Some Big Bend National Park Fauna

Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus)  They lack external ear openings to prevent sand from entering their ears.

Greater Earless Lizard (Cophosaurus texanus) They lack external ear openings to prevent sand from entering their ears.

Every time I visit Big Bend I am astounded by the diversity of  life that thrives in this harsh desert landscape.  I go to see the birds of course, but there are other very interesting creatures which a hiker encounters.   We encountered the Greater Earless Lizard at Burro Mesa Pouroff.  Another lizard we saw was the Big Bend Canyon Lizard (Sceloporus merriami annulatus) which is native to a narrow range in the Big Bend area.

We saw this Big Bend Canyon Lizard at Sam Nail Ranch.  They adjust their color to blend in with their surroundings.

We saw this Big Bend Canyon Lizard at Sam Nail Ranch. They adjust their color to blend in with their surroundings.

There were also a number of lovely butterflies.   I tried to photograph some, Pipevine Swallowtails and Banded Sisters but ended up with a number of photos of “the rock where the butterfly had been a moment before I clicked the shutter.”  I did manage to get a photo of the Hackberry Emperor (Asterocampa celtis).

Hackberry Emperor butterflies don't visit flowers but feed on sap, rotting fruit, carcasses and dung.  Hackberry Trees are their only host plant.

Hackberry Emperor butterflies don’t visit flowers but feed on sap, rotting fruit, carcasses and dung. Hackberry Trees are their only host plant.

There are also several attractive beetles we encountered.  These impressive ones, Black-striped Blister Beetles (Epicauda atrivittata) were on a bush on the way to Cattail Falls.  They were nearly 2″ long.  They can deliver a nasty bite.

Black-striped Blister Beetle

Black-striped Blister Beetle

On our way back to Midland for the flight home, we stopped at a Prairie Dog town to look for Burrowing Owls and I noticed this young Pronghorn Antelope.  I wonder if they are farmed as this one has a collar.

IMG_2063

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: