BBHSP Biology Section 1: Animals

Please contact us if you find any corrections or if you have questions about this page.  Photos by BBHSP staff and friends.  The growing list of species found at BBHS is on this page (below all the pictures) and is collected and managed by Jennifer Berry. Enjoy!

*Also, for information about Fish in the river Ahjoomah (AKA Pit River), please see this page:


Bat Brown Myotis crop
Little Brown Bat (Myotis lucifugus)
North Coast/Cascade Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
Blacktail Deer3 crop
Columbian Black-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)
Columbian Black-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)
Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
Grey Fox Track
Grey Fox Track
Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) on rock
North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis), photo by Heather S.

Racoon in Shed
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Primarily Nocturnal
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Primarily Nocturnal

Amphibians and Reptiles:

Very Young Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla), just growing out of tadpole stage in a puddle
Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla)
Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla)
Pacific Chorus Frog with interesting colors and markings
Pacific Chorus Frog with interesting colors and markings
Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla) Can change color, like a chameleon!
Pacific Chorus Frog with interesting colors and markings
Pacific Chorus Frog (Pseudacris regilla)
American Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana or Lithobates catesbeianus) Juvenile Male (?)
Western Toad, Anaxyrus Boreas Hunkering Down (Nocturnal) on Lit Porch
Western Toad, Anaxyrus Boreas Blending In (Nocturnal)
Western Toad, Anaxyrus Boreas – Largest One Seen on Site (5″+)
Western Pond Turtle- Nick crop
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata or Emys marmorata)
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata)
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata or Emys marmorata)
Western Pond Turtle (Actinemys marmorata or Emys marmorata)
Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)


UC Berkeley entomologist Robert Lane has discovered that a substance found in the blood of the common Western Fence Lizard kills Lyme disease bacteria in the gut of juvenile ticks that feed on it. It may help explain why there is far less Lyme disease in California than in the eastern United States, where the lizard does not live. In Big Bend, we have a large population of western fence lizards and no known cases of tick-borne illness! The Western Fence Lizard- a commonly found species (sometimes called the Blue Belly Lizard)- can carry an average of 30 juvenile Black Legged Ticks, which are about the size of a poppy seed. Larval Ticks pass through three stages of development. During each stage they eat one “blood meal.” Larval ticks become infected with Lyme disease when they feed on rodents.

Nymphal ticks (tiny tick nymphs) can transmit Lyme disease by biting a human. When they first feed on the very common Western Fence Lizard, however, something in the reptile’s blood appears to kill the bacteria! Thank you, Sceloporus occidentalis!!

Adult Black-Legged Ticks move off the forest floor and onto plants and grasses. Those who feasted on lizards as nymphs are apparently prevented from transmitting Lyme disease to humans.

Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis)
Shasta Alligator Lizard – Elgaria coerulea shastensis
Salamander #1
Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
Ensatina Salamander (Ensatina eschscholtzii)
Adult Male (American) Five-Lined Skink (Plestiodon fasciatus)
California (Orange-Bellied) Newt (Taricha torosa)
California Newt (Taricha torosa)
California Newt (Taricha torosa)
Mountain Gartersnake – Thamnophis elegans elegans
Valley Gartersnake – (Thamnophis sirtalis fitchi) hibernate in winter & bear live young!
California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis getula californiae) is nonvenomous.
Signal Crayfish
Signal Crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus)


Insect #1 – WCSB: Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis)
Insect #1B – WCSB: Western Conifer Seed Bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis)
Insect Mating Behavior
Insect #2 – Insect Mating Behavior
Insect- Wings
Insect #3 –
Insect #3A
Insect #4 –
Insect #5 – (Death by Scalding)
Insects that land in scalding hot spring water die instantly & become part of the geothermal soup.
Insect #6 –
Insect # 11 –
Insect #7 – Grasshopper nematode (Mermis nigrescens)

The Grasshopper Nematode, a roundworm of the phylum Nematoda (Mermis nigrescens), develops as an internal parasite of grasshoppers (and perhaps earwigs). It is extremely large, 5 to 20 cm.

