Return to Campus

Visit our FAQ website for the latest information about health and safety.

Back to Top

Naturalist Crosses the Lake (version 9.0)

Article Upload

8-4-21 version 9.0

Source: Greater New Orleans Expressway Commission

A NATURALIST CROSSES

LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

By Robert A. (Bob) Thomas, Center for Environmental Communication, School of Mass Communication, and The Environment Program, Loyola University New Orleans (Certified Master Naturalist, Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans Chapter) – rathomas@loyno.edu, 504-865-2107

1

8-4-21 version 9.0

A NATURALIST CROSSES LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN

Drive Down Bayou Lafourche

Article Title
Drive Down Bayou Lafourche
Article Upload

10-17--21 Version 6.5

DRIVE DOWN BAYOU LAFOURCHE: A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF NATURAL HISTORY, ECONOMIC, AND CULTURAL ASPECTS OF THE DRIVE FROM U.S. 90 TO GRAND ISLE, PORT FOURCHON, AND ELMER’S ISLAND, LOUISIANA

By Robert A. Thomas, Loyola Center for Environmental Communication, School of Communication & Design, Loyola University New Orleans, & Louisiana Master Naturalists of Greater New Orleans (rathomas@loyno.edu, 504-865-2107)

Jumping Spider

Natural History Notes
by Bob Thomas

It’s difficult not to love to watch Jumping Spiders, members of the family Salticidae. These little guys obviously have personality. They are very alert, and seem to spring about with great excitement.

In fact, they have the best vision of all spiders. Their eyes are arranged so that they have two very large eyes pointing forward, giving them good binocular vision. They can see 4-8 inches, and they catch their prey by approaching, then jumping on it - a distance often many times their own length.

Orchard Spider

Natural History Notes
by Bob Thomas

The Orchard Spider, Leucage venusta, is a small (1/3") spider of the Family Tetragnathidae that is common in our forests. It is a spectacularly patterned and colored spider, being green with a splotch of florescent red-orange on the bottom of the abdomen, and silver and yellow stripes down the sides. Orchard Spiders construct their webs within a few feet of the ground in places where it receives spotty sunlight. The spider constructs its orb web at about a 45, then hangs upside down in the middle.

Garden Spider

Delta Journal
by Bob Thomas

The garden spider (Argiope aurantia), also called the black and yellow argiope, is a common member of the Orb-weaver Spiders (Family Araneidae).

Crown Spiders

Delta Journal
by Bob Thomas

Crown Spiders, Gasteracantha cancriformis, are very common in Louisiana swamp forests during the spring and summer. Some locals call them “crab spiders” because their backs remind one of a blue crab shell - oval, shiny, and with many spikes extending around the edges. This carapace (the back) also looks like a king’s crown, and there is a whole family of spiders that are officially called crab spiders (Family Thomisidae), so we’ll call them crown spiders (they belong to the Family Araneidae).

Six-spotted Fishing Spider - Dolomedes triton

Nature Notes
by Bob Thomas

There is a group of spiders in our area that live predominantly around water. They are quite capable of running about on the water's surface, and feeding on animals, such as insects, small fish, tadpoles, and the like, that live at or near the interface of water and air. These are the Fishing Spiders of the genus Dolomedes, Family Pisauridae (members of which are commonly called the Nursery Web Spiders).

Since they run and float about on the surface, the genus is called Raft Spiders in England.

Gulf Scorpions

Article Title
Gulf Scorpions, Delta Journal, The Times-Picayune, August 19, 2007, C-9

Delta Journal
by Bob Thomas

The word scorpion usually makes people shiver. The first thing we think of is the potential for a deadly envenomation, or sting.

All scorpions do sting, but few are deadly, and the species on the Gulf coast is not a threat to life.