Friday, February 28, 2014

Some New Mexico Wild Life

Spring is a great time of the year, flowers start to bloom, love is in the air, and creatures come out to play. Here are some of the neat animals that are found in New Mexico. One of JR's coworkers sent out an email including some of these wildlife creature. I am a very visual person, so I figured while I was searching for pictures, I would share them with you too:)
We have been here almost a year and I seen a Tarantula (only because JR brought it home from work). He has seen many more creatures including snakes since he works in the middle of nowhere. I have also seen a small Scorpion in a friends house and we do see Coyotes running around outside sometimes.

 I used to live in Maine and have seen plenty of these. You have to be careful on side road and in open areas when driving, especially at dawn and dusk.

 Mountain Lions
Mexican Grey Wolves

 Whip Snakes
Gopher (bull) Snake
Black-tailed Rattlesnake 
Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

The first two are usually harmless, you'd have to either step on them or go out of your way to agitate them. The rattlers can pose a bigger danger. If you are bitten, remain calm and keep the bitten appendage at or below heart level and do not put ice on the bite or try to suck the venom out with your mouth. Go to a hospital immediately.
Rattlers can only strike about 1/3 - 1/2 of their length, so if you remain a body length away, you are safe. Usually a resting rattler will not get agitated and will remain motionless except for a flick of the tongue. Because of this, do not step over rocks, branches, stumps, etc. Either walk around them or step on top and look down on the other side. Snakes can resemble sticks and branches lying in the road.

Ring-tailed Cats
Nocturnal and usually avoid humans, but they do have a nice set of sharp teeth!

         Jerusalem crickets 
 Not venomous, they can emit a foul smell and are capable of inflicting a painful bite.

         Desert (brown) Tarantulas
May inflict a painful bite on a human if sufficiently provoked, the bite hurts less than a bee sting and poses no serious hazard unless the bite becomes infected or the victim has a severe allergic reaction. The tarantula's hairs may very well pose a greater hazard than its venom. It isn't just that imbedded hairs are very irritating and difficult to remove from your skin. Hairs that get into your eyes can cause ocular injuries that persist for some time, and hairs that you inhale into your breathing passages can cause allergic rhinitis with symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and sinus headaches. Hairs that you deeply inhale may cause even more serious lung problems.

         Tarantula Hawk
Is not a hawk, but a spider wasp which hunts tarantulas as food for its larvae. Tarantula hawks are up to 5 cm (2 in) long, with blue-black bodies and bright, rust-colored wings (other species have black wings with blue highlights), making them among the largest of wasps. The vivid coloration found on the bodies, and especially wings, of these wasps is an aposematism, advertising to potential predators the wasps' ability to deliver a powerful sting. Their long legs have hooked claws for grappling with their victims. The stinger of a female Pepsis grossa can be up to 7 mm (1/3 in) long, and the sting is considered the second most painful insect sting in the world.

         Black Widow spider
The bite is most painful during 8 to 12 hours after being bitten.  Black Widow venom causes severe muscle spasms all over the body and can be deadly, especially in small children.

        Brown spiders
Apache Brown Spider
In New Mexico, there are three species of brown spiders:  the blanda, desert and Apache.  All three species are similar looking spanning about an inch in length including the legs and light to dark brown in color.  As close relatives to the brown recluse, the brown spiders may or may not have the "violin" marking present on their bodies. All three species live outdoors under logs, rocks, dead cacti, in burrows, etc.  Their venom is very potent and can be deadly, especially in small children.

         Scolopendra Centipede
Take prey as large as rodents and even bats. Their bites are very painful, but are rarely fatal in humans. The venom is delivered through the animal's forcipules, which lie just behind the mandibles. The venom of Scolopendra species contains compounds such as serotonin, haemolytic phospholipase A, a cardiotoxic protein and a cytolysin.
Captive Hairy Scorpion,  Note hair on pincers.  
Venomous relatives of spiders. They have 4 sets of legs and two pinchers in the front of their long bodies. They sting their victims with the tips of their tails. Although all scorpions produce venom, the Arizona bark scorpion is the only species that can cause serious medical illness and even death.
Arizona Bark Scorpion
If you live in an area that the Arizona bark scorpion inhabits, you are likely to find them in your home. Be extra careful around water at night if you are in an inhabited area. The Arizona bark scorpion can climb virtually any surface except glass and clean plastic. Symptoms in children include uncontrollable crying, increased salivation and rapid eye movements. Within two to three hours of being stung, adults may experience the following: pain and burning at the site of the bite; numbness and tingling distant to the site of the bite; difficulty swallowing and an increase in salvia or drooling; muscle twitching; respiratory problems; slurred speech; and restlessness and irritability. They can be found in the southwest corner of New Mexico.

Arizona Coral snake, USFWS photo
         Coral snakes
They can also be found in the southwest corner of New Mexico.  Although the coral snakes in New Mexico are often too small to bite humans, please know that their venom is highly toxic. Coral snakes are often confused with the New Mexico milk snake (does not have toxic venom) because of similar banding patterns.
New Mexico Milk Snake
This catchy rhyme can help one distinguish the coral snake from its less dangerous counterpart, the New Mexico milk snake: "Red touches yellow will kill a fellow (coral snake). Red touches black, venom lack (New Mexico milk snake)." However, if it slithers on the ground, it is best to leave it alone!
JRs friend LeRoy Said:
As a rule of thumb, never put your hands or feet into places where you cannot see. 

         This is only a small segment of the various species in New Mexico.

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