Michael Benard

I am a herpetologist who conducts research on amphibians and invertebrates. I also enjoy taking natural history photographs and video.
United States
United States

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499 stock photos, vectors, and illustrations are available royalty-free.

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A Northern Leopard Frog in the process of metamorphosing from the tadpole to the adult stage.  It still has tadpole traits (like the tail), but is also growing adult traits (like the four legs).
A Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) seen on a rainy night in North Carolina.
Portrait of a western toad (Anaxyrus boreas) sitting on a mossy rock with trees and sky in the background.
Young Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) on green moss background.
A california newt (Taricha torosa) clings to a branch underwater in a small stream. Napa County, California.
Regenerating tail in a Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus). A large part of the tail was lost in the past.  A new tail, visible as the pale bud, is growing to replace the lost tail.
A male Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea) sits on a branch making its characteristic honking call.  Its vocal sac is inflated with air to help it call more frequently. Seen in South Carolina.
Underwater photograph of an adult male Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).
Metamorphosing wood frog on a white background.  It still has its tail, but that will soon be absorbed as it completes metamorphosis.
Dorsal view of a Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) with a regenerating tail.  On white background.
A western pond turtle (Actinemys marmorata) hiding in grass on the edge of a pond in northern California.
A tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) that has been host to the larvae of a parasitoid wasp.  The white bumps on the caterpillar are cocoons from many wasp larvae that grew inside the caterpillar.
American Bullfrog embryos still in their egg jelly before hatching.
Female Western Fence Lizard belly view showing light blue patches and cloaca.  You can tell it is a female from the small postanal scales behind the cloaca.
Lateral (side) view of a large Green Frog (Rana clamitans; also known as Lithobates clamitans) tadpole on a white background.
A larval predaceous diving beetle (Family Dytisicdae; Genus Dytiscus) eats a pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) tadpole.
A small red backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) resting in the dirt.
Looking down on a Beech Blight Aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) climbing a tree.
Side view of a close up of a Beech Blight Aphid (Grylloprociphilus imbricator) on a tree.
White fawnlily (Erythronium albidum) flower in the spring.
Wood frog (Rana sylvatica / Lithobates sylvaticus) hatchlings resting on top of an orange and yellow leaf in a pond. The hatchlings still have external gills.
Wood frog (Rana sylvatica / Lithobates sylvaticus) sitting in a group on top of an algae-covered egg jelly.
The fallen green, yellow and orange flower of a tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) on the brown leaves of the wet forest floor.
Side view of an oriental fire bellied toad (Bombina orientalis) tadpole.
A metamorphosing green frog with four legs and a tail floating at the surface of the water.
A dark fishing spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) hangs on to a tree trunk at night.
A pile of dead adulb Brood V cicadas (Magicicada septendecim) and shed exoskeletons at the base of a tree.
Raccoon scat recognizable by its shape.  Two slugs, a snail and a pillbug are all crawling or feeding on the dung.
A dead Brood V Cicada (Magicicada septendecim)  laying on its side in a stream.
Close-up of a racoon scat with a slug feeding on one side and a snail feeding on the other side.
Baby painted turtle held in a person's hand.  The tiny turtle is about the size of a finger.
A wood frog sitting on a yellow and orange leaf on the forest floor in the autumn.
A mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) whose leaves are prevented from unfolding by a dead maple leaf that the maypple shoot grew through.
Macro of an orange slug feeding on a piece of racoon dung.
A northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon) safely held in a person's hand.  This is a nonvenomous snake that is sometimes killed when people mistake it for a dangerous snake.
A ringneck snake flicks out its tongue while curled around a person's finger.
A pickerel frog tadpole on a white background.
A California Slender Salamander blends in with dead leaves on the forest floor.
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) sitting on a green leaf.
Looking down on a calling male pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla).
Arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris) crawling around a log at night.
Close-up of the head and bulgy eye of an arboreal salamander (Aneides lugubris).
Ringneck snake (Diadophis punctatus) sitting on leaves on the ground.
Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea) resting on sand.
Side view of an Arboreal Salamander (Aneides lugubris).
Close-up of head of a sharp tailed snake (Contia tenuis)
Side view of a green frog (Rana clamitans or Lithobates clamitans) floating in the water among cattails.  It has a yellowish-cast to its color. The large tympanum indicates it is a male.
Adult green frog sitting in grass looking toward the camera.
Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium 	americanum) growing on a hillside with blue sky and white clouds in the background.
Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium 	americanum) growing on a hillside with blue sky and white clouds in the background.
Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium 	americanum) growing on a hillside with blue sky and white clouds in the background.
White bloodroot flowers blooming from the brown ground. The petals on the flowers are closed.
Peek-a-Boo: A northern dusky salamander sticks its head out from under a rock.
Looking down on a northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) on a wet rock).
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) silhouetted against storm clouds in the summer.
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) silhouetted against storm clouds in the summer.
Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) growing in the sun.
American Toad on a white background
A Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) climbing on a white background.  This is an invasive species.
Leadback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) on a green moss background.
Profile view of the head and front legs of a tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) from Michigan. Sitting on orange leaves.
Underside view of a blackbelly salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus) showing off its eponymous belly.
Close-up view of the head, bulgy eye, and front leg of a blackbelly salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus).
Leadback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) on a green moss background.
Orange California Poppies blooming on a hillside covered in green grass.  The hillside is recovering from a wildfire, and the burned branches of old chaparral plants reach above the flowers.
Looking into the face of a green frog (Rana clamitans or Lithobates clamitans) tadpole on a white background.
Looking into the face of an orange and yellow eastern newt (Notopthalmus viridescens) larva.
Side view of spring peeper tadpole (Pseudacris crucifer) resting on a branch underwater.
Underside view of the belly of a pickerel frog (Rana palustris AKA Lithobates palustris) tadpole.
Dorsal view of a pickerel frog tadpole on a white background.
Top-down view of a spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer) tadpole.  The tadpole is starting to grow long hindlegs and will metamorphose soon.
Dorsal view of the head, front limbs and back of a southern two-lined salamander (Eurycea cirrigera).
Ithuriel's Spear (Triteleia laxa), beautiful purple flowers, growing among green grass in California.
Close-up view of a Sharp-Tailed Snake (Contia tenuis) showing its eponymous sharp tail. It is sticking out its tongue to sense smells.
Greenhouse Frog (Eleutherodactylus planirostris) seen on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. These amphibians are an invasive species in Hawaii, and are native to some of the Caribbean islands.
A pair of desert pocket mice (Chaetodipus penicillatus) interacting near the entrace to a burrow.
View of a coiled eastern milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) on a white background.
Mating Brown Anoles (Anolis sagrei) seen on Kauai in Hawaii.  The male is larger. These lizards are introduced to the Hawaiian Islands.
Western Fence Lizard	(Sceloporus	occidentalis) in focus in a crack in a log in a pile of firewood.
A pretty Southern Toad (Anaxyrus terrestris) with a pretty red coloration.
Looking down on the back of a calling spring peeper.  This shows the characteristic "X" patterns that gives them their scientific name "crucifer".
Focus on Virgin's Bower (Clematis lasiantha) flowers growing in Napa County, California with sky and clouds in background.
Two male spring peepers competing for the attention of females by singing.  Their vocal sacs are inflated with air, which helps them sing faster.
Mating pair of spring peepers.  In amplexus, the male clings to the back of the female and fertilizes eggs as she lays them.
Focus on a shooting star flower (Dodecatheon hendersonii) with an oak tree and sky in the backround. The oak tree is intentionally out of focus to emphasize the shooting star flower.  Nap County, CA.
Twinning Lilly (Dichelostemma volubile) growing on Monkeyflower	(Mimulus aurantiacus) in Napa County, California.
This image is oriented correctly!  A Mourning gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) uses its adhesive toepads to walk upside down on a ceiling.
A group of yellow Oleander aphids (Aphis nerii) grouped together on a green leaf.
A small juvenile wood frog (Rana sylvatica, also known as Lithobates sylvaticus) sitting on moss in the forest.  This young frog metamorphosed only a few weeks before.
Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica; also known as Lithobates sylvaticus) tadpole resting on old leaf litter.
Close-up view of the eyes and mandibles of a Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus).
close-up view of the head of a Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus) on white background.  This photo shows the bulgy eyes and the nasolabial groove.  This individual is very dark.
A western yellow-bellied racer (Coluber constrictor mormon) resting on a rock in the sun while flicking its tongue out to test the air.
A beautiful young Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) with a distinct pattern on its scales crossing a road in Napa County, California.
Looking down on a large adult diamondback water snake (Nerodia rhombifer) seen in east Texas.
An adult Woodhouse's toad (Anaxyrus woodhousii) sitting on sand in east Texas.
The Reddish-Brown Stage Beetle (Lucanus capreolus) is found in eastern North America.  Males, like the one pictured here, have large mandibles that they use in battles with other males.
Profile view of two American Toads in amplexus surrounded by their eggs.
A desert pocket mouse (Chaetodipus penicillatus ) with a long tail with a fuzzy tip.
A Pickerel Frog that is transitioning from the tadpole stage to the adult stage. It still has the tadpole tail, but also has the adult spot pattern and four legs.
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