I-Zone Critters

  • Turtles
    We have had our turtlesaround for over five years. During the summer they live in the pond in the Science courtyard but during the winter they live on the primary side of the I-Zone. 

    One of our turtles is a Red-Eared Slider (Chrysemys scripta elegans). Their name comes from the thick red stripe behind their eyes and theirhabit of sliding quickly into the water when startled.  Femalered-eared sliders have shorter claws than males and grow larger.  Do you think the I-Zone red-eared slider is a male or female?

    The other I-Zone turtle is a Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Painted turtles are named for their colorful plastrons.  Painted turtles live in ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers from southernCanada to northern Mexico.  They eat plants, insects, worms, tadpoles,small fish, and crustaceans.  One of the I-Zone turtles' favorite treats is minnows.

    Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches
    Not everyone can say they have a cockroach for a pet like we can. I wouldn't call them cuddly, but they are very friendly. Spend some time with them and get to know them. Where are their favorite places to hangout? What do you notice about their behavior? Read about them at the the Pet Place and from the Pet Arthropod Pages

    Bess Beetles
    Bess beetles (Odontotaenius disjunctus)belong to the order of insects called Coleoptera.  Coleoptera is the largest group of organisms, including ladybugs, fireflies, and darkling beetles.  All members of the Coleoptera order have a hard shell, three body parts, and a shield-like forewing.  Bess beetles have strong mandibles that help them chew through wood.  They live in decaying woodand eat fungus.

    Composting Worms
    Composting organic waste using worms and microoranisms is called vermicomposting. The resulting humus is nutrient-rich and can be added to gardens orhouseplants to help them grow.  Composting saves organic waste like apple cores and wilted lettuce from being thrown in the trash and eventually ending up in a landfill.  The worms in the I-Zone are calledred wigglers.  They are smaller than night crawlers used for fishing and are less affected by having their burrows turned over.

    Like most insects, mealworms go through metamorphosis.  Mealworms are thelarva stage of the darkling beetle and go through four life stages. They start as eggs, hatch as larvae, curl into pupae, and come out of pupation as adult beetles.  Mealworms are often found in pet stores and sold as food for pet reptiles and birds.  Mealworms eat carrots,potatoes, and apple slices.

    Bat Cave Cockroaches
    Bat cave cockroaches (Simandoa conserfariam)are one of the largest species of cockroach.  They have wings and canflutter, but do not fly.  They eat fruits and vegetables.  Immature batcave cockroaches are black and do not have wings.