Connect with us

Hills & Heights

RVA Tails: Pony Pasture Turtle

One of the many critters who share our neighborhood.

Avatar

Published

on

Spotted this morning at Pony Pasture.

Common Name: Eastern Box Turtle
Scientific Name: Terrapene carolina carolina
Genus: Terrapene is derived from Native Americans (Algonquin) which means “turtle”.
Average Length: 4.5 – 6 in. (11.5 – 15.2 cm)
Virginia Record Length: 6.1 in. (15.6 cm)
Record length: 7.8 in. (19.8 cm)

REPRODUCTION: In Virginia, box turtles usually have one clutch of 2-7 eggs per year In the wild, mating has been observed in April-October, while nesting usually occurs May through July. Some delayed fertilization has been noted. Smallest male and female at maturity was 110 mm CL. They take about 10-20 years to mature. Nests are excavated with hind limbs and can be in any soil type. Nest is usually 6-8 cm deep. Eggs approximately averaged 35.4 x 21.3 mm and weighed 7.8-13.0 grams. Incubation in lab was 56-75 days. Reports from the wild are 69-136 days. Overwintering in the nest may occur.

BEHAVIOR: Quite secretive, this species is diurnal, but active in late spring, early summer. They become very active and easily captured after summer rainstorms. They are omnivores and have been known to be a good source of seed dispersal. They will eat earthworms, mushrooms, berries, insects, amphibians and carrion. The young are primarily carnivorous. They are active about early May to October but they may be active earlier and later. They overwinter buried in leaves and soil. They seek damp mud or pools when temperatures get too high. They are found in most open forested habitats with lots of cover.

Turtles facts courtesy of Virginia Herpetological Society.

Comments

comments

Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Community

Critters of the Week

A wild critter we spotted in the RVA area and a critter up for adoption by SPCA or RACC.

Avatar

Published

on

Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name:  Common Starling or European Starling
Scientific Name: Sturnus vulgaris
Length: 7.5–9.1 in
Weight: 2.0–3.6 oz
Wingspan: 12–17 in

Quick Facts Courtesy of All About Birds

  • All the European Starlings in North America descended from 100 birds set loose in New York’s Central Park in the early 1890s. The birds were intentionally released by a group who wanted America to have all the birds that Shakespeare ever mentioned. There are now over 200 million European Starlings and they range from Alaska to Mexico.
  • Because of their recent arrival in North America, all of our starlings are closely related. Genetically, individuals from Virginia are nearly indistinguishable from starlings sampled in California, 3,000 miles away. Such little genetic variation often spells trouble for rare species, but seems to offer no ill effects to starlings so far.
  • Starlings are strong fliers that can get up to speeds of 48 mph.
  • In studies of starlings’ sense of taste, scientists have discovered that they can taste salt, sugars, citric acid, and tannins (bitter compounds that occur in many fruits, including acorns and grapes). They can tell the difference between sucrose (table sugar) and other kinds of sugars – helpful since starlings lack the ability to digest sucrose.
  • Starlings are great vocal mimics: individuals can learn the calls of up to 20 different species. Birds whose songs starlings often copy include the Eastern Wood-Pewee, Killdeer, meadowlarks, Northern Bobwhite, Wood Thrush, Red-tailed Hawk, American Robin, Northern Flicker, and many others.

 

Benjamin at Richmond SPCA

Behold! The bold and beautiful…erm…handsome Benjamin! Have you been yearning for a pal who will cuddle up with you at night? Is your heart aching for some TLC that can only be cured by toe pads and whiskers? Well then we have the best little buddy for you! If you’re interested in finally taking home your new best friend, come ask to meet with Benjamin today!

Age: 8 years, 3 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black
Declawed: No
ID: 43463251

Adopt Benjamin at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

To reduce visitor traffic, during the COVID-19 outbreak they are scheduling adoption appointments beginning Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Please leave your phone number in a voicemail or email and an adoption counselor will call to set an appointment for you to meet with a pet. Email the adoption center or call 804-521-1307.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Suspects Sought in Commercial Burglary on Forest Hill Avenue

At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, officers responded to the S&K Mini Mart in the 3400 block of Forest Hill Avenue for a burglary alarm that had just gone off. Once on scene, police found the front glass window smashed in.

Avatar

Published

on

From RPD:

At approximately 12:10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, officers responded to the S&K Mini Mart in the 3400 block of Forest Hill Avenue for a burglary alarm that had just gone off. Once on scene, police found the front glass window smashed in.

Security video shows the two adult male suspects using a lead pipe to break the window and get inside the business. They went directly behind the counter and stole cigarettes and money. The suspects left the same way they came in.

Anyone with information about the identity of these suspects is asked to call Second Precinct Detective J. Thondique at (804) 646-8170 or contact Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000 or at www.7801000.com. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Community

Artist Keith Ramsey Uses his Welder to Help Healthcare Workers

People are pitching in to help fight COVID-19. Local artist Keith Ramsey was able to pivot his skills in an amazing way.

Avatar

Published

on

Keith Ramsey is a multi-talented artist. In addition to fine art painting he also has a more industrial tact with some of his work that uses metal and a welder. It’s because of this background and his generous nature that the following story is not surprising in the least.

In Keith’s own words:

Last Monday someone contacted me with an issue. They needed a welder to help put together @12+ racks for a medical facility to help sterilize much needed medical supplies to help with the influx of COVID19 patients to come.

I had projects already in the workshop, but before he could get halfway into asking if I could help, It was already a hard “YES.”

After about a week of straight 9-hour days and more welding in a short amount of time I have ever done, we got the racks out the door!

The thing about that is, I was proud to be able to do something… anything, I could do to help in this crisis our nation, and the world, is facing. It was a small part by comparison to what others are doing and sacrificing, but it was what I personally could do with the resources I had.

I believe THAT’S how we are going to beat COVID19 back. Everyone doing what they can, when they can to help out. Because, as we all know, this thing doesn’t care about who you are, who you vote for, where you’re from and what you look like.

And we need to be the same way to combat this.
That’s my two cents. #metalsupermarkets #ramseyartworks

You can check Keith’s work at Ramsey Art Works.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Richmond Weather

Events Calendar