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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: Eastern Carpenter Bee
Scientific Name: Xylocopa virginica

Quick Facts Courtesy of iNaturalist

  • The common eastern carpenter beeXylocopa virginica, is the carpenter bee most often encountered in the eastern United States. It is often mistaken for a large bumblebee species, as they are similar in size and coloring.
  • They can be important pollinators, especially of open-faced flowers, though they are also known to “rob” nectar by boring holes in the sides of flowers with deep corollas (thus not accomplishing pollination).
  • Female X. virginica can have solitary nests, but they usually nest in social groups. The social order of X. virginica is broken into three groups: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Primary females act as the dominant within a nest and are in charge of reproduction, providing food for the larvae, and laying all the eggs. This is different from many bee species in which there is a queen that focuses her energy solely on laying eggs while relying on provisions provide by subordinate bees.
  • Males will establish territories near an active nest entrance to protect the colony and seek mating opportunities. For males that are near the nest entrance, their boundaries are usually linear and several meters long. For males that are farther from the exit, their boundaries are usually in the shape of a square and shorter in length.
  • The male bee is unable to sting, though they will commonly approach human beings, especially if they wave or move parts of their body. The female, on the other hand, will sting if provoked.

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.




Gunther at Richmond SPCA

Gunther is a handsome boy that is looking for just the right home and environment for him. If you’re interested in learning more about Gunther please contact the Richmond SPCA adoption center at 804-521-1307 or visit our humane center to meet with an adoption counselor and Gunther! He is a goofy boy ready to meet his forever match!

Age: 6 years, 2 months
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: Tan
Size: XL (dog size guide)
ID: 48617498

 

Adopt Gunther 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: Maymont
Common Name: Eastern Amberwing
Scientific Name: Perithemis tenera
Length: 22-25mm

Quick Facts

  • The smallest dragonfly in Northern Virginia, and second smallest in the U.S. (only Elfin Skimmers are smaller).
  • Amberwings are reported to have the most intricate courtship of any dragonfly. After the male selects several possible egglaying sites for a mate, he flies off to find a female and leads her back to his potential nursery. To attract her, he sways back and forth, and hovers with his abdomen raised. Mating only occurs if the females approves – making this one of the few dragonflies where females choose the males.
  • Amberwings may be our only dragonfly that actively mimics a wasp. The markings and shape of their abdomens resemble a small wasp, but they take it several steps further. When threatened, they rhythmically move their wings up and down while pulsing their abdomens.
  • The common name refers to its eastern range, although this dragonfly does extend westward well into the central part of the United States.
  • In late summer, males can be seen along the shores of lakes, ponds, marshes and slow sections of rivers, bays and canals. But females are often found far from water, in meadows among summer wildflowers, as in the above photo. They’re probably hunting even smaller visitors to these summer blooms like midges, flower flies and tiny bees.

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.




Mercury at Richmond SPCA

Are you searching for a fun, friendly and adorable family member? My name is Mercury 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: 2 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Chocolate
Size: L (dog size guide)
ID: 49324606

Adopt Mercury 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 or a little further afield and a critter up for adoption by Richmond SPCA.

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Whales were spotted on a Rudee’s Whale Tour and the Responsible Code of Conduct for Whale Watching was followed. Look for a write-up of our trip next week.

Where Spotted: 6 Miles off the coast of Virginia Beach
Common Name: Humpback Whale
Scientific Name: Megaptera novaeangliae
Length: 12–16 m (39–52 ft)
Weight: 25–30 t (28–33 short tons

Quick Facts

  • Found in oceans and seas around the world, humpback whales typically migrate up to 25,000 km (16,000 mi) each year. Virginia Beach is on their route during the months of December, January, and February.
  • Like other large whales, the humpback was a target for the whaling industry. The species was once hunted to the brink of extinction; its population fell by an estimated 90% before a 1966 moratorium.
  • The varying patterns on the tail flukes distinguish individual animals. Identification is done by comparing the amount of white vs black and scars on the fluke. The humpback whales are then given a catalogue number.
  • Thin, parallel scars are from the killer whale’s teeth, and are known as “rake marks.” The circular scars on the flukes are from barnacles, which embed themselves into the whale’s skin.
  • Instead of teeth, this filter-feeder has baleen plates that overlap to form a dense net used to strain millions of small shrimp-like animals.
  • Humpbacks may work as a team when hunting for schooling fish. Once underwater, several humpbacks encircle the fish with a “bubble net”— a ring of bubbles blown from their blowholes. Others position themselves beneath the school and then rise, forcing the fish toward the surface. The humpbacks then lunge up through the concentrated school of fish, feasting on thousands of prey in a single gulp with their cavernous mouths.
  • Killer whales are known to prey on both calves and adult humpback whales.
  • At birth, a calf can measure up to 15 feet (4.6 m) long and weigh about 1,500 pounds (680 kg).

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.




Seafoam at Richmond SPCA

Hi there, who are you? My name is Seafoam and I really hope you’re my new family! Even though the people here at the Richmond SPCA are very nice, it’s still not the same as having a home to call my own. Won’t you please make me the happiest girl around by adopting me today?!

Age: 2 years,
Gender: Spayed Female
Color: Grey / White
ID: 49283891

Adopt Finnegan 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.

Published

on

Where Spotted: Reedy Creek
Common Name: Horace’s Duskywing
Scientific Name: Erynnis horatius
Wing Span: 1 7/16 – 1 15/16 inches (3.6 – 4.9 cm)

Quick Facts Courtesy of Butterflies and Moths of North America

  • The Duskywing prefers open woodlands and edges, clearings, fencerows, wooded swamps, power-line right-of-ways, open fields, roadsides.
  • The caterpillar version of the Duskywing can be found on both red and white oaks including willow oak (Quercus phellos), northern red oak (Q. velutina), scrub oak (Q. ilicifolia), water oak (Q. nigra), post oak (Q. stellata), and live oak (Q. virginiana).
  • To seek females, males perch at the ends of twigs on hilltops or slopes about 1 foot above the ground. Mating has been observed around midday; females deposit eggs singly on new growth of the host.
  • Horace’s Duskywing visits flower up to about 4.5 feet tall including dogbane, buttonbush, sneezeweed, goldenrod, peppermint, boneset, and winter cress.

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.




Finnegan at Richmond SPCA

Hi there, I’m Finnegan! I’m a handsome and friendly guy who loves to make new friends. Other than my unique appearance, another interesting thing about me is that I’m deaf! While this will make communicating with me a little different, I still have a lot of love to give.

If you are interested in meeting with Finnegan, please visit our Adoption Center or give us a call at (804)521-1307.

Age: 3 years,
Gender: Neutered Male
Color: White / Brown
Size: M (dog size guide)
ID: 49168753

Adopt Finnegan at Richmond SPCA

Learn more about their adoption process.

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