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Salamander Eggs

Posted on Apr 29, 2014

Last week we took our Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles students out into the field to see if we could find some active local amphibians. As we meandered from RTPI over to the 100 acre lot at JCC, we came across a very productive vernal pool with several spotted salamander egg masses that looked to be at least a few days old. It won’t be long before they begin to hatch, and with the rains soon to come it will keep the water levels up in the pools, giving the tadpoles a chance to develop and move out.

These are Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) eggs found in a vernal pool on JCC's 100 acre park. The eggs are a few days old and it won't be long until they hatch.

These are Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) eggs found in a vernal pool on JCC’s 100 acre park. This photo was taken with our new handy-dandy GoPro, which we plan to use to get lots of photos and video of what we are doing out in the field.

On our walk, students came across a number of Red backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) hiding beneath logs and leaf litter. Red backed salamanders make up the most vertebrate biomass within healthy eastern forests and are important predators and prey! Our students also found a dusky salamander (Desmognathus orchrophaeus) or two not far from a small stream bed, which as we know have some pretty interesting behaviors they use to keep themselves out of harm’s way. Spring is here to stay, despite it’s slow start, and we are excited to see life coming back again.

Elyse Henshaw
Conservation Technician

Photo © Elyse Henshaw