they are something of a pest.

                                                 Ondatra zibethicus -- Muskrat
Muskrats primarily eat wetland plants like cattails.

                                      Family Dasyproctidae
                                       Genus Dasyprocta

                                                 Dasyprocta punctata -- Central American Agouti
The Agouti is a small rodent common in Costa Rica.

                                                 Dasyprocta punctata -- Central American Agouti
The agouti seems to combine the front end of a squirrel and the back end of a rabbit.

                                      Family Heteromyidae
                                       Genus Dipodomys

                                                 Dipodomys ordii -- Ord's Kangaroo Rat
These animals are among the most desert-adapted on the planet. They can live their entire lives without drinking; they get water from their food and from metabolic processes and their kidneys are highly efficient.

                                      Family Hystricidae
                                       Genus Hystrix

                                                 Hystrix indica -- Indian Crested Porcupine
Porcupines are also rodents; they are protected, of course, by long sharp hairs or quills which penetrate the skin of their tormentors and then break off.

                                      Family Muridae
                                       Genus Mus

                                                 Mus musculus -- House Mouse
This is PROBABLY a house mouse. This is the species that has been domesticated for the pet trade and for use in laboratories.

                                       Genus Peromyscus

                                                 Peromyscus truei -- Pi±on Mouse
This small, desert-adapted mouse was found near our campsite at the dinosaur dig in Utah in 2008.

                                      Family Sciuridae
                                       Genus Cynomus

                                                 Cynomus ludovicianus -- Blacktailed Prairie Dog
This black-tailed prairie dog was part of a large aggregation or prairie dog town in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.

                                                 Cynomus leucurus -- Whitetailed Prairie Dog
This family of White-tailed Prairie dogs is on the lookout for intruders.

                                       Genus Glaucomys

                                                 Glaucomys volans -- Southern Flying Squirrel
This flying squirrel has found some peanut butter left out in hopes of attracting one of these squirrels. They can't really fly, but can glide using the long flaps of skin attached to their front and hind legs and extending along their sides.

                                       Genus Ictidomys

                                                 Ictidomys tridecimlineatus -- 13-lined Ground Squirrel
These ground squirrels are common in drier areas to the west of Ohio.

                                       Genus Marmota

                                                 Marmota monax -- groundhog
The groundhog is a rodent, not related to pigs despite common names like groundhog or whistle- pig.

                                       Genus Sciurus

                                                 Sciurus carolinensis -- eastern gray squirrel
At the time of European settlement in Ohio, the gray squirrel was the dominant form of squirrel in the state. They did well with the almost continuous canopy of mast-bearing trees.

                                                 Sciurius niger -- Eastern Fox Squirrel
This is the other common diurnal tree squirrel seen in Ohio (flying squirrels are nocturnal and ground squirrels live in the ground; the red squirrel is not common). It is more common in more open areas, and is somewhat larger than the gray squirrel.

                                                 Sciurus carolinensis -- Eastern gray squirrel
This is a melanistic, or black version of the familiar gray squirrel. There is some debate over what the original color of gray squirrels in Ohio was; some hold that the black forms were more adaptive in the dark forests pre-European settlement.

                                       Genus Spermophilus

                                                 Spermophilus lateralis -- Goldenmantled Ground Squirrel
Some of the various ground squirrels in the west, like this one, resemble the Eastern Chipmunk.

                                       Genus Tamias

                                                 Tamias striatus -- Eastern chipmunk
The chipmunk is a small ground squirrel; there is only one species in the eastern US (pictured) but many out west.

                                       Genus Tamiasciurus

                                                 Tamiasciurus hudsonicus -- American Red Squirrel
A small tree squirrel from Yellowstone National Park.

                                                 Tamiasciurus douglasii -- Douglas Squirrel, Chickaree
This species of squirrel is native to the Pacific Northwest, where it lives in pine forests. This one was on the slopes of Mt. Rainier.

                             Order Sirenia
                                      Family Trichechidae
                                       Genus Trichechus

                                                 Trichechus manatus -- West Indian Manatee
We saw this manatee of the coast of Belize on the 2009 Biology-Leadership Central American Field Trip. Manatees can be found both in freshwater and nearby saltwater habitats such as the lagoons behind coral reefs.

                   Class Osteichthyes
                             Order Anguiliformes
                                      Family Muraenidae
                                       Genus Gymnothorax

                                                 Gymnothorax funebris -- green moray
The snakelike body allows the moray to exploit crevices in a coral reef.

                                                 Gymnothorax funebris -- green moray
While morays are predators, they are not of serious concern to humans, except for stupid ones.

                             Order Lophiiformes
                                      Family Ogcocephalidae
                                       Genus Ogcocephalus

                                                 Ogcocephalus nasutus -- Shortnose batfish
OK - these guys are just weird.

                             Order Percifomes
                                      Family Chaetodontidae
                                       Genus Chaetodon

                                                 Chaetodon capistratus -- Foureye butterflyfish
The spots near the tail may fool a predator into thinking that they are eyes and the fish is heading in the opposite direction.

                                      Family Gobidae

                                                  -- Mudskipper
Mudskippers often inhabit tidal areas; they can walk on their pectoral fins and feed on creatures exposed by the falling tide.

                                      Family Haemulidae
                                       Genus Anisotremus

                                                 Anisotremus surinamensis -- Black margate
The margate is a type of grunt.

