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Critter of the Week

Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Wetlands
Common Name: Firefly aka Lightning Bug
Scientific Name: Photinus pyralis (this is a guess, there are 20 species in Virginia but this is the most common)
Length: 10-14 mm long

Quick Facts 

  • The common eastern firefly is, in fact, not a fly, but a type of beetle.
  • Fireflies use specific flashing signals to find a mate. Females wait on the ground for passing males to flash their signal, and then answer with their own specific signal.
  • The typical lifespan is 5-30 days.
  • It was originally thought that the light signals of the firefly would attract predators; however, the common eastern firefly contains a steroid that is poisonous, and this deters potential predators such as birds and frogs.
  • Science Stuff: The firefly produces light in the presence of oxygen, magnesium, and adenosine triphosphate by using an enzyme, luciferase, to oxidize a complex organic compound, luciferin. The light produced is often referred to as “cold light” because almost all the energy is released in the form of light and very little is wasted as heat. The wavelength range of this light spans from 520-620nm, and its brightness reaches 1/40 that of a candle.

Ellie Mae at Richmond SPCA

Howdy partner! My name’s Ellie Mae and I’m a sweet country beagle just lookin for a home to call my own. I am a little bit unsure of new things, so you have to move slow with me and be patient while I warm up. Once we’re friends though, we’re good as gold. Please call the adoption center at 804 521 1307 to speak with an adoption counselor about me!

Age: 2 years, 2 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: White / Brown
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 44250389

 

Adopt Ellie Mae 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.




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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.

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Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Pony Pasture (very dead the bug not Pony Pasture)
Common Name: Cicada aka Get the Hell Out of My House Demon Bug
Scientific Name: Neotibicen canicularis aka Dog-day Cicada or a eotibicen davisi davisi aka Davis’ Southeastern Dog-Day Cicada
Length: 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 in)

Quick Facts

  • Cicadas have been featured in literature since the time of Homer’s Iliad, and as motifs in art from the Chinese Shang dynasty. They have also been used in myth and folklore as symbols of carefree living and immortality.
  • At least 3000 cicada species are distributed worldwide with the majority being in the tropics.
  • Cicadas appear either annually (every year) or periodically (every 13 or 17 years) depending on the species.
  • The timing of a 13- or 17-year cycle is one of the great mysteries of the insect world. Research and mathematical modeling suggest that the length of these brood cycles could be attributed to predatory avoidance.
  • The “singing” of male cicadas is produced principally and in the majority of species using a special structure called a tymbal, a pair of which lies below each side of the anterior abdominal region.

Pollywog at Richmond SPCA

Pollywog is a big handsome boy with a lot of love to give to a new lucky family. Pollywog enjoys being the center of attention and getting tons of praise. Schedule a visit to meet Pollywog at the Richmond SPCA today to see what a special companion he is.

Age: 1 year,
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Black / White
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 45048293

Adopt Pollywog 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.

 




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Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Spicebush Swallowtail
Scientific Name: Papilio troilus
Wingspan:  92-124 mm (3.83-4.78 in)

Quick Facts

  • Males are reported to drink from mud puddles. More commonly, they are extracting minerals from wet soil, not from puddles.
  • Males patrol host plants and flyways to locate females.
  • The spicebush swallowtail is threatened throughout its range due to mortality of its caterpillar host plants from laurel wilt fungus which is transmitted by the introduced red bay ambrosia beetle.
  • A male spicebush swallowtail was featured on the third butterfly stamp (issued January, 2013) in the U.S. Postal Service’s series of stamps for large greeting cards.
  • The spicebush swallowtail is found throughout the eastern half of the United States from southern Canada south to southern Florida (except the Miami area and Keys) and west to Texas. It is less common farther west from the Mississippi River.

Oxford Comma at Richmond SPCA

Oxford Comma is the name…don’t wear it out! I can be a bit of a stickler for grammar, but I promise I won’t get on you too much! If you’re in need of a sophisticated pal, come meet me at the Richmond SPCA!

Age: 4 years, 5 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Grey
Declawed: No
ID: 43933999

Adopt Oxford Comma 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.

 




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Critters of the Week

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

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Carolina Wren
Scientific Name: Thryothorus ludovicianus
Length: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
Weight: 0.6-0.8 oz (18-22 g)
Wingspan: 11.4 in (29 cm)

Quick Facts (Courtesy of The Cornell Lab)

  • The Carolina Wren is sensitive to cold weather, with the northern populations decreasing markedly after severe winters. The gradually increasing winter temperatures over the last century may have been responsible for the northward range expansion seen in the mid-1900s.
  • Unlike other wren species in its genus, only the male Carolina Wren sings the loud song. In other species, such as the Stripe-breasted Wren of Central America, both members of a pair sing together. The male and female sing different parts, and usually interweave their songs such that they sound like a single bird singing.
  • One captive male Carolina Wren sang nearly 3,000 times in a single day.
  • A pair bond may form between a male and a female at any time of the year, and the pair will stay together for life. Members of a pair stay together on their territory year-round, and forage and move around the territory together.
  • The oldest recorded Carolina Wren was at least 7 years, 8 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Florida in 2004. It had been banded in the same state in 1997.

Mermaid at Richmond SPCA

When’s it my turn?
Wouldn’t I love
Love to explore that shore up above?
Out of the sea
Wish I could be
Part of your world

Mermaid’s pre-adoptive care was generously sponsored by our friends at Patient First.

Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brown / White
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 44383064

 

Adopt Mermaid 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.




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