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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 Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Praying Mantis specifically a Carolina Mantis
Scientific Name: Stagmomantis carolina
Length: Adult females are 47 to 60 millimeters (2-2.5 inches) adult males are about 54 millimeters (2.2 inches)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Capital Naturalist

  •  “Praying” mantis have long fascinated people. The very term “mantis” comes from ancient Greek meaning “prophet” or “seer” due to the way they hold their legs in prayer-like fashion.
  • All mantis have a unique ability to turn their heads around much more than other insects. They are said to be the only insects that can look over their shoulders.
  • There are 20 species of mantis in North America. Unfortunately, of the two we commonly see around here, the most likely one we encounter is the non-native Chinese Mantis (Tenodera aridifolia).
  • Chinese Mantis are larger, the females getting to about 4″. Chinese Mantis also have wings that extend beyond their abdomen, while the female Carolina Mantis have wings that only extend part way along the back.
  • A typical Carolina ootheca produces about 50 eggs, while the Chinese might produce 350 eggs.
  • Sexual cannibalism occurs in roughly one quarter of all intersexual encounters of this species, though specimens of this species will engage in cannibalism regardless of age or gender if the opportunity presents itself.
  • The Carolina mantis is the state insect of South Carolina.
  • The Carolina mantis’ color varies because the nymphs are able to adjust their color to match the environment they are in at the time of molting. They can adjust their color over each molt, if necessary, until they reach their final molt to adulthood.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Jada at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Jada and I’m the girl for you! I am pretty lonely here by myself, just waiting for my special someone to come along. Won’t you please take me home today?

Age: 14 years, 1 month
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey
ID: 48579752

Adopt Jada at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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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 Richmond SPCA.

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Where Spotted: Bryan Park
Common Name: Summer Tanager
Scientific Name:
Length: 6.7 in (17 cm)
Weight: 1.1 oz (30 g)
Wingspan: 28 to 30 cm

Quick Facts Courtesy of Cornell Labs

  • The Summer Tanager is a bee and wasp specialist. It catches these insects in flight and kills them by beating them against a branch. Before eating a bee, the tanager rubs it on the branch to remove the stinger. Summer Tanagers eat larvae, too: first they get rid of the adults, and then they tear open the nest to get the grubs.
  • Like most birds that migrate long distances, the Summer Tanager puts on large fat deposits to fuel its long flight. In one study, tanagers arriving in Panama had enough fat to fly an estimated additional 890 km (553 mi).
  • Summer Tanagers are closely related to several other North American birds in the genus Piranga, including Scarlet and Western tanagers. Taxonomists used to place this genus in the same family as the true tanagers, but they now consider Summer Tanagers and their relatives to be part of the cardinal family instead.
  • In places where both Summer and Scarlet tanagers live, the Summer Tanager breeds in shorter and more open woodlands. In the West, Western and Hepatic tanagers use coniferous forests at higher elevations, while Summer Tanagers breed in lowlands along streams.
  • The oldest Summer Tanager on record was a male, and at least 7 years, 11 months old when he was recaptured and rereleased during banding operations in Texas in 1986.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Ulsan at Richmond SPCA

Ulsan is a very handsome young man who traveled a long way to find a family after being rescued from South Korea. He didn’t grow up knowing the comfort of a loving home so he needs to find someone very kind and patient to help him adjust to this big world. Ulsan will need time to warm up to new people and is looking for an adult only home with no other pets. Once he trusts you, he is utterly devoted and looks to you for guidance. Please come in for a visit and learn more about Ulsan today!

Age: 5 years, 2 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Tan / White
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 34124132

Adopt Ulsan at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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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 Richmond SPCA.

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on

Adult version – Photo courtesy of IDtools.com

Where Spotted: Westover Hills
Common Name: Saddleback Caterpillar
Scientific Name: Acharia stimulea
Length: 25 mm

Quick Facts

  • It has a pair of fleshy horns at either end. These and most of the rest of the body bear urticating hairs that secrete an irritating venom. (We found out the hard way at this household.)
  • Similar to a slug, Acharia stimulea uses suckers and mucus to help them roll and adhere to surfaces.
  • Acharia stimulea are polyphagous and do not rely on a single plant species for survival though they tend to favor palms.
  • While pupating the cocoon appears to be a hardened light brown spherical shape with black veining that is encompassed in silk webbing. This webbing is made up in part by caterpillars’ stinging thorns which helps attach and protect the caterpillar through its metamorphosis.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Left Eye at Richmond SPCA

I may have one eye, but I still can recognize a great family when I see one! I’m Left Eye and what I lack in eyes, I make up for in love & affection. Come take me home today, I can tell you’d be purrfect!

Age: 2 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Black / White
ID: 48670944

Adopt Left Eye at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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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 Richmond SPCA.

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on

Where Spotted: Tuckahoe Creek Park
Common Name: Handsome Meadow Katydid
Scientific Name: Orchelimum pulchellum
Length: 18-23 mm

Quick Facts Courtesy of Captial Naturalist

  • It sings in low vegetation and is usually associated with water, calling mostly during the day and occasionally at night.
  •  As in most Orthopterans, the males do the “singing” which is actually called stridulation and is achieved by rubbing their wings. Other Orthopetrans use their legs or combination with wings, while some like the Camel Crickets we find in our basements are wingless and do not call at all.
  • The Genus name is Greek for “I dance in the meadow” and the species name simply means “pretty.”
  • In general, grasshoppers differ from katydids in having short antennae while katydids have long antennae.
  • They will flip to the back side of the stem or stalk and use it for both a physical and visual shield.

If you’re a fan of original content like those photos above be sure to give our Instagram and Dickie’s Backyard Bird Blind Bonanza on FB a follow and consider making a donation.




Tank at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Tank and I’m the guy for you! I am pretty lonely here by myself, just waiting for my special someone to come along. Won’t you please take me home today?

Age: 8 years, 1 month
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: White / Brown
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 4853142

Adopt Tank at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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