Introducing the stars of the 2022 Winter Biodiversity art…

Fish-on-a-pole Grass (Chasmanthium latifolium)

This charismatic grass gets its name from seed heads that form along long grass blades, appearing in the shape of fish on the end of a fishing pole. Fish-on-a-pole is perennial and grows best in shady or wooded areas. This is a very recognizable and common grass, which makes Fish-on-a-pole a great species to strengthen your visual species identification skills for grasses!

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hymalis)

As the weather cools, Juncos migrate Southward and appear in great numbers across Oklahoma until mid-spring. Their distinctive dark head and back and white bellies make them easy to identify. Juncos are typically regulars at feeders in Oklahoma during the winter and are very fun to watch!

Check out this video explaining the Junco’s reputation as a snowbird

Lichens

Lichens are a diverse and dynamic kind of fungi that exists in symbiosis photosynthetic algae cells. This unique symbiosis makes lichen persistent in almost all habitats and some lichens proficient at growing on man-made structures and materials. Winter is a great time to spot lichens standing out among the brown landscape. If you are interested in learning more about how lichen biology works and how to identify lichens in the wild, we suggest checking out Biobltz! Oklahoma’s lichen expert, Dr. Sheila Strawn.

Interview with Lichenologist Dr. Sheila Strawn
Dr. Strawn’s Lichen field guide

Post Oak (Quercus stellata)

Post Oaks are a tree native to the Oklahoma and most of the southeast US. In Oklahoma, Post Oaks are most dominant in Cross Timbers habitat. The common name, Post Oak, comes from Post Oak trunks being used for posts in fencing. Post Oaks are known for being drought resistant and tolerant to poor growth conditions. Like most oaks, Post Oaks produce seeds called acorns which are a food source for many species of wildlife.  

https://forestry.ok.gov/post-oak

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Bobcats get their name from their short “bobbed” tail. They can be found across many habitats throughout Oklahoma and North America. Their brown and grey coats give bobcats excellent camouflage, and they top out at only about 30 pounds. While bobcats are listed as a species of least concern, they are at risk from the encroachment of human activity. Bobcats are often killed by individuals living close to bobcat ranges who see them as a nuisance and a danger to domestic animals. In reality, bobcats fill a critical ecosystem niche in managing rodent populations. Additionally, there is a very active fur trade for bobcat pelts across their range, accounting for the deaths of thousands of bobcats every year.

Published by Abby Cervenka

Abby is an undergraduate student studying Environmental Sustainability in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences at the University of Oklahoma. She has been a Student Assistant at the Oklahoma Biological Survey since Spring 2021.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: