Wildlife at the Land Lab

Over the span of 6 weeks, the AP student body has found a variety of both common and unique species, while working at their Land Lab Classroom, located up in Wildwood, Missouri. The AP Blog Committee then documented pictures of each of the species, and identified and researched each of the reported wildlife types and classifications. Please enjoy their findings below, as you dive into the realm of bugs, amphibians and reptiles!

J- “The Leopard Slug or Limax Maximus, which translates to “biggest slug”, is a gastropod. The Leopard Slug is also very slimy compared to other slugs. The Leopard Slug lives just about anywhere. We found this one under two big trees. It probably came down off one of those trees at some point or fell out of one. We also found some snails.”

J- “This tree frog might be a Gray Tree Frog but we don’t know for sure. Tree frogs have little “Stickers” on their feet which helps them climb trees. We saw many frogs down by the creek. I don’t remember where we found this one, it was probably by the creek. Different kinds of tree frogs live everywhere in the world, even Australia.”

R- “Mole Crickets are in the same family as crickets, grasshoppers, and locusts. Mole crickets are native to the United States, but are mostly found in Australia. We had found a few mole crickets, near the pond, and the one we took a picture of seemed to be missing its bottom half. They have two long antennae, forearms like a mole’s, and either four or six eyes.”

R- “Grasshoppers and crickets are also related to locusts. Grasshoppers don’t really have a specific country or continent they’re native to, but they can be found on all continents, except Antarctica. Crickets are actually native to Asia, though between 1950 and 2000 they were spread worldwide. Grasshoppers can actually bite humans. Though nothing happens if you do get bit, just a tiny red mark, or a welt. Crickets can actually bite, though they rarely puncture skin. Though crickets carry a number of significant diseases, none of them are fatal to humans, but it can sometimes cause painful sores.”

R- “Crawdads and Crayfish are actually the same animal. Crawdads are native to the United States and northeastern Mexico. Crawdads are actually related to lobsters. Crawdads can actually be colored sandy yellow, pink, red, dark brown, and blue. Crawdads live on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. There are about 200 species of crawdads in North America. We have found many crawdads and crawdad skins in the creek at the land and will continue to find more.”

R- “There is a butterfly we keep on seeing every time we go to the land and it is called the Pipevine Swallowtail. Pipevine Swallowtail butterflies are found/native to North America and Central America. The male butterflies are more blue than the females. The Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillars are typically black or red. We have found a few, or the same one over and over, at the gravel bar near the creek.”

J- “The Ribid spider is able to  carry babies on its back as you can see here. It has its babies on its back and when they are born they are able to carry them on their back to protect them. They’re native to the US.”

J- “Haldea Striatula snakes also known as brown snakes are harmless and don’t attack humans when bothered and just try to get away. The Haldea Striatula is native to Missouri and can be found near rocks.”

J- “Assassin bugs are called that because they pierce their prey with poison, instead of hunting them and being a normal bug. They are also native to the US.”

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