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Friday, September 30, 2005

Observations on Leiocephalus carinatus armouri and Other Stuff

I am not sure whether it is because of the drought of recent years, from which Florida has yet to completely emerge, or human intervention, but the Northern Curly-Tail lizard (Leiocephalus carinatus armouri) just isn't what it used to be. I saw an unusually large specimen, just the other day, and it was half the size of the behemoths of several years ago.

The Curly-Tail is an import from the Bahamas, intentionally released into Florida during the 1940s. (No one seems to remember just why.) It is a sand lizard, rarely seen around the omnipresent Palm Beach County canals, ponds or lakes. Only a few years ago, it was everywhere else in the landscape. It is much less common since. It is rare, now, to see a specimen as much as eight inches long from nose to extended tail.

It is quite possible that steps have been taken to reduce the population. Eradicating aggressive imported species of flora and fauna has been on the state's agenda in recent years, and the rise of the Curly-Tail has been paralleled by a precipitous drop in the populations of the green and brown Anole (also imports).

The Anole receives better press than do other imports. They are much more interesting to watch. (The Curly-Tail is a blunt fellow with little personality.) During mating season, the males extend a bright orange pouch, beneath their chin, and do push-ups to show the ladies that they have what it takes. Combat is frequently the outcome of these displays. They are also pseudo-chameleons: always a favorite party-trick.


I've posted a number of extracts, recently, from well-known naturalists and intend soon to gather them together onto theme pages. Most will appear in the pages of the Treasure Coast Review, as have the following:

Florida locales will figure prominently in line with the TCR's regional slant.

Prior to the nature/naturalist pages, I'd set to work on pages of extracts relating to the Romantic poets. One such page is here on the main blog and the remainder are posted at the TCR. The first pages are on John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley:

Edward John Trelawny was a personal friend of Shelley and Byron and his extracts are drawn from the edition of Recollections of the Last days of Shelley and Byron published in 1858.

The Treasure Coast Review has also gained indexes of Virtual Grub Street's poetry and book reviews over the past week. On the computer side, the Computer Archive's "How to Remove ISearchTech.SideFind" page has been updated. The Archive has become a hit in a little over two weeks time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe the green anole (carolina) is native