                                                 Anisotremus virginicus -- Porkfish
This species is apparently nocturnal.

                                       Genus Haemulon

                                                 Haemulon sciurus -- Blue striped grunt
Grunts actually can make a grunting sound. They are usually found in schools near coral reefs.

                                                 Haemulon chrysargyreum -- Smallmouth grunt
Photographed in Florida, 2006.

                                                 Haemulon flavolineatum -- French grunt
Grunts are usually found in schools.

                                                 Haemulon macrostomum -- Spanish grunt
This grunt feeds on invertebrates including sea urchins.

                                                 Haemulon leuciscus -- White Grunt
There are many species of grunts on coral reefs.

                                                 Haemulon sciurus -- Blue striped grunt
Two grunts. Because I can.

                                                 Haemulon carbonarium -- Caesar grunt
Used in the making of Caesar salads. Well, not actually.

                                      Family Lutjanidae
                                       Genus Lutjanus

                                                 Lutjanus apodu -- Schoolmaster snapper
A schooling reef fish.

                                      Family Pomacentridae
                                       Genus Abudefduf

                                                 Abudefduf saxatilis -- Sergeant major
The Sergeant Major is a small coral reef fish.

                                       Genus Microspathodon

                                                 Microspathodon chrysurus -- Yellowtail damselfish
This is the juvenile. The adult has… a yellow tail.

                                       Genus Stegastes

                                                 Stegastes leucostictus -- Beaugregory
This small fish lives on coral reefs and in seagrass beds.

                                      Family Serranidae
                                       Genus Epinephelus

                                                 Epinephelus striatus -- Nassau grouper
This fish has been commercially exploited and is in danger of extinction. One of the few remaining spawning areas is found not far from the marine reserve in Belize where this specimen was found.

                                       Genus Mycteroperca

                                                 Mycteroperca bonaci -- Black grouper
Groupers are large, long-lived, intelligent fish of the tropics.

                   Class Petromyzontida
                             Order Petromyzontiformes
                                      Family Petromyzontidae
                                       Genus Entosphenus

                                                 Entosphenus tridentatus -- Pacific lamprey
The Pacific Lamprey is a marine species; it is anandromous, which means it must move upstream to spawn. In the Pacific Northwest, that means its upstream migration matches the salmon. The adults are ectoparasites of fish.

                                       Genus Ichthyomyzon

                                                 Ichthyomyzon bdellium -- Ohio lamprey
The Ohio Lamprey is found in clear streams in Ohio. The larvae develop as filter feeders in the sediment; the adults do not feed.

                   Class Reptilia
                             Order Rhynchocephalia
                                      Family Sphenodontidae
                                       Genus Sphenodon

                                                 Sphenodon punctatus -- Tuatara
This is a photo of a sculpture; the Tuatara is native only to a few islands near New Zealand. They are not lizards, but a sister group to the lizards and snakes. They have a 3rd eye on the back of the head which is sensitive to light.

                             Order Squamata
                                      Family Anguidae
                                       Genus Ophisaurus

                                                 Ophisaurus attenuatus -- Glass Lizard
This is a legless lizard, not a snake. Note the earhole, for one. It seems there are some advantages to being legless in certain habitats, and loss of legs happened in the past (giving rise to snakes) and continues today in several lizard lineages.

                                      Family Boidae
                                       Genus Boa

                                                 Boa constrictor -- Boa constrictor
The Boa Constrictor is unusual in that it has the same scientific and common name, much like Tyrannosaurus rex (and just about every other dinosaur). They feed by squeezing their prey and preventing it from breathing.

                                      Family Colubridae
                                       Genus Coniophanes

                                                 Coniophanes bipunctatus -- Twospotted Snake
The bipunctatus in the species name does not refer to the twin punctures this snake is putting in my hand. Apparently it is mildly venomous.

                                       Genus Diadophis

                                                 Diadophis punctatus -- ringneck snake
These small snakes are always a favorite to find under the snake tins at the Beiser Field Station. They are actually venomous, though they do not have fangs. They feed on slugs, worms, salamanders and other organisms found in the leaf litter and soil.

                                       Genus Elaphe

                                                 Elaphe obsoleta -- Black Rat Snake
The Black Ratsnake is quick to stand its ground; however these beneficial snakes are not venomous.

                                       Genus Lampropeltis

                                                 Lampropeltis triangulum -- triangulum Eastern Milk Snake
One of the more common snakes we find under the snake tins at the Beiser Field Station. They feed on rodents.

                                       Genus Leptophis

                                                 Leptophis ahaetulla -- Parrot snake
This Parrot Snake has caught a frog some 20 feet up in a tree. Try catching a slippery frog up in a tree with no hands or feet, then swallowing it!

                                       Genus Nerodia

                                                 Nerodia sipedon -- Northern Water Snake
Northern Water Snakes are very aggressive, but not venomous.

                                       Genus Oxybelis

                                                 Oxybelis aeneus -- Narrowheaded Vine Snake
Two snakes for the price of one. This Vine Snake is eating a small Thread snake (Leptotyphlops ater). Snakes are well-adapted for eating long slender animals, like other snakes.

                                                 Oxybelis fulgidus -- Green Vine Snake
Vine snakes are arboreal and cryptic.

                                       Genus Pantherophis

                                                 Pantherophis alleghaniensis -- Yellow Rat Snake
This is a good example of taxonomy in action. Elsewhere you will find the Black Rat Snake listed as Elaphe obsoleta. New research indicates that it is the same species as this one, and the name should be changed. In Florida, black rat snakes are yellow

                                       Genus Pituophis

                                                 Pituophis catenifer deserticola -- Great Basin Gopher Snake
Gopher snakes are great.

                                                 Pituophis catenifer deserticola -- Great Basin Gopher Snake
We see these snakes frequently at the dinosaur dig in Utah. They can get to about 6 feet long and often eat other snakes.

                                       Genus Pseustes

                                                 Pseustes poecilonotus -- Bird-eating Snake
This snake probably feeds more on small mammals, frogs and lizards than birds.

                                       Genus Regina

                                                 Regina septemvittata -- Queen Snake
Queen Snakes are often found near water, which is a good thing since much of their diet is crayfish.

                                       Genus Storeria

                                                 Storeria dekayi -- Brown Snake
These small snakes are ecologically a lot like the ringneck snakes. They were named by Holbrook in 1836 after his homies Jimmy De Kay and Davey Storer. Not even Linnaeus had the stones to name an organism after two people. Holbrook rules!

                                                 Storeria dekayi -- Brown Snake
These snakes don't get very big. That's good, because if they were 20 feet long they could eat people.

                                       Genus Thamnophis

                                                 Thamnophis sirtalis -- common garter snake
This brightly colored garter (NOT GARDEN!) snake comes to us from the west coast, but it is in the same species as the garter (NOT GARDEN) snakes we have in Ohio.

                                                 Thamnophis sirtalis -- common garter snake
This is a garter snake, not a garden snake.

                                                 Thamnophis sirtalis -- common garter snake
Garter snakes are names after the colorful ribbons (garters) that gentlemen used to hold up their socks before elastic was invented. They are NOT GARDEN SNAKES! Seriously, grow up. You look stupid to call the garden or gardener snakes.

                                      Family Corytophanidae
                                       Genus Basiliscus

                                                 Basiliscus plumifrons -- plumed basilisk
Small basilisks can run for short distances across water, earning them the nickname of "Jesus Christ Lizards".

                                                 Basiliscus vittatus -- Brown basilisk Striped basilisk
This is a basilisk, not the thing you saw in Harry Potter.

                                      Family Crotaphytidae
                                       Genus Crotaphytus

                                                 Crotaphytus collaris -- Collared Lizard
Collared Lizards put on an impressive defensive display.

                                                 Crotaphytus collaris -- Collared Lizard
The collared lizard's bite is worse than its bark.

                                      Family Dipsadidae
                                       Genus Nothopsis

                                                 Nothopsis rugosus -- Rough Coffee Snake
We found this small snake at El Zota Biological Field Station in Costa Rica.

                                      Family Iguanidae
                                       Genus Ctenosaura

                                                 Ctenosaura similis -- Black Spinytailed Iguana
Ctenosaurs are large (up to 2 meters) lizards which we see on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. They are primarily vegetarians; this one at a picnic area on a beach had learned to beg for food.

                                       Genus Iguana

                                                 Iguana iguana -- Green Iguana
This is a mature male Iguana, as told by the large gular scale on the side of its head.

                                                 Iguana iguana -- Green Iguana
If you look close, you can see the teeth.

                                                 Iguana iguana -- Green Iguana
Iguanas like to live in trees over water. If threatened, they can drop to the water and swim away. The male is the larger of the two lizards pictures here.

                                      Family Leptotyphlopidae
                                       Genus Leptotyphlops

                                                 Leptotyphlops ater -- Thread Snake
Tiny Thread Snakes (also known as Blind Snakes) are reptiles. They enter ant and termite nests to feed.

                                      Family Phrynosomatidae
                                       Genus Callisaurus

                                                 Callisaurus draconoides -- Zebra-tailed lizard
This zebra lizard is avoiding the hot sun in Arizona by facing directly into it (presenting minimal surface area). By keeping its body well above the hot rock, and by raising its toes.

                                       Genus Holbrookia

                                                 Holbrookia maculata -- Bleached Lesser Earless Lizard
These lizards were seen at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico on the 2010 Biology/Geology field trip. The white color allows them to blend into the sands. Specimens of this species from adjacent lava flows are black.

                                       Genus Phrynosoma

                                                 Phrynosoma cornutum -- Texas Horned Lizard
Mistakenly called a horned toad by some ignorant cretins, this is actually a lizard which can freaking shoot blood from its eyes. You have to respect that. They eat ants.

                                       Genus Sceloporus

                                                 Sceloporus undulatus consobrinus -- Southern Prairie Lizard
This species is closely related to lizards found in Ohio and the eastern US.

                                                 Sceloporus undulatus elongatus -- Northern Plateau Lizard
This species can be found across much of North America, but we have seen it most frequently at the dinosaur dig site in Utah.

                                       Genus Uta

                                                 Uta stansburiana -- Common SideBlotched Lizard
A colorful lizard often seen at the dinosaur dig site in Utah.

                                      Family Polychrotidae
                                       Genus Anolis

                                                 Anolis sagrei -- Brown Anole
The Brown Anole was introduced to the southeastern US and is replacing the Carolina Anole, at least in modified habitats. It does not change color. This is a male using his dewlap to signal rivals and potential mates.

                                                 Anolis carolinensis -- Green Anole
This is the native American anole of the Southeast. They can change from green to brown; green under warm sunny conditions (when they are out feeding on leaves) and brown at night and when it is cooler and they are likely to huddle near the stem.

                                       Genus Dactyloa

                                                 Dactyloa frenata -- Anole
A cryptic Anole from Costa Rica.

                                       Genus Norops

                                                 Norops limifrons -- Slender Anole
One of the many small anoles found in Costa Rica.

                                      Family Teiidae
                                       Genus Ameiva

                                                 Ameiva festiva -- Central American Whiptail
Very common in Costa Rica. The blue tail marks it as a juvenile.

                                       Genus Cnemidophorus

                                                 Cnemidophorus tigris -- Western Whiptail
One of the small whiptails routinely seen at the Aaron Scott dinosaur dig site in Utah.

                                                 Cnemidophorus tigris -- Whiptail
A small whiptail from Costa Rica.

                                      Family Varanidae
                                       Genus Varanus

                                                 Varanus komodoensis -- Komodo Dragon
The largest lizard species in the world, reaching up to 3m in length. One attacked Sharon Stone's husband at the LA zoo.

                                      Family Viperidae
                                       Genus Agkistrodon

                                                 Agkistrodon piscivorus -- Cottonmouth or Water Moccasin
The cottonmouth or water moccasin is a large venomous snake of the southern US. A friend had one drop into the bottom of his boat once, so he shot it. Surprisingly, he did not win the Darwin Award. Maybe if he had hit the gas tank…

                                                 Agkistrodon contortrix -- Copperhead
Another venomous pit viper; you can see the pit in the specimen to the front. Copperheads are well- camouflaged to blend in with leaf litter on the forest floor. The specimen in back is getting ready to shed as evidenced by the cloudy scale over the eye.

                                       Genus Bothriechis

                                                 Bothriechis schlegelii -- Eyelash viper
A brown-phase individual from Costa Rica. Other colors, including yellow, green and pink have been reported.

                                                 Bothriechis schlegelii -- Eyelash viper
Eyelash vipers come in several color morphs, one of which is the yellow morph pictured here. This supposedly gives them camouflage when hanging out on flowers waiting for hummingbirds. We have seen 3 morphs (yellow, brown and green) in Costa Rica.

                                                 Bothriechis schlegelii -- Eyelash viper
This Eyelash Viper is one of the pit vipers; it is recognized by the large pit in front of they eyes and behind the nostrils. The scales overhanging the eyes are the "eyelashes".

                                       Genus Bothrops

                                                 Bothrops asper -- Terciopelo, Fer-de-lance
Nocturnal and irritable according to one source, and responsible for "more snakebites than any other snake in its range". Wonderful. They like to hang out at night by trails, which is also a plus, especially given their camouflage. We've only seen two.

                                       Genus Crotalus

                                                 Crotalus atrox -- Western Diamondback Rattlesnake
We saw this large rattlesnake in a campsite in Texas on the 2010 Biology/Geology field trip to the western US.

                                                 Crotalus viridis concolor -- Midget Faded Rattlesnake
We have to look really hard to find these small rattlesnakes at the dinosaur dig site in Utah.

                                       Genus Porthidium

                                                 Porthidium nasutum -- Hognosed Pitviper
The Hognose Pitviper is very well camouflaged. We have often walked right by (over) them at the El Zota Biological Field Station in Costa Rica.

                                                 Porthidium nasutum -- Hognosed Pitviper
Pit vipers have an infrared sensitive patch of skin in a pit located between the nostril and the eye that helps them locate and strike at warm-blooded prey. You can clearly see the white pit here.

                             Order Testudines
                                      Family Cheloniidae
                                       Genus Chelonia

                                                 Chelonia mydas -- green turtle
The Green Sea Turtle is primarily a vegetarian. Here it is seen eating Turtle Grass (really).

                                                 Chelonia mydas -- green turtle
The Green Sea Turtle is one of the more common seas turtles. They nest on tropical and subtropical beaches.

                                      Family Chelydridae
                                       Genus Macrochelys

                                                 Macrochelys temminckii -- Alligator snapping turtle
See the little pink worm in the mouth? Fish do too, and it's the last thing they ever see as the jaws of death close on them in an eyeblink. This bad boy can grow to over 200 pounds. They can catch and eat an armadillo. That's right, an armadillo.

                                      Family Emydidae
                                       Genus Chrysemys

                                                 Chrysemys picta marginata -- Painted Turtle
Painted turtles are the most common basking turtle seen in Ohio. Their flattened shape, light shell and webbed feet makes them excellent swimmers.

                                       Genus Clemmys

                                                 Clemmys guttata -- Spotted Turtle
The Spotted Turtle is a wetland turtles. It is a poor swimmer due to its heavy shell and lack of webbing on the feet. The front-facing eyes do make it a good predator.

                                       Genus Deirochelys

                                                 Deirochelys reticulari -- Chicken Turtle
The Chicken Turtle is a southern species and named because it tastes like…

                                       Genus Emydoidea

                                                 Emydoidea blandingi -- Blanding's Turtle
Blanding's Turtle is a wetland inhabitant whose distribution centers on the Lauretian Great Lakes.

