Connecticut Wildlife:

Biodiversity, Natural History, and Conservation

             Geoffrey A. Hammerson

               Thanks for your interest in the book. I hope you find it to be useful. The purpose of this web site is to provide you with clarifications, additional information, and corrections of errors that I discovered after the book went to press. I suggest that you mark these changes in your book, or simply print out this website material and keep it with your book (put a check mark next to the appropriate sections of your book to remind you to look at the update pages). Check back here later for further updates!

Page 3, Fig. 1.2: "Hanging Hills of Meridan" should be "Hanging Hills of Meriden"

Page 5, Fig. 1.7 caption: The southwest corner of the state is included in this image.

Page 24, Fig. 3.18: For historical and recent aerial photos of the dramatic changes at Griswold Point, visit: Old Lyme Conservation Trust, Inc.

Pages 24 and 225-226: Sand locust is more widely known as seaside grasshopper.

Page 53, Fig. 4.15: Usually flood level is indicated by the height of muddy stains on tree trunks. In this figure, a former water level is indicated by the effects of winter ice. The light marks occur where ice at the water surface froze to the tree trunk. When water level drops, the ice breaks away from the tree, often tearing off attached mosses and the outer layer of tree bark (click on photo below). The result is a pale band usually evident at the same level on many adjacent trees. On young, smooth-barked silver maples, the ice level may be indicated by plain bands within green algae-stained areas.

Page 53, right column, 4th paragraph, second sentence: Clarification and elaboration are needed here. Acadian flycatcher is more common along streams with hemlocks. Cerulean warbler is rare and Kentucky warbler is very rare and localized in wet riparian and floodplain forest. Hooded warbler sometimes nests along the edges of small floodplain forests where they border shrubby hillside forests in southern Connecticut. Examples of common and characteristic summer species within floodplain forests dominated by silver maple include woodpeckers (red-bellied, hairy, downy woodpeckers), American robin, house wren, tufted titmouse, and warbling vireo; gray catbird, Carolina wren, yellow warbler, and many additional species inhabit adjacent thickets and forest edges. In winter, the woodpeckers are often the most obvious of the resident birds. Streamside forests with diverse vegetation have an exceptionally rich bird fauna, more so than expanses of silver maple forest.

Page 56: Here's some supplementary information. The Connecticut River in Connecticut is mostly quite shallow. For example, from Rocky Hill southward, the deepest parts are generally 15-30 feet deep and rarely more than 50 feet, with extensive areas less than 10 feet deep. Some areas farther north are much deeper. In a couple locations near the French King Bridge in northern Massachusetts water depth reaches 120 feet and 125+ feet. Divers have found sponges and ectoprocts (Lophopodella carteri) on submerged cliffs near these deep holes.

Page 76, Fig. 6.5, 4th line of caption: Change "become" to "became"

Page 77, right column, first paragraph: Common garter snakes and (locally) ribbon snakes are active on the sunny floors of some forested wetlands in spring before the leaf canopy develops.

 Page 77, right column, 2nd paragraph:  The bird fauna of forested wetlands varies considerably among different swamps; some listed species may be rare or absent. Among the many additional species not listed, wood thrush and American robin frequently occur in forested wetlands. Most listed species nest in various moist forest habitats. Canada warbler and veery are strongly associated with forested wetlands, the former typically nesting in mountain laurel thickets. Northern waterthrush nests only in forested wetlands. In southern Connecticut, hooded warblers nest locally among mountain laurel in semi-swampy forests and where forested wetlands border shrubby wooded hillsides.

Page 79, left column, third paragraph: Please delete this paragraph. It includes a word-processing error that inadvertently combined partial descriptions of different kinds of fens. Unfortunately I didn't notice it until after the final deadline for making changes to the book. Some of the listed plants are not characteristic of calcareous fens (but do occur in other types of fens). My apologies to Metzler and Tiner for involving their good names in my error! Note that fens can be regarded as ecologically unique examples of herbaceous (meadow/marsh), shrubby, or forested palustrine wetlands, depending on the relative dominance of sedges, shrubs, or trees. Characteristic plants of calcareous fens of western Connecticut are listed in the wet meadow/marsh section of this book (see paragraph that spans pages 72-73).

Page 80, right column, 4th complete paragraph: Pitcher plant moth is now known as Exyra fax. Change hebesena to hebesana.

Page 84, left column, first paragraph: Besides spotted salamanders, marbled salamanders, and wood frogs, many additional amphibians reproduce in seasonal pools, some of which may be referred to as vernal pools. Blue-spotted salamanders usually breed in seasonal pools in riparian red maple swamps. Larval four-toed salamanders develop in pools in mossy red maple swamps. Spring peepers commonly breed in woodland vernal pools, but marshy or swampy pools in open areas adjacent to forests usually host the largest breeding aggregations. Gray treefrogs use temporary or permanent waters of swamps and marshes. Eastern spadefoots breed only in pools that form in sandy regions after torrential rains. American and Fowler's toads breed in shallow water of temporary pools and the low-gradient margins of permanent waters, generally in open, sun-exposed locations. Northern leopard frogs use marshy or swampy seasonal pools, often in meadows along floodplains. Green frogs, whose larval stage lasts a little more than a year, breed successfully in some vernal pools in wet years, when a pool basin may contain at least some standing water continuously from the spring of one year through the summer of the next year. In spring, pools that contain green frog larvae and marbled salamander larvae suggest that the pool basin partially dried the previous summer, making terrestrial nesting sites available to marbled salamanders while allowing green frog larvae to survive in the water that remained in the deepest part of the vernal pool basin.

