Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Today we have three contributions, two from readers and one from me. Readers’ captions are indented.

The first is from Stephen Barnard in Idaho—a time-lapse photo of fog wafting through his area. He’s been experimenting with video, and I’m sure we’ll see more of these. Be sure to watch the video enlarged and on HD (click on the “Vimeo” word at bottom right.

As you know, I’ve been fooling around with time lapse photography. It turns out that getting a technically decent result requires careful planning and elaborate postprocessing. The most important thing is to remove flicker, which will be present even with fully manual settings. Here’s my first acceptable result, which is fairly subtle, but when i get some dramatic weather I’ll be doing more.

From reader Marilee Lovit:

Banana slugs mating. Genus Ariolimax, species might be californicus. Banana slugs are hermaphrodites and have genitals on their heads. Photographed in October in California coastal redwood forest.
ariolimax-10-23-2016-marilee-lovit-230

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This picture goes with my previous pictures of banana slugs because the slugs live in the coastal redwood forest.

sequoia-sempevirens-2016-marilee-lovit-086

Finally, here are pictures of herps I took about a year ago at the National Zoo in Washington, D. C. I’m not sure what species these are, but I know a helpful reader can give us IDs. The photos were taken through glass at the reptile house with my point-and-shoot Panasonic Lumix.

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A cryptic frog:

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14 Comments

  1. GBJames
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Good stuff. Banana slugs are weird.

  2. Posted November 27, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Here’s a start on the herps. First two, a chameleon (family Chamaeleonidae, probably Chamaeleo under the older, less split classification, not sure what it would be now). Next, Basiliscus, probably plumifrons. The nicely camouflaged frog, I don’t know. It looks like a tree frog– note the expanded toe tips, the longish hind legs (though it is a bit chunky for a tree frog)– but the tree frog morphotype occurs in many families, so I can’t make a guess. The stubby face of the snake reminded me of a wart snake, but the scales are wrong: too heterogeneous in size (note the large loreal scale between eye and nostril), and too flat.

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      I think the chameleon might be a veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus).

      • Lars
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Agreed on the chamaeleon.
        The frog looks to me like a European fire-bellied toad (Bombina). The belly is diagnostic – marbled bright red and black.
        By wart snake, do you mean Acrochordus, Gregory? I thought that it might be a species of anaconda but aside from being pretty sure that it isn’t Eunectes murinus, I can’t tell which. The facial scales look right for the genus, though.

        • Posted November 28, 2016 at 12:04 am | Permalink

          The frog does look like a Bombina in color/pattern, and they can be quite warty. The shape still doesn’t look right to me, though that could just be due to an odd posture– pressed against an irregular substrate. By wart snake I did mean Acrochordus. But now that you mention anaconda, you are definitely right. The large loreal scale that I mentioned as being easily seen in the photo is characteristic of anacondas. After deciding it wasn’t a wart snake, my next thought was some sort of large constrictor (but not Python itself), and I looked at some other genera, but not an anaconda. You got it right!

          • Lars
            Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for the confirmation, I’m glad not to have lost my herp chops. Grad school involved close taxonomic specialization, and I think that my ability to sort unknowns to (general, at least) taxon has suffered. Doesn’t help that amphibian and reptile taxonomy seems to have changed every time I turn around.

          • Lars
            Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            On the other hand, I got the frog wrong – the terminal phalanges of Bombina are pointed and red- or yellow-pigmented, not the case here – you were right, those look like toe pads. Now that I think of it, there was a picture of a mossy-looking hylid like this in Duellman’s big two-volume work on SA hylids, but I don’t have a copy handy and can’t name it.

  3. rickflick
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Fog looks great Stephen. The sun against the distant mountains provides a peek-a-boo effect.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      I appreciate your critiques, rickflick. You’re one of my very few followers on vimeo. (I just use it for fun and links — not to promote anything.)

      If anyone out there is thinking of shooting time lapse, you’ll need LRTimelapse and Lightroom, both available for free trial. LRTimelapse is brilliant.

      • rickflick
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        I definitely want to try these tools.

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Great pictures. One of my many dreams is to see banana slugs.
    The 2nd lizard species looks like a kind of basilisk.

  5. Diana MacPherson
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Wow – slug porn. Love the herps, especially the frog!

    • Dominic
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      I love slugs🙂

      Not in that way!

  6. Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Beautiful time-lapse Stephen! I am fooling around with time lapse too. My Olympus camera is easy to use this way.


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