                                       Genus Terrepene

                                                 Terrepene carolina -- Box Turtle
This is the bottom or ventral side of a hatchling box turtle. Note the remains of the yolk sac and the tiny egg tooth on the tip of the snout (arrow). The egg tooth is used to break out of the shell and eventually is shed.

                                                 Terrepene carolina -- Box Turtle
This is a male box turtle (note the red eyes). Box turtles can close their lower shells (plastrons) tightly against the upper shell (carapace).

                                       Genus Trachemys

                                                 Trachemys scripta -- Red-eared Slider
The most common pet species of turtle and one of the world's 100 most invasive species. Because they are easy to rear, they were commonly sold as pets.

                                      Family Testudinidae
                                       Genus Chelonoidis

                                                 Chelonoidis carbonaria -- Red-footed tortoise
This tortoise is native to South America.

                                       Genus Geochelone

                                                 Geochelone gigantea -- Aldabra Giant Tortoise
This species is native to the Aldabra Islands. Many species of giant tortoises are endemic to individual island groups and as a result are highly threatened.

                                                 Geochelone sulcata -- African Spurred Tortoise
That's the tortoise on the left.

                                       Genus Gopherus

                                                 Gopherus polyphemus -- Gopher Tortoise
These large tortoises dig burrows up to 30 feet long in the sandhills of Florida. The burrows are home to a number of organisms including burrowing owls and indigo snakes.

                   Class Sarcopterygii
                             Order Ceratodontiformes
                                      Family Ceratodontidae
                                       Genus Neoceratodus

                                                 Neoceratodus forsteri -- Queensland lungfish
This is one of six species of lungfish still alive. Ancient members of this lineage of fish, the Sarcopterygii, presumably gave rise to the Amphibia and the remaining chordate groups. This species is from Australia.

                             Order Coelacanthiformes
                                      Family Latimeridae
                                       Genus Latimeria

                                                 Latimeria chalumnae -- West Indian Ocean coelacanth
One of the fleshy-finned fishes (Sarcopterygii); the coelacanth was only known from fossils until a live specimen was captured in 1938. More have been found since, but the species is considered critically endangered.

         Phylum Cnidaria
                   Class Anthozoa
                             Order Actiniaria
                                      Family Actiniidae
                                       Genus Anthopleura

                                                 Anthopleura xanthogrammica -- Giant Green Anemone
This is the Giant Green Anemone from the coast of Washington.

                                                 Anthopleura elegantissima -- Aggregating Anemone
The Aggregating Anemone has purple tips to the tentacles.

                             Order Alcyonacea
                                      Family Anthothelidae
                                       Genus Gorgonia

                                                 Gorgonia ventalina -- Purple Sea Fan
This is PROBABLY the Purple Sea Fan. It was photographed in the Florida Keys. This is a type of coral, and as such has dinoflagellate endosymbionts to help provide food. It is preyed on by the Flamingo Shell.

                             Order Scleractinia
                                      Family Acroporidae
                                       Genus Acropora

                                                 Acropora palmata -- Elkhorn coral
Elkhorn coral is confusingly named until you realize that the English call moose elk.

                   Class Hydrozoa
                             Order Anthomedusae
                                      Family Hydridae
                                       Genus Hydra

                                                 Hydra sp. -- Freshwater Hydra
The freshwater hydra illustrates the polyp body form of the Cnidaria with a tubular body, a central mouth and radiating tentacles. This shot was taken with a macro lens; the hydra is tiny.

                   Class Scyphozoa
                             Order Rhizostomae
                                      Family Cassiopeidae
                                       Genus Cassiopea

                                                 Cassiopea andromeda -- Upside-down jellyfish
This is probably Cassiopeia andromeda. It has mutualistic algae living in its tissue and spends time upside down on the seafloor to allow the algae to gather light. They are found in tropical areas, particularly mangrove swamps.

                             Order Semaeostomeae
                                      Family Ulmaridae
                                       Genus Aurelia

                                                 Aurelia aurita -- Moon Jelly
This jellyfish, seen off the coast of Florida, is an example of the medusal body form of the phylum Cnidaria.

         Phylum Ctenophora
                   Class Nuda
                             Order Beroida
                                      Family Beroidaw

                                                  -- Ctenophore
Ctenophores are marine and related to the Cnidaria.

         Phylum Echinodermata
                   Class Asteroidea
                             Order Forcipulatida
                                      Family Asteriidae
                                       Genus Pisaster

                                                 Pisaster ochraceus -- Purple sea star
Despite the common name, this sea star can be purple, ochre, orange or a number of other colors. It lives in the Pacific northwest.

                             Order Solasteridae
                                      Family Solasteridae
                                       Genus Solaster

                                                 Solaster stimpsoni -- striped sunstar
This sunstar normally has 10 legs; it is in the process of regenerating lost limbs.

                             Order Spinulosida
                                      Family Echinasteridae
                                       Genus Henricia

                                                 Henricia leviuscula -- Pacific blood star
The Blood Star is a type of starfish, or sea star.

                             Order Valvatida
                                      Family Oreasteridae
                                       Genus Oreaster

                                                 Oreaster reticulatus -- Cushioned Sea Star
This Cushioned Sea Star was photographed on Cay Caulker in Belize.

                   Class Crinoidea
                             Order Comatulida
                                      Family Antedonidae
                                       Genus Florometra

                                                 Florometra serratissima -- Common Feather Star
The feather star is a relative of the sea stars. They are able to move, unlike some forms which are attached to the substrate by stalks.

