Red Mangrove Expansion

The Red Mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, reaches the ends of its ranged near Cape Coral, Florida, as did the black mangrove. However, climate change has allowed for mangrove range expansion, likely due to a decrease in the frequency of extreme cold events per year (Cavanaugh 2013 PNAS).

Having seen Costa Rican red mangrove, and those at 4-mile Cove pictured here, the lack of cold tolerance in the trees is clear: the Costa Rican mangroves stand much taller and have a lower stem density (# of trees per area) than those in Florida, because of periodic (on the order of decades) frosts or cold events that wipe most of the trees out in Florida.

Golden Silk Orb-weaver

Golden silk orb-weaver - Nephila clavipes - 07.20.2014 - 10.22.49Literally ran into a few of these recently… here’s a large (probably about four inches or the size of your hand’s palm) female Nephila sp. (I’m guessing N. clavipes from Google searches of nearby orbweavers) and one of her hopeful mates. I counted three males associated with this web, and Wikipedia claims that these spiders are often parasitized by kleptoparastic Argyrodes spiders that steal captured prey from her web.