Skink and Sarracenia

I fished a large skink (approx. 30 cm from nose to tail) out of a bucket containing about 2 cm of water this morning. It perched calmly on my hand for about twenty minutes and then panicked and escaped when I started to stroke its back.

While I’m pleased to have saved its life, I’m also aware that its predicament was my fault: I should have stored all the buckets in the backyard upside-down just to prevent this kind of thing.

Skink

Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

[Edit, 18 Sep 2009] This is one of the skinks that make their home in my backyard. Note the missing toes on the left hind leg, and the scars left over from dropping its tail and growing a replacement.

Could it be my rescuee? Well, maybe. It’s about the same size…

skink02

Eulamprus quoyii (tentative identification)

Tentatively identified as Eulamprus quoyii, or Eastern Water Skink.

I hand-pollinated a Sarracenia flava flower a couple of weeks ago. By this morning the petals had all dropped off and the stalk straightened out completely. The whole structure is completely up-ended and the developing seed capsule is now protected by an umbrella that used to be a bucket.

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination


A second flower is showing signs of the same movement, so I assume that it’s been successfully pollinated by insects (probably ants).

The third flower opened yesterday. I’ve hand-pollinated it this morning and will indicate in an update the time it takes for the 180-degree re-orientation to take place.

Update (20 Sept 2009): The third flower is now 90° from the vertical. Petals are still on.

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

Flower of Sarracenia flava, two weeks after pollination

Flowers of Sarracenia flava, with the petals still on

Flowers of Sarracenia flava with the petals still on

Camera: Pentax K100D Super with Pentax DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED zoom lens. Ambient light only. Cropping and resizing in Irfanview.

I used this picture by Adam.J.W.C. (snagged off Wikipedia) as a placeholder in the original version of this post:

Skink at the Malabar Battery (photo by Adam.J.W.C.)

Skink at the Malabar Battery (photo by Adam.J.W.C.)

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2 Responses to Skink and Sarracenia

  1. mudepoz says:

    Cool, how far south are you? I’m taking care of S. purpurea in our greenhouse. They’re studying nutrient absorption 🙂

  2. Sydney, Australia. 🙂

    All my Sarracenias grow outside, in 50-litre tubs with live sphagnum as a growing medium. I have S. purpurea as well, and this year the flower stalk is about an inch long. Odd, that.

    I also have a couple of Nepenthes which I’ll put outside as well, after I’ve created a shaded area for them. They’re frost-sensitive and require a more humid environment than the Sarras.

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