Visiting The Savannah River Ecology Lab

In June of 2011, members of the Herp Lab visited the Savannah River Ecology Lab on the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. We walked around the facility, learning about some of the turtle projects and about the different species of turtles being kept at the lab. We took an afternoon trip out to check along some drift fences in the woods, finding a variety of skinks and lizards, as well as a scarlet kingsnake. We weren't able to go looking for alligators during the night, so we poked around for cottonmouths and frogs. We spent part of an afternoon helping track a snake in the field using radio telemetry. We turned up a number of toads and an eastern hognose that was quick to demonstrate its ability to play dead. We made a stop by an outdoor alligator enclosure to hang out with Stump, the big resident male gator, and to toss him a snack.


Species Found:

Southern Cricket Frog (Acris gryllus)
Common Musk Turtle/Stinkpot (Sternotherus odoratus)
Green Frog (Rana clamitans)
Ground Skink (Scincella lateralis)
Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus)
Six-lined Racerunner (Aspidoscelis sexlineatus)
Eastern Fence Lizard (Sceloporus undulatus)
Five-lined Skink (Eumeces fasciatus)
Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis)
Scarlet Kingsnake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana)
Cope's Gray Treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis)
Pig Frog (Lithobates grylio)
Eastern Hognose Snake (Heterodon platirhinos)
Southern Toad (Bufo terrestris)
Squirrel Treefrog (Hyla squirella)
Broadhead Skink (Eumeces laticeps)

Some Photos:



An alligator snapping turtle


Jackie takes a turn


Dr. Dorcas accessorizes



A diamondback terrapin


Stephanie with a scarlet kingsnake


Stump came over to visit


An eastern hognose plays dead


A gopher tortoise stuck around for a bit


Maddie holds an american alligator


A pig-nosed turtle


A close-up


Jackie with an opossum


Radiotracking an elusive snake


Rick holds a flying squirrel


More alligator action


A juvenile side-necked turtle


Young american alligators


A young spiny softshell turtle


This page created by Christian Oldham