Insect #7A – Grasshopper nematode (Mermis nigrescens)
Insect #8 – Grasshopper
Insect #9 -Millipede
Insect #10 – Aquatic Insects on Water Surface of Pit River
Insect #12 –
Insect #16 – Greater Angle-wing Katydid – Microcentrum rhombifolium – Female
Insect #13 – (prey of Arachnid Spider #1)
Insect #14 – Aquatic with Long Antennae
Insect #15 – California Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa californica
Insect #15B – California Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa californica on Dandelion
Insect #15C – California Carpenter Bee – Xylocopa californica on Damaged Post

Butterfly Section:

Butterfly #1 – Clouded Sulphur Butterfly (Colias philodice)
on a California Buckeye Flower
Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Butterfly #2 – Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly
Butterfly #3 Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly (Protographium marcellus ??)
Butterfly #4 – California Tortoiseshell Butterfly (Nymphalis californica)
Butterfly #5 – Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Butterfly #6 – California Sister Admiral (Adelpha bredowii)
Butterfly #7 – Gray Hairstreak (Common Strymon Melinas)
Butterfly #8 – Purple Yellow White
Butterfly #9- Yellow Zebra Swallowtail On Yerba Santo Flower
Meeting of the Minds

Moth Section:

Moth #1 – Ceanothus Silk Moth (Hyalophora euryalus)
Moth #1A – Ceanothus Silk Moth (Hyalophora euryalus)
Moth #2 – Small-eyed Sphinx Moth (Paonias myops)
Moth #3 –
Moth #13 –
Moth #15
Moth #4 – Dogwood Thyatirin Moth (Euthyatira pudens)
Moth #5 – Mexican Tiger Moth (Notarctia proxima)
Moth # 5A – Dead Tiger Moth salvaged by an Earwig- YUM!
Moth #5B Tiger Moth
Moth #6 –
Moth #7 – Vestal Tiger Moth – Spilosoma vestalis
Moth #8 –
Moth #9 – Deceptive Sallow Moth (Feralia deceptiva)
Moth #10- Morning Glory Plume Moth, Emmelina monodactyla
Moth #11 –
Moth #12 – White-Lined Sphinx Moth (Hyles lineata,)
Moth #14 –
Tiny Moth #16 –
Moth #17 –
Moth #18- Filbertworm Moth Larva (Cydia latiferreana)
Moth #19

Beetle Section:

Golden Bupestrid Jewel Beetle
Beetle #1 – Golden Jewel Beetle AKA Golden Buprestid Beetle (Buprestis aurulenta)
Golden Bupestrid Jewel Beetle
Golden Jewel Beetle AKA Golden Buprestid Beetle (Buprestis aurulenta)
Black Beetle
Beetle #2 – Black Beetle Alleculinae – Stenochidus
Beetle #3 – Predaceous Diving Beetle (Aquatic Insect) Family Dytiscidae, Captured in Hot Tub
Predaceous Diving Beetle (found in hot tub, bites humans) Seeing Itself Reflected on Container!
Beetle #4 – Eastern Eyed Click Beetle (Alaus oculatus)
Beetle #6 –
Beetle #6B –
Beetle #7
Beetle #7B –
Beetle #8 -Adult Prionus californicus, commonly known as the California root borer
Beetle #8B – Larva Prionus californicus, commonly known as the California root borer
Beetle #9
Beetle #10A – White Striped
Beetle #10B – White Striped

(Spiders, Ticks, Mites, & Scorpions)

The Female Deer Tick (AKA Black-Legged Tick) is the most dangerous tick in California, but in Big Bend and this region of Shasta County, they do not seem to transmit Lyme or other tick-borne diseases (see Western Fence Lizard section on this web page- above, for explanation).

There are many different kinds of ticks in California, but the female western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus) seems to be the main one that can transmit Lyme and other diseases (in some parts of California). Both the poppy seed-sized nymph stage and the larger adult female stage can carry and transmit the bacteria and viruses that can lead to serious diseases in humans such as Lyme, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis.

Deer Tick
Female Deer Tick (Black Legged Tick) – Ixodes scapularis – Ixodes dammini)
Female American Dog Tick (Wood Tick) (Dermacentor variabilis)
Adult Male Dog Tick
Male American Dog Tick (Wood Tick) (Dermacentor variabilis)
Male American Dog Tick (Wood Tick) (Dermacentor variabilis)

More Information About Local Ticks

(American Dog (Wood) Tick & Blacklegged (Deer Tick):

Tick Info Sheet
California Scorpion (Graemeloweus iviei OR Paruroctonus silvestrii) (??) found under a rock.

Bird Section:

Band-Tailed Pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) Roosting Above Mineral Site
Band-Tailed Pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata) Roosting Above Mineral Site
Black-Headed-Grossbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus)
Stellars Jay
Steller’s Jay (Cyanocitta stelleri)
Steller’s Jays (Cyanocitta stelleri)
American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
Juncos in Nest
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) preched on Ponderosa Pine Snag near River Achoma
Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) perched on Ponderosa Pine Snag near River Ahjoomah
Turkey Vultures (Cathartes aura) doing yoga in Oolaymoomay meadow.

Partial List of Animal Species Found on BBHS Site:

