Button to scroll to the top of the page.

Updates

Campus health and safety are our top priorities. Get the latest from UT on COVID-19.

Get help with Zoom and more.

Biodiversity Blog

 
UT’s Non-Digital Biodiversity Specimens Join the Global Digital Revolution

UT’s Non-Digital Biodiversity Specimens Join the Global Digital Revolution

The prestigious journal BioScience just released "Natural History Collections: Advancing the Frontiers of Science," a compilation of recent natural history collection-related papers that sheds light on the importance of digitizing and publishing collections data, and the substantial obstacles confronting collections staff working on that. This come...

BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY: Cliff Chirping Frog

Eleutherodactylus Syrrhophus marnockii TJD 963 web   Photo: Tom Devitt The Cliff Chirping Frog is an elusive creature. Nocturnal and about the size of a quarter, they are more easily heard than seen. There are actually three species of Chirping Frog in the genus Eleutherodactylus in Central Texas. There is Eleutherodactylus marnockii. They are native and their range is central ...

BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY: Texas Spiny Lizard

Texas Spiny Lizard Sceloporus olivaceus 31037017       Photo: Clinton & Charles Robertson from RAF Lakenheath, UK & San Marcos, TX, USA & UK (Creative Commons) If the Green Anole is the showy lizard presence in a garden, scampering around while flaring its red dewlap, the Texas Spiny Lizard is the opposite, typically shy, and well-camouflaged agai...

BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY: Mediterranean gecko

586px Mediterranean house gecko Photo: ZooFari (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.) Mediterranean gecko? What? But we’re in Texas! While these are an Old World species, native to Southern Europe and North Africa, Mediterranean geckos have been introduced to many areas of the world, including Texas. They are common around Austin. You’...

BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY: Green Anoles

IMG 7475 web   Female Green Anole, looking a little brownish-green. (Photo: Travis Laduc) With more time than usual at our homes, and the weather not searing hot yet, it’s a great opportunity to get outside and become familiar with the species we have in our own backyards! The Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis) is a common lizard not difficu...

Texas Alligator Lizard

Tx infernalis cropped     Photo: Dr. Eric Pianka   The Texas Alligator Lizard (Gerrhonotus infernalis) is the largest lizard with limbs in Texas, exceeded in length only by Slender Glass Lizards, which are legless. It is also one of the largest alligator lizards in the world. Adults are about 16”-18” in length and endemic to the central...

CAMPUS BIODIVERSITY: Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo valliceps)

Incilius nebulifer DRD 5406 1     Bufo valliceps. (Photo: Drew Davis)   While it might be easy to assume we don’t have toads on campus, the Gulf Coast Toad (Bufo valliceps) is one species that does live here. Waller Creek is a one place to see them, in addition to planters where they hide, or on sidewalks at twilight to consume the insects that are att...

CAMPUS BIODIVERSITY: Red-eared sliders

IMG 2063   Male red-eared slider, posing. (Photo: Nicole Elmer) They’re out. Stacks of them. Sometimes piled on top of each other like bricks, feet extended, much to the delight of students and visitors to the UT turtle pond. These campus charmers are turtles commonly known as “red-eared sliders,” or Trachemys scripta elegans. The “red” come...

What's In a Name? Tummy Toads, Gastrophryne olivacea

Gastrophryne olivacea02   Photo: Stanley Trauth 2007 (wikipedia) A few years ago, I built several ponds near my house at the Double Helix Ranch, hoping that frogs would colonize them and I could enjoy the sound of frog calls outside my window. Several different species have come and bred there including Strecker's Chorus frogs (Pseudacris streckeri), Grey ...

Field Herpetology Class Meets the Spot-tailed Earless Lizard

DSC 9732 edit webby Dr. Travis LaDuc, Curator of Herpetology, Department of Integrative Biology    (Photo: Ian Wright) The Spot-tailed Earless Lizard (Holbrookia lacerata) is a small (70 mm snout-vent length), enigmatic lizard historically found across much of the Edwards Plateau, parts of the Permian Basin in west Texas, and parts of the south Te...
Towards a periodic table of niches or exploring the lizard niche hypervolume

Towards a periodic table of niches or exploring the lizard niche hypervolume

Authors: Eric R. Pianka, Laurie J. Vitt, Nicolás Pelegrin, Daniel B. Fitzgerald, and Kirk O. Winemiller Ecologists begin to construct a Periodic Table of Niches    Redsands study area in the Great Victoria Desert of Western Australia – 55 species of lizards, including the thorny devil Moloch horridus, occur in sympatry here.(Cre...
The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) is a slender-bodied aquatic amphibian that spends its days burrowed in silt and debris at the bottom of slow waters. Sirens have a small pair of front legs but lack hind limbs, a loss thought to help them more easily swim through reeds and plants. During drought, they can secrete a protective mucus that cocoons t...
Tags:
The Daily Species: Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

The Daily Species: Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus)

The Western Ratsnake (Pantherophis obsoletus) is a non-venomous species commonly found across the eastern half of Texas. This species can be highly arboreal and is adaptable to a wide range of habitats.  Because of this versatility, they feed on a variety of prey (small mammals, birds, reptiles) that they kill by constriction. Ratsnakes are so...
Tags: