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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sleepin’ Lizards!

Sleepin’ lizards! Learn more about a day (and night) in the life of St. Martin’s wildlife and much more at the Wildlife Beats workshop tomorrow at 11am at University of St. Martin. In the workshop, we’ll discuss the various cycles that influence St. Martin’s wildlife, from periods as short as a day to as long as an ice age. The […]

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Sister Regina School Presentation

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I had a terrific time at Sister Regina School in Simpson Bay this morning, talking about how the various animals on St. Martin got here. It was a new presentation, called “Life on St. Martin: An Ongoing Assembly” and you can read a description of it on the EDUCATION page of this site. I think it went over quite well. […]

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Tadpole in a Dry Land

Cuban tree frogs are a highly-successful invasive species on St. Martin and elsewhere. Even though their tadpoles need fresh water to live in, they are able to live in relatively dry areas. One way they do this is by taking advantage of almost any available body of fresh water, even small, temporary pools. They also have a technique that helps […]

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Snowy Egret Comeback Story

The snowy egret is common on St. Martin today, often seen on our salt ponds where it feeds and nests. I would also guess that it was a common resident 200 years ago. However, 100 years ago it may not have been here at all. It seems strange, but you can find out why at my St. Martin Book Fair […]

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Sargassum: A New Cycle?

For the last couple years, St. Martin and the rest of the Eastern Caribbean have seen large amounts of sargassum coming ashore on our beaches during the summer. Will this be a new annual phenomenon? Or is it part of a larger cycle where the sargassum arrives for a few years, but then doesn’t come for years, or decades? Have […]

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Hiding in Plain Sight

The nests of Killdeer and other shorebirds are extremely vulnerable to predators like dogs, rats and mongoose. They also rely on camouflage, so they may also be destroyed accidentally by people walking, horseback riding or ATV riding through nesting areas. In this photo, the Killdeer nest is actually relatively easy to spot because the mudflat is wet and dark, but […]

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St. Martin Katydid

Here is a very young nymph of the leaf-mimic katydid Phoebolampta caeruleotergum. This species was discovered on St. Martin in 2006. It is possible that it also lives on other nearby islands, but I have not yet seen it documented anywhere except St. Martin. The adult is primarily green, with angular wings that make it look very much like a […]

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24-hour Pollination

The bellyache bush benefits from 24-hour pollination. During the day, butterflies like the great southern white visit bellyache bush flowers for nectar, and at night, moths like the striped grass looper do the same. To learn more about the rhythms of wildlife, from day to night, rainy season to dry and many more, attend the free Wildlife Beats workshop at […]

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Spider and Fly

Here’s a green lynx spider eating a hoverfly that I photographed while doing a nature walk with Sister Marie Laurence School students. I am still impressed by small spiders capturing large prey. The hoverfly, like many from that family, is a bee-mimic. Looking like a bee may make them less appealing to some predators, but not to the green lynx […]

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Fire and Regrowth

St. Martin is warm year-round, but has wet and dry seasons. Often, brush fires come with the dry season. In the past, they may have been started by lightning, and today they are more likely to be caused by people, either on purpose, or by accident. Fires can have a profound influence on the ecology of the island. Quick-burning fires […]

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