Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spotted Salamander invasion!

Last night Meg let the dogs out the front door while it was raining. At her feet she found not one but two Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) at her feet attempting to crawl inside the house. So I helped her coax them back outside while she managed the dogs.

A little history on these salamanders here. About 8-9 years ago I found 2 of them in the then new water garden (it's is gone now due to the addition), they laid eggs and the eggs might have made it. One was a spotless Spotted Salamander which is the only one I ever saw. They appeared in the water garden most every year in February to lay eggs (or feed the Bullfrogs eggs). Last year in mid summer while removing the old furnace we found a pair of them under the furnace pad, and later that week I found 2 more under some roofing tins I have in the woods for snakes to rest under.

FYI these are mole salamanders common to the southeastern US. Usually the only time one sees them is on the first cold rainy night in February unless they are found under logs rocks ect. And they are around 8 inches long the biggest salamander we have in this part of the country.

Last night was also the first night this year we had a frog concert, the Spring Peepers gave a mild performance, Meg told me about them late late night apparently my hearing is not as good as it used to be or Meg's hearing is better than mine. The new windows seems to insulate the sound from the outside pretty well. This Spring Peeper I took the photo along my pond in 2004, you can identify them by the X on the back.


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

You get some interesting wildlife in your yard. I've never seen a salamander like that. I keep wishing I would get a frog in our pond. I love to hear them. Your little guy is very cute!

lynn'sgarden said...

Hi Randy,
thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog. I can't wait to see your morning glories in bloom on the porch! But I can do without lizards...don't mind most bugs but

Heather said...

We actually have frog under our house all winter and spring. My husband is the only one who can't hear them (bull frogs). Cool looking salamanders.

Randy Emmitt said...


We have 11 species of frogs and toads here. Here is the list: Upland Chorus Frog, Spring Peeper, Pickrel Frog, Green Frog, Bull Frog, Gray Treefrog, Green Treefrog, Northern Cricket Frog, American Toad, Fowler's Toad and Oak Toad. I've photographed all but the Oak Toad which call sounds like sheep calling.

Superficially, lizards and salamanders are similar in appearance, however lizards have scales and small claws at the ends of their toes, while salamanders do not.

tina said...

Absolutely lovely blog Randy and Meg. I had to comment on the peeper post because I so love these little frogs (toads) though I've never seen one in person. When I hear them peeping I know spring is here. They have not peeped yet here and it is freezing! Your pond must be full of them and what a lovely sound on any given evening.

I will look forward to seeing how your veggies do in your new plot. I hope they survived the 26 degree cold. I haven't even checked mine, guess I should. Take care and talk to you later.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Spring peepers are sooooo cute! I do a frog and toad survey each year through the city, but it's at night by calls. I love seeing photos of them! There's also a salamander survey, but I haven't done that. "Your" spotted salamanders are sweet!

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