Northern California has so many different ecosystems, plants, animals and amazing things to see that I thought I should share some of this beauty with the world. Take a look at some of the nature videos I have compiled here and please give me suggestions about what you would like to see! I will be focusing specifically on amphibians, reptiles, birds and any large predators that I can find.
The eventual goal is to video and document most of the common species in Sonoma County, California, and the surrounding counties. It is very important for everyone to see these different plants and animals as soon as possible because much of their habitat is being destroyed in Sonoma County to make way for new developments. My hope is that the knowledge of and exposure to these wonderful plants and animals will motivate everyone to take action for preserving more habitat in Sonoma County and the rest of out beautiful, unique planet!
The Green Scorpion
I could not believe that I actually found a green scorpion! I have never seen a green scorpion in the field nor in any guide book for northern California. This was a very large scorpion also. After taking my cold medicine, I mistakenly narrated that the scorpion was a reptile. It is an arachnid. This particular scorpion does not have lethal venom, but if it bites you the punctured area will definitely be uncomfortable for several hours. I learned later that scorpion stings can cause pancreatitis!
Enjoy the video!
Sonoma County Salamaders: California Slender Salamander (Batrachoseps attenuatus)
The California slender salamander is a lungless salamander. It breathes through its skin. You can commonly find these salamanders under old logs or even sometimes rocks. You will not find them in streams. They are very distinctive because they are so thin and their legs and feet are so tiny! They produce a secretion in their skin that can glue a predator’s mouth shut!
Ensatina salamander (Ensatina eschoscholtzi oregonensis)
The Ensatina salamander is also a lungless salamander found in the California coastal regions that breathes through pores in its skin. This particular one is probably Ensatina eschoscholtzi oregonensis. Due to the fact that they breathe through pores in their skin, these guys are very sensitive to human contact. You should not handle an Ensatina if you find one. Just admire its beauty and let it be.
Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugurbris)
The Arboreal salamander of California and Baja California is also a lungless salamander with a highly diverse diet. They enjoy feeding on small insects and have even been know to eat Slender salamanders. I found this one under a large pile of wood in January during a particularly dry rainy season in Sonoma County. They prefer moist, cool places to hide and you will not find them in creeks.