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New Jersey Scuba Diving

Bananas!

New Jersey Scuba Diving

I'm looking for recent dive/fishing reports of the Radford. If you've been there in the last year or two, I'd like to hear what you found. In particular, where is the stern now? I can find no reports since 2012.

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Higher Animals


An assortment of reptiles and amphibians that might be observed in and around the water. There are many other types as well. Except for a single species of frog, amphibians are absent from the marine environment.


Southern Leopard Frog

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Leopard Frog Rana utricularia

Size: to 3.5"

Habitat: in and around water

Notes: Sometimes wanders well away from water.

tadpoleTadpoles are larval frogs. They prefer quiet vegetated waters, where they feed on algea, although under adverse conditions they may even become cannibals. Tadpoles are clumsy swimmers, and are usually found in waters devoid of predatory fish, such as temporary pools. Eventually they grow legs, lose the tail, and climb out of the water as frogs ( or toads. ) Anyone who hasn't raised a tadpole in a jar has missed a part of their childhood.


Leopard Frog


Bullfrog

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Rana catesbeiana

Size: to 6"

Habitat: prefers larger bodies of water

Notes: This big frog will eat almost anything that moves. They have been known to catch and eat birds.

Bullfrog

Green frogGreen frog ( left ) is similar, but smaller. Neither of these frogs is likely to stray too far from water.

Salamanders

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Salamandermany species

Salamanders are terrestrial as adults, but eggs and larvae are aquatic. Larvae have both gill slits and external gills. A few species are completely aquatic, retaining these features as adults. Some salamanders are boldly colored and patterned and easy to identify, but many are simply small and brown and very difficult to tell apart, like this one.

A tiny larval salamander
A tiny larval salamander at Dutch Springs. Possibly some kind of Dusky Salamander.


Northern Water Snake

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Northern Water Snake Nerodia sipedon

Size: to 42"

Habitat: in and around water

Notes: Not poisonous, but likely to bite if caught, with sharp, needle-like teeth. These snakes retreat into the water at the slightest disturbance, and are excellent swimmers, although they show no particular adaptations to it like oceanic sea snakes. Common small harmless Garter snakes are also often found around water. Most sport some variation of an attractive pattern of yellow/black stripes.

Northern Water Snake


Snapping Turtle

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina

Size: to 15" (body)

Habitat: hides on bottom in any type of water

Notes: Generally docile and easily approached in the water, but should be treated with respect for its powerful bite. This turtle can easily amputate a finger or toe, and becomes pugnacious when landed. If you have the patience, try to see how long this turtle can go between breaths. A lot longer than you or me, that's for sure.


Snapping Turtle
In the water these turtles are inoffensive, but don't temp fate !

Snapping Turtle
On land is a different story. I pulled over and used a stick to push this nasty little guy off the highway. He was not the least bit appreciative, and snapped at me repeatedly - the long neck gives this turtle a very quick snake-like motion. Spring seems to be the season for Snapping Turtle wanderlust, and they turn up in the darn'dest places.


Common Musk Turtle

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Common Musk Turtle Sterotherus odoratus

Size: to 4.5"

Habitat: in and around water

Notes: Also known as 'Stinkpots'. Often bad-smelling, sometimes snappy, and a nimble climber. Occasionally, this little turtle is even found in trees.


Eastern Painted Turtle

Freshwater Reptiles & Amphibians

Chrysemys picta

Size: to 6"

Habitat: shallow water over muddy bottoms

Notes: Also known as 'Sliders'. Likes to sun itself on floating logs. Sliders are not native to New Jersey, but the descendants of released pets are quite common.


Diamondback TerrapinDiamondback Terrapins are similar, but prefer a saltier environment, and are usually found in brackish water. This is the turtle that is most often eaten, and their numbers were once greatly reduced due to human predation, but have since recovered.


Eastern Box Turtle
Eastern Box Turtle - Terrapene carolina carolina

Box Turtle numbers are declining, so if you see one on a road or some other bad place, give it a boost to a better location before it gets killed. They are harmless, and even tame.


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Disclaimer:

I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
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