Page 97, Table 7.1: Note that these subjective characterizations do not attempt to portray the complete distribution of each species. For many species, the secondary distribution might be expanded or reduced, depending on what you wanted to emphasize. For example, the distribution of black huckleberry and lowbush blueberry could be expanded into wetlands, in which these primarily upland species do occur, and the distribution of striped maple could be truncated, even though some occurrences are on top of trap-rock ridges. This table was rearranged and greatly expanded from a similar table in Jorgensen (1978).

Page 104, left column, third paragraph, fourth line: "nitorgen" should be "nitrogen"

Page 115, right column, third paragraph, first line: Delete "and birds"

Page 141: Aspen "pussies" emerge from the buds in March, around the same time as those of pussy willows, which sometimes results in aspens being mistaken for willows.

Page 142: Eastern cottonwood: In cooler years, flowering begins in the latter half of April.

Page 145, Fig. 9.29 caption: Delete "Speckled" (both speckled and smooth alders are early-flowering species; this photo shows smooth alder).

Pages 171 & 271: The blueberry stem gall wasp is a chalcid, not a cynipid. Pteromalidae: Hemadas nubilipennis.

Page 185, last sentence: This web site seems to be out of commission. For a good entry into federal and state efforts concerning invasive species, go to See also the Invasive Plant Atlas of New England:

Page 194, mobile polychaetes: Clam worm spawning evidently occurs over broader environmental conditions than described in the references I consulted. For example, on a recent cold morning in mid-March, I saw several clam worms swimming in shallow, sand- and cobble-bottomed intertidal pools at low tide. All were shedding a white fluid (presumably sperm) from the rear end of the body (click on photo below). The moon was in the last quarter (39% illuminated). Herring gulls were eating the worms, as were two common loons that were diving out in Long Island Sound, where a nearby assemblage of horned grebes, American black ducks, red-breasted mergansers, and common goldeneyes perhaps was also feeding on the worms. Note also that clam worm spawning varies among species. Nereis succinea is a species in which specialized male and female reproductive forms spawn in swarms at the water surface in spring or summer.

Page 205: Yellow lampmussel formerly occurred also in the Housatonic River watershed. It still persists in the Connecticut River in Massachusetts.  Eastern pearlshell occurs also in other watersheds in addition to the Connecticut River. Alewife floater likely also uses American shad and other river herrings as larval hosts.

Page 213: filmy dome spider is now known as Neriene radata.

Page 223: Crackler grasshopper is more widely known as the crackling forest grasshopper (Trimerotropis verruculata).

Page 224: Coneheads may be green or brown. Sword-bearing coneheads are usually green (rarely brown).

Page 233, Fig. 14.38: Astute entomologists will notice that this is not the common shore tiger beetle but rather the beach-dune tiger beetle (C. hirticollis), which is uncommon in Connecticut. I inadvertently submitted the wrong photograph for this figure.

Page 239: The pine weevil information pertains to the white pine weevil (Pissodes strobi).

Pages 250-252, Table 14.1: Larval food plants are listed for vagrant species, which may or may not actually deposit eggs on these plants in Connecticut. Regardless, they do not complete their life cycle here.

Page 259: Azalea sphinx is now known as Darapsa choerilus.

Page 295: Add spotfin killifish (Fundulus luciae), which was recently documented as locally common in a few high tidal marsh habitats in coastal Connecticut. This tiny fish previously was thought to be a rare stray here.

Page 311: American toad: In some locations, these toads breed in pools behind low coastal dunes, just a hop, skip, and a jump from Long Island Sound. Spring peeper: Productive breeding sites include marshy or swampy (often seasonally flooded) margins of permanent and semi-permanent water, as well as temporary pools that last at least a few months in spring and early summer. Breeding peepers, whose chorusing generally peaks shortly after nightfall, are particularly numerous in meadows, marshes, and open swamps bordering forested uplands. Males often call from shallow pools that dry up too quickly for successful larval development.

Page 323: Some herpetologists have adopted the name Elaphe alleghaniensis for the eastern rat snake.

Page 330: From the 2003 A.O.U. supplement, I adopted the new common name for the rock pigeon and some minor spelling changes in scientific names, but that supplement appeared too late for adoption of the new sequence of orders (e.g., waterfowl and grouse now come before loons and grebes).

Page 366, Fig. 20.63: A sparrow removed the fleshy material from the top half of the fruit at upper left rear and also from the shadow-obscured fruit at right-center. The one on the right is hard to see, so I didn't mention it in the caption. In each case, the seed-containing "stone" remains attached to the plant. Two whole fruits, a slender undeveloped flower, and an undeveloped fruit are also visible. At least one whole fruit has been completely removed.

Page 382-383: Northern bat is also known as northern long-eared myotis. Eastern small-footed bat is also known as eastern small-footed myotis; known in Connecticut from several individuals collected in Roxbury several decades ago. The state's first and only large aggregation of Indiana bats (224 individuals) was observed in Roxbury in 1939.

Page 392: Note that some long-tailed weasels are white in winter (all ermines turn white). American marten: This is a species of northern New England and is not known to be established south of Vermont or New Hampshire. Presumably the road-killed marten had escaped from captivity (e.g., a fur farm), or possibly it was a long-distance stray from the north. Vagrants or martens of captive-origin also showed up in Massachusetts in the 1990s.

Page 393: Bobcat is now usually included in the genus Lynx.

Page 394, left column, line 11: Please delete the word "maternal."

If you find additional things that should be amended, please let me know about them ( and I'll post the significant changes on this web site. Thanks!

This page was last updated on 10 September 2006.