The Bess Beetle coleoptera passalidae is a vocal relative of the scarab. Listen to the squeaking sound it makes when picked up. Found in rotten logs.

These large harmless bugs (Odontotaenius disjunctus) are very comical to observe and because they are so slow moving, a favorite of budding young entomologists. A fun "pet for a day"..... even for adults! Please put them back in their original home though so they can live out their lives doing what bugs do. (click on photographs to enlarge) Look closely at the beetle in the second photo to see my reflection ;0)
For more information:
Photographs copyrighted by Carolyn Hietala

The Northern Ring-Necked Snake (diadophis punctatus edwardsii) is rarely seen during daylight in Virginia as it is mostly active at night.

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This one was discovered as it was sunning itself on the woodland floor and measures about 11 1/2 inches long. To learn more:
Carolyn Hietala


Spotted Salamander in Chesterfield County, Virginia. Ambystoma Maculatum. Look closer and discover that your backyard is indeed a Wildlife Habitat!

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This shy chubby Spotted Salamander measures almost 8 inches long and was found under rotting leaf mulch. These salamanders are not often seen as they are quite secretive but if you are lucky enough to see one please enjoy the moment......... and cover them right back up!
Visit the Virginia Herpetological Society for more salamanders of Virginia:
Copyrighted photos by Carolyn Hietala


Dragonfly? NOT! Damselfly! Gentle & tame so was easily photographed. Virginia insect caught by a Canon Rebel XT Camera in Chesterfield County.

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This Damselfly, a close relative of the Dragonfly, was so content with my presence that it even allowed me to pick it up! Compliments to my daughter for discovering it in her yard so it could "pose" for me in my own backyard....... what a showoff this little creature was! I released it in the marsh where a flyfishing trout would NOT reside ;0)

More information about the Calopteryx Maculata can be found at this awesome insect identifying website:

Copyrighted photos by Carolyn Hietala
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