|Spanish Moss and Geckos
||[Jan. 7th, 2010|01:33 am]
Today was cleaning out the shop day and thus provided two Learn Ecology moments! I'd post pictures, save for I've not bought the receiver for my phone to get the pictures off it. |
"Spanish Moss is a flowering plant that grows upon larger trees, commonly the Southern Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) or Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) in the southeastern United States.
Spanish moss closely resembles its namesake (Usnea, or beard lichen), but in fact it is not biologically related to either mosses or lichens. Instead, it is an angiosperm in the family Bromeliaceae (the bromeliads) that grows hanging from tree branches in full sun or partial shade. Formerly this plant has been placed in the genera Anoplophytum, Caraguata, and Renealmia. It ranges from the southeastern United States (southern Virginia and eastern Maryland) to Argentina, growing wherever the climate is warm enough and has a relatively high average humidity."- Wikipedia
It is an epiphyte (plant that lives on other plants) and absorbs nutrients from air and rain. Unlike what my co-worker kept insisting, it is NOT a parasite and it DOES NOT harm trees. Some people actually buy it to add to trees as it is quite beautiful. It's a rather spiffy little plant.
In the same vein of spiffy epiphytes there's also old mans beard (Usnea hirta) and ball moss.
At my work, we were redoing some walls, which required pulling down sheetrock. My boss pulled down the second piece, and down rained these white things- eggs. He called me over to ID the eggs and I couldn't- they were far too large to be spider eggs and the wrong shape for snake eggs, so I took some home with me to try and ID. Turns out they're gecko eggs! Geckos are small lizards found in warm climates. Their feet are astounding- they have setae (bristles) on their feet that allow them to adhere to nearly any surface, including sheer glass. Nearly all geckos lack eyelids and use their tongues to moisten and clean their eyes. The gecko's we have around here are pink and purple (House Gecko).
Like on the following pages/pictures, our eggs were in a wall, nestled in some insulation. They were very round and nearly all of them had hatched. Oo* I only found one among the multitudes that had the signs of being a dud.
Gecko Info an picture of eggs
Another Eggs Image
So if you ever find a multitude of large (yet still tiny) hatched eggs, don't freak out- they might be gecko eggs!