Non-Native Guessing Game

Sorry. The polls are closed. My friend, Zach Miller, already won that 32oz Busch Light when he helped me identify this animal.

I found what's left of it on my dock step a few weeks ago. At first glance, in the bright sun, it looked like a crustacean or a giant bug. Figured maybe a bird dropped it there. I found it just like you see it. Nice and dried out. Ready for display. It's on a bookshelf tour right now.

A tighter look revealed a fish -- maybe from the catfish family? I got Zach on the phone, emailed some pics, he Googled up some leads and within about 90" we ID'd this suspect as a Non-Native Brown Hoplo. It's one of many species of fish in Florida that have no natural right to be here, but I've gotta say, they do leave behind some interesting looking remains.

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The topic of invasive species aside for now, it was another cozy reminder of the bio-diverse nature of our part of the world. That wildness is one reason why my family and I often thank our lucky stars for the place we call home.

-stp-

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