Today, the Ohio Heritage Naturalists ventured to Buzzards Roost, a county park managed by the Ross County Park District.
First up is a northern dusky salamander, Desmognathus fuscus, which members of our group discovered crawling under wet shale that had slumped off from a bank above. This species occurs in all but northwest Ohio. This brown or dark gray salamander can be identified by the light line running from behind its eye downward and back to the base of its jaw.
One of the neat things about going on these trips is meeting people from across the state that are interested in divergent aspects about Ohio's natural history. It isn't often that I meet people interested in herps, but today we had several people interested in herps. One of those people, Greg Gentry, found this eastern five lined skink under a rock. It was a squirrelly guy, and hard to contain, so we placed it in a jar to photograph this spectacular lizard.
In the bottomlands of Paint Creek, I was able to photograph this eastern comma butterfly. This species has a silver-gray shape on the underside of its wings that looks like a common, hence its common name. There is even a question mark butterfly as well.
Finally, the last herp of the day was this eastern box turtle. This individual was hiding out under a log, and it required a very sharp eye to spot. Joe Letsche, another herper on the trip, spotted it immediately. Although this male's colors is somewhat subdued, I always relish finding a box turtle.