25 de abril de 2017

LAX

On April 13th of 2017 I was invited by Jon Richmond to help collect Horned lizard tissues from the habitat at the end of the LAX runway. This is a large stretch of habitat that was going to be developed for homes. All the infrastructure was in place before it was nixed due to the proximity to the airport. Now it is the last coastal sand dune habitat in all of Los Angeles. Thankfully it is off limits to the public and is a preserve where a large horned lizard population survives. The flora is mostly native, but, like most of southern California, has a wide array of invasive species as well. While looking for horned lizards I attempted to record at least one of every species of plant that I observed. The most dominant species were the coastal and common buckwheat, brittle bush and poppies with some plots dominated by grasses and/or ice plant. I also vouchered every single Dudleya that I observed in order to get a density estimate for their population. over the course of the day we were able to search through the northern half of the property. a total of 6 horned lizards were found. It was apparent to all persons involved that this population of Phrynosoma seems to be somewhat dwarfed compared to other inland and southern populations. I was shot with blood from one of the individuals that I caught. This is the first instance that I have observed this defensive behavior involving ruptured the blood vessels in the eye squirting blood at a threatening predator. Jeff Lemm has also noted that this behavior is uncommon in Blainville's horned lizard.
A number of scorpions were observed. I'll have to wait on @kjmcwest to see what species they are, but my guess is California scorpion.
Not included in the vouchers is what I thought was a large skink disappearing into a large bush. Obviously I did not get a picture, but I'm pretty sure by the slithering motion, coloration, and speed that it was a skink. Also seen was an alligator lizard running into a dense thicket of brittlebush.

Ingresado el 25 de abril de 2017 por naturenate naturenate | 161 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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