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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: Bryan Park
Common Name: Milkweed Bug
Scientific Name: Oncopeltus fasciatus
Length: 10–18 mm

Quick Facts (Missouri Botanical Garden)

  • It has a long proboscis and is a piercing sucking insect. It feeds on the seeds, leaves and stems of milkweed (Asclepias).
  • The bodies of milkweed bugs contain toxic compounds derived from the sap which they suck from milkweed.
  • They are used as research insects because they are easy to use in the laboratory, have a short life cycle and are easy to manipulate.
  • The milkweed bug undergoes incomplete metamorphosis. The nymphs look like adults but do not have full wings and their color pattern is different. They have five instars before they reach adulthood. Black wing pads appear early in their development.

Pumpkaboo at Richmond SPCA

Allow me to introduce myself: the amazing, the exquisite, THE Pumpkaboo. I am the lady you want to know. I have the looks, the charm and the personality that will take the world by storm. Being this lovely isn’t easy, you know. Some days I just need to take a beauty rest in bed with a bowl of kibble and catch up on my soap operas. I realize seeing my name in lights could be a little far-fetched, but I am equally as happy to be the star of your home. Want to get on the A List with me? Contact the Richmond SPCA adoption center at 804-521-1307 to learn more about me!

Age: 7 years, 10 months
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brindle
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 42873563

Adopt Pumpkaboo 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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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: Bryan Park
Common Name: Killdeer (and they look so innocent)
Scientific Name: Strix varia
Length: 7.9-11.0 in (20-28 cm)
Weight: 2.6-4.5 oz (75-128 g)
Wingspan: 18.1-18.9 in (46-48 cm)

Quick Facts (Cornell Lab)

  • Killdeer get their name from the shrill, wailing kill-deer call they give so often. Eighteenth-century naturalists also noticed how noisy Killdeer are, giving them names such as the Chattering Plover and the Noisy Plover.
  • Gravel rooftops attract Killdeer for nesting, but can be dangerous places to raise a brood. Chicks may be unable to leave a roof because of high parapets and screened drain openings. Adults eventually lure chicks off the roof, which can be dangerous – although one set of chicks survived a leap from a seven-story building.
  • The Killdeer’s broken-wing act leads predators away from a nest, but doesn’t keep cows or horses from stepping on eggs. To guard against large hoofed animals, the Killdeer uses a quite different display, fluffing itself up, displaying its tail over its head, and running at the beast to attempt to make it change its path.
  • A well-known denizen of dry habitats, the Killdeer is actually a proficient swimmer. Adults swim well in swift-flowing water, and chicks can swim across small streams.
  • The male and female of a mated pair pick out a nesting site through a ritual known as a scrape ceremony. The male lowers his breast to the ground and scrapes a shallow depression with his feet. The female then approaches, head lowered, and takes his place. The male then stands with body tilted slightly forward, tail raised and spread, calling rapidly. Mating often follows.
  • Killdeer lay their eggs into an empty nest but add other materials later on. Some of these items they pick up as they are leaving and toss over their shoulder into the nest. In one nest in Oklahoma, people found more than 1,500 pebbles had accumulated this way.
  • The oldest recorded Killdeer was at least 10 years, 11 months old when it was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Kansas.

If you like these photos be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Rufflet at Richmond SPCA

Rufflet is a sweet man looking for a good friend to adopt him. Rufflet is looking forward to quiet naps with friends, lazy days lounging around the house, and taking relaxing walks around a quiet neighborhood. Schedule a visit to meet Rufflet today to see what a charming man he is.

Age: 12 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Tan
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 45240277

Adopt Rufflet 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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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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Published

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Mature Milkweed Tiger Moth

Photo from Wikipedia

 

 

It was bound to happen. I miss identified this caterpillar as a Virginia Ctenucha.  Traci very politely informed of my mistake and let me know that this is a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar. I’ve updated the information below and thanks again, Traci.

Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Awww it’s a Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar aka Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Scientific Name: Euchaetes egle
Length: Up to 35 mm

Quick Facts

  • It is found from southern Canada and south through Texas and Florida in North America.
  • This moth frequently uses milkweeds, as you’d expect from the name, (Asclepias spp.) and sometimes dogbane (Apocynum spp.) as larval host plants.
  • They skeletonize whole leaves gregariously, leaving lacy leaf remnants.
  • Mature caterpillars occur from June onwards

If you enjoy this series please consider donating.




Belvedere at Richmond SPCA

 

Yep, they whisper in my presence saying that I am just a big old puddle of love. I cannot help it because I LOVE PEOPLE! Certainly, I am not going deny anyone to pet me, to allow me to give out head butts and plenty of kisses. Nosireebob, I am the festively plump feline headed your way. Please call an adoption counselor to meet with me, it will be a romance for the ages!

Age: 3 years, 5 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Orange / White
Declawed: No
ID: 44086454

Adopt Belvedere 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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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.

Avatar

Published

on

If you like these photos be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow. I try to follow ethical photography practices when photographing our wild critters. I use a long lens (hope to upgrade soon) and try not to disturb the animal. In this case, the owl was happily preening and very tolerant of me being nearby. The owl then flew into a nearby creek to bathe. It stopped splashing as soon as it spotted me, so I quickly took one shot then backed away. Just a little background on my methodology and know it is never my intention to disturb a bird or animal to get “the shot”.  Thanks, RWH

 

Where Spotted: Westover Hills near Nickel Bridge
Common Name: Barred Owl
Scientific Name: Strix varia
Length: 16.9-19.7 in (43-50 cm)
Weight: 16.6-37.0 oz (470-1050 g)
Wingspan: 39.0-43.3 in (99-110 cm)

Quick Facts (Cornell Lab)

  • The Great Horned Owl is the most serious predatory threat to the Barred Owl. Although the two species often live in the same areas, a Barred Owl will move to another part of its territory when a Great Horned Owl is nearby.
  • Pleistocene fossils of Barred Owls, at least 11,000 years old, have been dug up in Florida, Tennessee, and Ontario.
  • Barred Owls don’t migrate, and they don’t even move around very much. Of 158 birds that were banded and then found later, none had moved farther than 6 miles away.
  • Despite their generally sedentary nature, Barred Owls have recently expanded their range into the Pacific Northwest. There, they are displacing and hybridizing with Spotted Owls—their slightly smaller, less aggressive cousins—which are already threatened from habitat loss.
  • Young Barred Owls can climb trees by grasping the bark with their bill and talons, flapping their wings, and walking their way up the trunk.
  • The oldest recorded Barred Owl was at least 24 years, 1 month old. It was banded in Minnesota in 1986, and found dead, entangled in fishing gear, in the same state in 2010.

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Ruth at Richmond SPCA

Hi! My name is Ruth and I’m a cute, curious little lady looking for my place in this world and I hope that it’s with you! I love to play with toys and then have a cuddle session afterwards. I am quite silly and sure to keep you smiling with my antics. If you’re looking for a loving pal, call the Richmond SPCA adoption center to set up an appointment!

Age: 8 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Brown / White
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 45220237

Adopt Ruth 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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