                   Class Echinoidea
                             Order Clypeasteroida
                                      Family Mellitidae
                                       Genus Mellita

                                                 Mellita quinquiesperforata -- Keyhole Sand Dollar
Everyone knows the dried shells of these animals; these are live critters here; two are belly up and the other is a dorsal view. They burrow in the sand and as water moves over their upper surfaces it draws water and food through the holes.

                             Order Diadematoida
                                      Family Diadematidae
                                       Genus Diadema

                                                 Diadema antillarum -- Longspined sea urchin
The Long-spined Sea Urchin has very long spines which are very painful if they are embedded in, say, the bottom of your feet. Trust me on this.

                   Class Holothuroidea
                             Order Aspidochirotida
                                      Family Holothuriidae
                                       Genus Holothuria

                                                 Holothuria mexicana -- Donkey Dung sea cucumber
Yeah, that's pretty much what it looks like.

                   Class Ophiuroidea
                             Order Phrynophiurida
                                      Family Gorgonocephalidae
                                       Genus Gorgonocephalus

                                                 Gorgonocephalus eucnemis -- Basket Star
Despite its complexity, this basket star can move and regularly retreats to a protected place during the day.

         Phylum Mollusca
                   Class Bivalvia
                             Order Myoida
                                      Family Pholadidae
                                       Genus Penitella

                                                 Penitella penita -- Piddock Clam
This is PROBABLY a Piddock Clam. On the Washington coast, this species bores into rocks.

                             Order Veneroida
                                      Family Dreissenidae
                                       Genus Dreissena

                                                 Dreissena polymorpha -- Zebra mussel
Zebra mussels were introduced to the United States and Canada from Europe. They traveled as larvae in the ballast water of a ship that discharged the water in Lake St. Clair near Detroit. They have since spread through much of the US.

                   Class Cephalopoda
                             Order Nautilida
                                      Family Nautilidae
                                       Genus Nautilus

                                                 Nautilus pompilius -- Chambered nautilus
This is PROBABLY the Chambered Nautilus. This cephalopod mollusc retains the shell, which is lost in the octopus and squid. Further, instead of only 8 or 10 tentacles, the Nautilus has nearly 100.

                             Order Octopoda
                                      Family Octopodidae
                                       Genus Octopus

                                                 Octopus briareus -- Caribbean reef octopus
This is PROBABLY the Caribbean Reef Octopus, photographed at night in 2009 at the Caye Caulker Marine Preserve in Belize.

                             Order Teuthida
                                      Family Loliginidae
                                       Genus Sepioteuthis

                                                 Sepioteuthis sepioidea -- Caribbean Reef Squid
PROBABLY the Caribbean Reef Squid - photographed in Florida, 2006. Squid are able to change their colors in the blink of an eye. Speaking of eyes; theirs are better than ours in several ways.

                   Class Gastropoda

                                                  -- Terrestrial Snail
Snails can be found in most moist or wet habitats, from the oceans to moist forests such as those at the Beiser Field Station.

                                                  -- Terrestrial Snail
Snails make shells of calcium carbonate, which is hard to get (and keep) in an acid environment. Acid precipitation and ocean acidification threaten many snail species.

                             Order Dendronotida
                                      Family Tethydidae
                                       Genus Melibe

                                                 Melibe leonina -- lion's mane nudibranch
This fascinating nudibranch, or sea slug, can swim, unlike most of its relatives in the Gastropoda which crawl on their stomach-feet.

                             Order Hypsogastropoda
                                      Family Ovulidae
                                       Genus Cyphoma

                                                 Cyphoma gibbosum -- Flamingo tongue snail
The colors you see are not the colors of the shell, but of the fleshy mantle, which the snail has extended over the shell, perhaps as a warning that the snail is protected by chemicals harvested from the soft corals on which it feeds.

                                      Family Strombidae
                                       Genus Lobatus

                                                 Lobatus gigas -- Queen conch
This is probably a Queen Conch; it was photographed in Belize. Large conchs like this have been greatly depleted by overfishing (the meat is eaten). They can love 30 years.

                             Order Nudibranchia
                                      Family Dironidae
                                       Genus Dirona

                                                 Dirona albolineata -- Frosted Nudibranch
This nudibranch is from the Pacific northwest.

                   Class Polyplacophora

                                                  -- Chiton
The underside of a Chiton on the wall of an aquarium. The radula, or tongue, can extend from the mouth to remove algae on which the chiton feeds.

                             Order Neoloricata
                                      Family Chitonidae
                                       Genus Acanthopleura

                                                 Acanthopleura granulata -- West Indian fuzzy chiton
This chiton was found on rocks at the coast in the Florida Keys. Chitons are in the class Polyplacophora, which means "bearing many plates" a reference to the 8 hard plates along its back. Like many other gastropods, it scrapes algae for food.

         Phylum Nematomorpha
                   Class Gordioidea
                             Order Gordioida

                                                  -- Horsehair Worm
Horsehair worms are free living aquatic organisms as adults; as larvae they live within an invertebrate host, usually an orthopteran (but it could be a millipede). At maturity, the parasite influences the brain of the host and causes it to seek water.

         Phylum Platyhelminthes
                   Class Turbellaria

                                                  -- Flatworm
This terrestrial flatworm was found in the cloud forest at Monteverde.