Adelpha californica California Sister Butterfly Butterfly
Apiomerus spp   Bee Assassin Bug
Argia vivida White damselfly Damselfly
Battus philenor Pipevine swallowtail Butterfly
Buprestis aurulenta Golden Buprestid Jewel beetle
Catocala spp Underwing moth Moth
Cercyonis pegala Wood Nymph Butterfly Butterfly
Coelocnemis californica Broad-necked Darkling Beetle Beetle
Coenonympha californica California Ringlet Butterfly
Collomia grandiflora Mountain Collomia Annual
Chalcophora angulicollis Western Sculptured Pine Borer Beetle
Charidryas gabbii Gabb’s Checkerspot Butterfly
Cinidela longilabris Long-lipped Tiger Beetle Beetle
Danaus plexippus Monarch Butterfly Butterfly
Dasymutilla sackenii Velvet Ant Wasp
Desmerocerus californicus dimorphus Valley Elderberry Longhorn Beetle Beetle
Gnophaela latipennis Pindi moth Moth
Junonia coenia Buckeye Butterfly Butterfly
Monochamus clamator latus Pine Sawyer Beetle Beetle
Nymphalis antiopa Mourning cloak Butterfly
Occidryas chalcedona Chalcedon Checkerspot Butterfly
Osmia spp Mason Bee Bee
Papilio zelicaon Anise Swallowtail Butterfly Butterfly
Papilio eurymedon Pale Swallowtail Butterfly Butterfly
Prionus californicus California Prionus beetle Beetle
Speyeria callippe Callippe Fritillary Butterfly Butterfly
Anas crecca Green-winged Teal Duck
Anas platyrhynchos Mallard Duck
Ardea herodias Great Blue Heron Aquatic
Bombycilla cedrorum Cedar waxwing Songbird: Waxwing
Buteo jamaicensis Red-tailed Hawk Hawk
Calypte anna Anna’s Hummingbird Hummingbird
Cinclus mexicanus American Dipper Songbird: Cinclid
Coccothraustes vespertinus  Evening Grosbeak Songbird:Finch
Colaptes auratus Nothern Flicker Woodpecker
Contopus sordidulus Western Wood Peewee Songbird: Flycatcher
Cyanocitta stelleri Stellar’s Jay Jay
Empidonax difficilis Pacific-Slope Flycatcher Songbird: Flycatcher
Euphagus cyanocephalus  Brewer’s Blackbrid Songbird: Blackbird
Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon Falcon
Icterus bullockii Bullock’s oriole Songbird: Blackbird
Junco hyemalis Dark-eyed Junco Songbird: Sparrow
Megaceryle alcyon Belted Kingfisher Kingfisher
Megascops   kennicottii Western Screech Owl Owl
Meleagris gallopavo Wild Turkey Wildfowl
Melospiza melodia Song Sparrow Songbird: Sparrow
Myiarchus cinerascens Ash-Throated flycatcher Songbird: Flycatcher
Oreotrxy pictus Mountain Quail Wildfowl
Pandion haliaetus Osprey Raptor
Passerella iliaca  Fox Sparrow Songbird: Sparrow
Passerina amoena Lazuli Bunting Songbird: Cardinals
Patagioenas fasciata Band-Tailed Pigeon Dove
Pheucticus melanocephalus Black-headed grosbeak Songbird: Cardinals
Picoides pubescens Downy Woodpecker Woodpecker
Pipilo maculatus Spotted Towhee Songbird: Sparrow
Piranga  ludoviciana Western Tanager Songbird: Cardinals
Psaltriparis minimus Bushtit Songbird: Tit
Selasphorus rufus Rufous Hummingbird Hummingbird
Setophaga coronata Yellow-rumped Warbler Songbird: Warbler
Setophaga nigrescens Black-throated Gray Warbler Songbird: Warbler
Setophaga petechia Yellow Warbler Songbird: Warbler
Sialia mexicana Western Bluebird Songbird: Thrushes
Sphyrapicus ruber Red breasted Sapsucker Woodpecker
Spinus pinus Pine Siskin Songbird: Finch
Spinus psaltria Lesser Goldfinch Songbird: Finch
Sturnus vulgaris European Starling Songbird: Starling
Tachycineta bicolor Green Tree Swallow  
Troglodytes aedon House wren Songbird: Wren
Turdus migratorius American Robin Songbird: Thrushes
Vireo cassinii Cassin’s Vireo Songbird: Vireo
Zenaida macroura Mourning Dove Dove
Reptiles + Amphibians      
Diadophis punctatus occidentalis Northern Ringneck Snake Snake
Elgaria multicarinata Southern Alligator Lizard Lizard
Emmys marmota Western Pond turtle Turtle
Ensatina eschscholzii Monterey Ensatina Salamander
Pituophis catenifer catenifer Gopher Snake Snake
Pseudacris regilla Pacific Chorus Frog Frog
Rana boylii (?) Foothills Yellow-legged frog Frog
Rana catesbeiana Bullfrog Frog
Sceloporus occidentalis Western Fence Lizard Lizard
Taricha torosa or granulosa California or Rough-Skinned Newt Newt
Thamnophis couchii Sierra Garter Snake Snake
Thamnophis elegans Terrestrial Garter Snake Snake
Brassariscus astutus Ringtail Carnivore
Castor canadensis Beaver Rodent
Felis catus Feral cat Carnivore
Luntra canadensis N. American river otter Carnivore
Lynx rufus American Bobcat Carnivore
Mustela erminea Short-tailed Weasel Carnivore
Myotis californicus California Bat Bat
Neotoma fuscipes Dusky-footed Wood Rat Rodent
Neovison vison American mink Carnivore
Odocoileus hemoinus Black-tailed deer Herbivore
Otospermophilus beecheyi California Ground Squirrel Rodent
Scapanus orarius Coastal mole Shrew/Mole
Sciurus niger Fox Squirrel Rodent
Sciurus griseus Western gray squirrel Rodent
Sylvilagus bachmani Western brush rabbit Rabbit
Tasmasciurus douglasii Douglas’ Squirrel Rodent
Urocyon cinereoargenteus Grey Fox Rodent