The Jefferson salamander (above) and the Spotted salamander (below) both visit and leave eggs in my little pond in NY State.
These photos were taken this weekend. My pond is, in essence, a plastic container that was from Walmart several summers ago. It is about three and a half feet long…two feet wide and two feet deep. The depth is important for the salamanders, especially this season. It will not dry up as many vernal pools are during this unusually warm and dry springtime. About 10 years ago, I captured a blue Spotted Salamander in this location too. I haven’t seen one since. My camera and computer knowledge were both serious lacking then. In springtimes past, I’ve brought home specimens for the kids to witness firsthand. This year, I opted to leave them alone. A dry Spring is not very friendly to amphibians so I wanted them to keep multiplying uninterrupted.
The Jefferson and Spotted salamanders are syntopic. ( They occur together locally.) My little pond has become a yearly support to local populations and I’m very proud of this. At first, Wood Frogs overwhelmed my little pond at mating time. There are still a few who leave their eggs but the pond is populated by many more salamander eggs. The Wood Frogs have moved to larger ponds in our area.
The adult salamanders will leave soon and by late April their tadpoles will be visible and plentiful. I’ll document their growth in future posts.
There are a few more weekend shots to share. Enjoy!