         Phylum Porifera

                                                  -- Sponge
Sponges can be important constituents of a coral reef, both ecologically and structurally.

                                                  -- Sponge
While many sponges are found on shallow coral reefs, others are found deep in the ocean, or even in freshwater.

                                                  -- Sponge
Sponges feed by filtering water using currents created by choanocyte cells in their bodies.

Kingdom Fungi
         Phylum Ascomycota
                   Class Pezizomycetes
                             Order Pezizales
                                      Family Morchellaceae
                                       Genus Morchella

                                                 Morchella esculenta -- Morel
These large morels were found on former strip mine land.

                                                 Morchella esculenta -- Morel
Morels are very tasty.

         Phylum Basidiomycota
                   Class Agaricomycetes
                             Order Agaricales
                                      Family Lycoperdaceae
                                       Genus Calvatia

                                                 Calvatia gigantea -- Giant puffball
Giant puffballs are common in the fall at the Beiser Field Station. They are edible if picked at the right stage.

                                                 Calvatia gigantea -- Giant puffball
They get really big!

                             Order Phallales
                                      Family Phallaceae
                                       Genus Mutinus

                                                 Mutinus elegans -- Dog Stinkhorn
This fungus is named because it looks like the … of a dog. The various members of this group all look like the … of various organisms, and this is reflected in the family and order names.

Kingdom Plantae
         Phylum Chlorophyta
                   Class Chlorophyceae
                             Order Volvocales
                                      Family Chlamydomonadaceae
                                       Genus Chlamydomonas

                                                 Chlamydomonas nivalis -- Watermelon Snow
This algae is able to live in snow. Snow is often just at the freezing point so if the algae can absorb just a bit of sun it can warm up enough to keep from freezing itself. This particular species has an accessory pigment, Astaxanthin, which is red.

         Phylum Magnoliophyta
                   Class Angiosperma
                             Order Alismatales
                                      Family Cymodoceaceae
                                       Genus Cymodocea

                                                 Cymodocea filiformis -- Manatee Grass
Manatee Grass is one of the few vascular plants to venture into the ocean. It often grows in areas with more freshwater than Turtle Grass (the wider stalks here are Turtle Grass). This was taken at Hol Chan in Belize on our 2009 trip.

                                      Family Hydrocharitaceae
                                       Genus Thalassia

                                                 Thalassia testudinum -- Turtle Grass
Turtle Grass is one of the few vascular plants to make its way into the ocean. It is, in fact, fed on by turtles. This bed of Turtle Grass is in the lagoon between the island of Caye Caulker and its coral reef in Belize. From our 2009 trip there.

                             Order Arecales
                                      Family Arecaceae
                                       Genus Cocos

                                                 Cocos nucifera -- Coconut
Young coconuts starting out on a tree at the El Zota Field Station in Costa Rica.

                                                 Cocos nucifera -- Coconut
More mature coconuts on a tree planted at the El Zota Field Station in Costa Rica. Coconuts are found on ocean shores throughout the tropics (they must be transplanted inland) and a wide variety of products can be obtained from them.

                             Order Asparagales
                                      Family Asparagaceae
                                       Genus Furcraea

                                                 Furcraea cabuya -- Century Plant
We find a large group of these plants on the drier slopes of the Volcano Rincon de la Vieja in Costa Rica. Every visit, at least a few of the plants put out huge (20 foot) flower spikes. After flowering they die. It takes years to reach this state.

                             Order Ericales
                                      Family Ericaceae
                                       Genus Monotropa

                                                 Monotropa uniflora -- Indian Pipe
Indian Pipestem looks like a fungus and acts like a fungus but gives away its plant roots when it flowers, as shown here. It parasitizes fungi that are in mutualistic relationships with trees.

                             Order Fabales
                                      Family Fabaceae
                                       Genus Glycine

                                                 Glycine max -- soybean
Soybeans are in the family Fabaceae; many in this family have made symbiotic relationships with Rhizobium bacteria to form root nodules that fix nitrogen for the plants. This means farmers can use less fertilizer. Legumes are high in protein.

                                       Genus Inga

                                                 Inga edulis -- Guaba
This is the seed pod of the Guaba, another legume in the family Fabaceae. A favorite food on our trips to Costa Rica, you take out the seeds with the white fuzz and roll them in your mouth, spitting out the seed. Tastes like vanilla ice cream.

                                       Genus Medicago

                                                 Medicago sativa -- Alfalfa
Alfalfa is a common forage plant (used to feed animals like cows and horses). A legume in the family Fabaceae, it has Rhizobium symbionts on its roots. The bacteria fix nitrogen for the plant; with plenty of nitrogen the plant can make lots of protein.

                             Order Gentialaes
                                      Family Apocynaceae
                                       Genus Tabernaemontana

                                                 Tabernaemontana donnell-smithii -- Huevos de caballo
The fruit of this tree apparently look a lot like the "eggs" of a male horse, hence the common name. This was seen at the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich in Belize on our 2012 trip to Costa Rica and Belize.

                                      Family Rubiaceae
                                       Genus Coffea

                                                 Coffea sp. -- Coffee
This plant was growing as an ornamental in the town of La Fortuna, Costa Rica.

                                                 Coffea sp. -- Coffee
Coffee plants growing in a traditional coffee plantation in Guatemala. We visited this plantation during our 2009 trip to Guatemala and Belize.

