Elms Environmental Education Center

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Critters of the Elms

Imperial Moth Caterpillar 2012

The imperial moth Eacles imperialis is quite impressive as both a caterpillar and a moth.

Unlike anything they had seen before.

Caterpillars will eat sweetgum, birch, elm, sassafras, pine, sycamore and many other trees.

Two 7th grade students were surprised to find this critter while trying to identify a sweetgum tree at Elms September 2012.

American Shieldback 2012

American shieldback (Atlanticus americanus) male

photos Hester Burch

This American Shieldback Katydid was found by 7th grade Stem students attending an Event called Bioblast held on PAX NAS. Several staff members from Elms participated in this event. Among other activities, students searched for interesting insects on plants.

June 2012

Click here if you would like to hear it's call.


Eastern Cottontails 2012

Eastern cottontail Sylvilagus floridanus

Cottontails eat plants. They love clover and sedges and grasses. In the winter they eat buds, stems and the tips of plants growing within reach. They will also eat the bark of some trees. Interestingly, they do not drink water; rather, they get the water they need from plants.

This cottontail was spotted in June of 2012

photos Hester Burch

This picture was taken in April 2012.

Students that spend the night here are more likely to see these rabbits because they are most active at dawn and dusk.


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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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