Salamander Night [Video]
Spotted Salamander Crossing the Road
Many know that one of my favorite activities to participate in is the migration of the Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum). This happens in the spring with the first warm rain of the season! Hundreds and I mean hundreds of salamanders come out of the woods to migrate to the vernal pools that they had probably been born in! But many have some obstacles to avoid before reaching the breeding pools.
Video of the Spotted Salamanders crossing the road.
Raccoons, Skunks and other predators use these vulnerable times for gorging on the mass numbers of salamanders moving towards the fishless pools. The Spotted Salamander on occasion needs to cross busy roads and avoid oncoming vehicle tires! Lucky the location that we visited last night wasn’t as busy as it normally is for a Friday night. We tried to let the Salamanders cross the roads on there own (they do move fast for salamanders) but if we saw a vehicle coming . . . . we would quickly grab them and place them off to the side of the road. I am sad to report that we couldn’t help a few individuals that we (or the salamanders) didn’t move fast enough!
Spotted Salamander looking out of the water!
Later in the evening, Grace (Ninehtotoo5) and I headed down to check the breeding pool. We didn’t find any salamanders doing their “thing” but we did find many Spotted Salamanders in the pools. The book The Amphibians and Reptiles of New York State say “The males generally arrive at the ponds several days to over a week before the females”. I looked again in the pool before heading home and was only able to find two locations where a few salamanders had left some spermatophores. It is my assumption that a few females arrived in the pools but we might have another good Salamander night in the future (when more females arrive).
Spotted Salamander in shallow water!
Tomorrows post will be with a video and a few photos of the frogs that we found last night!
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