                                                 Coffea sp. -- Coffee
In this view you can see the leaves, white flowers and green and red beans of the coffee plant. The red beans are the ripe ones. They must be picked and cleaned; they will then be fermented and dried. The final steps are roasting and brewing.

                                       Genus Psychotria

                                                 Psychotria poeppigiana -- Hot Lips
You can see where this plant gets its name. We see these - and other species - routinely on our trips to Costa Rica. There are a number of species; this one is PROBABLY Psychotria poeppigiana.

                             Order Lamiales
                                      Family Acanthaceae
                                       Genus Avicennia

                                                 Avicennia germinans -- Black Mangrove
The Black Mangrove is found in the American tropics along with the Red and White Mangroves. It excretes excess salt from its leaves; in this image you can see the many pneumatophores which convey oxygen to the roots in the waterlogged soil.

                                      Family Lamiaceae
                                       Genus Tectona

                                                 Tectona grandis -- Teak
Native to Asia, this teak is growing on a plantation in Costa Rica. A valuable hardwood, teak is impregnated with oils that make it durable particularly in marine applications. Teak plantations are not rainforest, but better than soybean fields.

                             Order Laurales
                                      Family Lauraceae
                                       Genus Persea

                                                 Persea americana -- avocado
This avocado was growing on the grounds of the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich in Belize. Avocados were grown by the Mayans; the flesh of the fruit has a very high fat content which makes it a good supplement to another Mayan staple, maize (corn).

                             Order Magnoliales
                                      Family Myristicaceae
                                       Genus Myristica

                                                 Myristica sp. -- Nutmeg
There are 2 spices in this seed pod. The bright red material is Mace, and the "nut" inside it is nutmeg. The plant is native to Asia but was growing in a secondary forest in Costa Rica. It could also be Virola guatemalensis, native to the region.

                             Order Malpighiales
                                      Family Rhizophoraceae
                                       Genus Rhizophora

                                                 Rhizophora mangle -- red mangrove
The generic name Rhizophora means "root-bearing" and the aerial roots of red mangroves make their presence very obvious. The roots provide shelter for small animals and fish, including the young of many coral reef fishes.

                                                 Rhizophora mangle -- red mangrove
The aerial roots of Red Mangroves in a well-established swamp can be big enough to climb on. These same roots absorb storm and tidal waves and also filter out silt that would otherwise damage coral reefs. From out trip to Guatemala.

                                                 Rhizophora mangle -- red mangrove
This Red Mangrove was growing in an estuary at Bahia Junquillal in Costa Rica.

                             Order Malvales
                                      Family Malvaceae
                                       Genus Ceiba

                                                 Ceiba pentandra -- Kapok
The Ceiba, or Kapok tree, is a large tree in the forests of Central America. Fluffy white fibers surround the seeds in the seed pod; These fibers are used to stuff mattresses, life jackets and teddy bears. The Ceiba Borer beetle feeds here.

                             Order Poales
                                      Family Bromeliaceae
                                       Genus Ananas

                                                 Ananas comosus -- Pineapple
The Pineapple is a bromeliad. Most bromeliads are epiphytes living in trees, but pineapples live in soil. These pineapples are on a plantation we visit on our trips to Costa Rica.

                                      Family Poaceae
                                       Genus Andropogon

                                                 Andropogon gerardii -- Big Bluestem
The Big Bluestem and Indian Grass are two species important to the tallgrass prairie ecosystem in North America.

                                       Genus Bouteloua

                                                 Bouteloua curtipendula -- Sideoats grama
This grass is from a tallgrass prairie in Minnesota, although the grass itself is considered a shortgrass species.

                                       Genus Chusquea

                                                 Chusquea subtessellata --
This bamboo lives in the Paramo, a high-altitude ecosystem in the mountains of Central and South America. We found it at about 10,000 feet in Costa Rica on our 2014 trip.

                                       Genus Sorghum

                                                 Sorghum bicolor -- Sorghum
Sorghum (also called milo) is an important grain crop. It originated in Africa and is now grown in the tropics and subtropics worldwide (and also in Oklahoma, where this picture was taken). It grows well in dry conditions.

                                       Genus Triticum

                                                 Triticum sp. -- Wheat
Wheat is a grass whose seeds provide a large portion of the protein that humans worldwide get from plants. It is one of the 3 major grain crops that feed most of us (corn and rice are the other 2).

                             Order Rosales
                                      Family Moraceae
                                       Genus Ficus

                                                 Ficus sp. -- Strangler Fig
The Strangler Fig starts as a seed dropped in the feces of a bird or monkey high in the forest canopy. It sends roots to the ground and expands, covering and wrapping around the tree it first landed on, eventually killing it and taking its place.

                                      Family Urticaceae
                                       Genus Cecropia

                                                 Cecropia sp. -- Cecropia
Cecropias are common in Central America and we see them in Costa Rica as well as at the Mayan Ruins at Caracol in Belize, where this picture was taken. Like Acacias, Cecropias often form mutualisms with ants. They are important in the diet of sloths.

                             Order Zingiberales
                                      Family Musaceae
                                       Genus Musa

                                                 Musa sp. -- Banana
Bananas don't grow on trees, but rather on large herbaceous plants called corms. They are the largest herbaceous plants in the world. This is part of a large plantation in Costa Rica, both banana and plantains are cultivars of the same species.