There are 3 kinds of skinks in the Southeast that have the same traits. They are the Five-lined, Southeastern Five-lined and the Broadhead skink. It’s hard to tell the difference between these skinks except for the mature male Broadhead skink. He has a large orange head and powerful jaws. All can be found under logs, in trees and in the woods. They eat a wide variety of insects, spiders and other invertebrates. They lay eggs in rotten logs or moist soil in the summer. The young skinks have bright blue tails and white or yellowish stripes and sometimes called scorpions, but they are not venomous. When they get older their stripes fade and their color changes. When threatened by a predator they will break off their tails allowing them to escape.
Source of information: srelherp.uga.edu/lizards
The Eastern Garter Snake
The Eastern Garter Snake is a non venomous snake common throughout the Southeast. They live in mostly grassy environments near ponds, ditches and streams. They like to live under boards, logs, rocks and other debris. The garter snake eats slugs, worms, frogs, fish and tadpoles. They give birth to live young and usually grow 18 – 26 inches long.
Carolina Praying Mantis
Most people think of the Chinese Mantis when they hear the words “praying mantis”. The Chinese Praying Mantis is green and slender and they are not native. People buy them because they want to put them in their gardens to eat bad bugs. It is not good to bring non-native bugs into our country because it can cause problems for native species.
The Carolina Praying Mantis is a native mantis. They are mostly brownish gray. The males have slender bodies and long wings. The females have large abdomens and short wings but can’t fly. The Carolina Praying Mantis has a hard time competing with the larger Chinese Mantis for food and territory.
Praying mantises eat all kings of bugs. In gardens they eat both good and bad bugs.
A slug is an invertebrate. It looks like a snail without a shell. They are most active at night eating plants and leaves. Gardeners do not like them because they damage gardens. During the day they hide in damp places. Slugs leave slimly trails that dries to a shiny silver color. The slime or mucus helps them to move and hold on to things like glass and even spider webs. The slime is not poisonous but taste unpleasant to predators such as snakes and turtles.
Source: A Child’s First Library of Learning- Insect World
The Katydid is a nocturnal insect that looks like a green leaf. They have strong back legs for jumping and wings for flying away from danger. They are also known as the long-horned grasshopper and make a high pitched sound that sounds like someone is saying “ka ty did”. They eat leaves, flowers, bark and seeds. The Broad-tipped Conehead Katydid is brown.
The American Bullfrog is a cold blooded reptile. It is the largest frog in the United States and native to the Southeast. Their color ranges from dark green to dark brown on top and it’s belly has gray mottling. Mottling means speckled, spotted or blotchy. Bullfrogs live in aquatic habitats such as swamps, lakes, ponds and ditches. They like to live on the edge of the water where a lot of plants grow. Bullfrogs are voracious eaters and will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouth. Not only do they eat bugs and small reptiles but also mammals, such as mice, and birds. Small teeth allow them to hold onto their prey while trying to eat them. Some people hunt bullfrogs because they like to eat the frog legs.
source: /Wikipedia American Bullfrog
The Eastern Glass Lizard, sometimes called the glass snake, is a reptile that looks like a snake. Unlike snakes they have moveable eyelids, external ear opening and inflexible jaws. They are found on the coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina. During the day they search for insects, spiders, other invertebrates and small reptiles. Like other lizards they have the ability to break off their tails when threatened. The tail continues to move while the lizard sometimes stays motionless, allowing him to escape by being undetected.
source: srelherp.uga.edu/lizards wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass Lizards
Obscured Bird Grasshopper
The Obscure Bird Grasshopper is one of the largest grasshoppers. The female is bigger than the male and can be 2- 2.5 inches long. They are widespread in the eastern US and in some parts of New Mexico and Southeast Arizonia. They live in open woodlands and the adults can be found from July to early October. They can fly long distances and sometimes migrate. They are related to the Desert Locust. Many people call grasshoppers “locust” as I did on my video but Mr. Eric Eaton explains the difference on his Blogspot. He writes, “The term “locust” correctly applies only to the migratory phase of a few species that are normally solitary. Overcrowding in the nymph stage is what triggers the change. Nymphs literally rub elbows (er, “knees”?) while marching overland, and this constant jostling stimulates hormonal changes that lead to an adult stage that is more streamlined, with proportionately longer wings, than the average member of its species. Locust swarms number in the millions if not billions, and while the insects themselves are powerful fliers, they also take advantage of storms, riding the winds ahead of fronts. When they settle, almost anything is fair game for their diet, including dead and dying members of their own kind. Most species in the order Orthoptera are, in fact, ominovorous.” For a good picture of a grasshopper nymph go to backyardnature.net/n/a/g-nymph.htm. source of information: bugeric.BlogSpot.com
The Mediterranean Gecko is a small, nocturnal non native lizard. It is believed that they originally came from Southern Europe and Northern Africa. The Mediterranean Gecko can not blink because they have no eyelids, so they lick their eyes to clean them. They also have sticky toe pads allowing them to climb walls and even walk on ceilings. They like to live near people and buildings with outside lights where they can catch a wide variety of bugs, spiders and invertebrates. Unlike other lizards, geckos can make clicking and barking noises.
source of information: srelherp.uga.edu and Wikipedia.org/wiki/Gecko