Elms Environmental Education Center

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Critters of the Elms

Unknown Caterpillar -Cutworm Maybe: October 2011

I’m guessing that this caterpillar is a cutworm: possibly a Snowy Dart. Can anyone give a positive id to this critter?

That is so interesting about this caterpillar is that its coloring and strips make it very good at staying hidden. However, I can only assume that when threatened, it will bend in such a way to expose these stunning black “eye” patches; perhaps a way of scaring away predators.

underside view (note: this caterpillar was not found on or near this pine tree.)

photos copyright Hester Burch

It was found by students weeding one of our native plant gardens at Elms –October 2011.

Baby Northern Water Snake April 2011

photos copyright Hester Burch

Did you know that water snakes are ovoviviparous? That means that this snake does not lay eggs! Instead, she grows the babies inside of her and when they are ready to be born they come out as free living young.  They can have as many as 30!

This baby Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) was discovered by students and staff at Elms April 2011.

Southern Leopard Frog: Oct. 2011

photos copyright Hester Burch

This Southern Leopard Frog was discovered by visiting 7th graders while they were helping in our native plant nursery.

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The Elms Environmental Education Center is the home of Environmental Education for St. Mary's County Public Schools.

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