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February | 2013 | Wildlife of St. Martin
Home » 2013 » February (Page 2)

Monthly Archives: February 2013

Dabbling Duck

This green-winged teal is dabbling, or skimming food of the surface of the water. Some ducks dabble, others dive down for their food. On St. Martin we have a few of each type. This species prefers to dabble in very shallow water around mud flats. They primarily eat plants and seeds, but will eat small invertebrates on occasion. This species […]

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Xylocopa mordax

The big, black bumblebee we have on St. Martin is hard to photograph, but I discovered they like flowers from the passionfruit family. Also known as carpenter bees, they chew a tunnel into wood and build their nest there. I believe the species we have is Xylocopa mordax.

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Sleepin’ Lizard

This little lizard lives only on St. Martin. It used to live on Anguilla, but was last collected there in 1922. It’s scientific name is Anolis pogus. The name pogus was given to this lizard by the herpetologist James “Skip” Lazell. He named the lizard after the cartoon character Pogo the Possum to make a point that scientific names don’t […]

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Lone Ibis

What’s the rarest bird on St. Martin? Right now, it might be the glossy ibis. As far as we know, there’s just one on the island at the moment. It’s been hanging out near the Great Salt Pond. A couple years ago, one was seen at the Salines de l’Aéroport in Grand Case. This species is migratory, with most of […]

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The Mournful Sphinx

A couple days ago I found three different species of sphinx moth in the lobby of a local hotel. This one, the smallest, was probably the most beautiful. I can imagine that it is incredibly camouflaged when sitting on a tree trunk. In a hotel lobby, less so. This species, Enyo lugubris, is apparently known as the Mournful Sphinx, and […]

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Anguilla Bank Ameiva

It is, perhaps, a bit of irony that our reptiles, which are mostly found only on this island and sometimes nearby islands, often don’t seem to have local names. Or maybe they do and I just don’t know what they are. What do you call this lizard? This species is also found on Anguilla and St. Barths, but the subspecies […]

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The Black Witch

The black witch is a huge noctuid moth. In flight, it looks black or dark brown, but up close, it’s quite beautiful. Also known as the bat, duppy bat, money moth and a host of other names, it may be bad luck or good luck depending on the local tradition. It may also be seen as the embodiment of a […]

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Yellow-crowned Night Heron Yoga

I saw this yellow-crowned night heron spend several minutes doing a series of strange yoga-like poses. It wasn’t a courtship display and the heron wasn’t wet or cold. Some biologists suspect that herons adopt poses like this to kill parasites in their feathers by exposing them to the sun. Other names I’ve seen for this bird include crabier, crab-eater and […]

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Soapberry Bugs

One of our current research projects is to identify a species of soapberry bug found on the island. These insects are true bugs from the subfamily Serinethinae. Ours are predominantly orange. Insects from this group feed on vines from the soapberry family, and ours use their piercing mouthparts to puncture the seeds and suck out the insides. So far, I’ve […]

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Cattle Egret

The cattle egret is quick to take advantage of good foraging opportunities. They are well-known for foraging around cattle and other grazing animals. The grazer will flush insects from the grass as it is eating, and the cattle egret catches them. Studies have found that this is more than three times as effective for the egret as foraging alone. On […]

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