April 12, 2010

The Spotted Salamanders have been Spotted

Spotted Salamanders are a species of mole salamanders. Although numbers are stable, they are not often seen because most of their time is spent underground. These salamanders lay their eggs in vernal ponds in early spring so on wet/warm rainy nights in early spring they emerge from hibernation and head to vernal ponds, depending on the size of the pond there can be hundreds or even thousands of them. Once in the ponds the males court the females by swimming around and nudging/rubbing bodies, it sometimes looks like “dancing”. The males then drop their spermataphores on the ponds floor and the females pick them up. Later eggs are deposited by females. Within a week or so the breeding is over and the Salamanders return to land. Spotted Salamanders return to the same pond they hatched in to breed and they can best be seen at night since they are nocturnal.

Contributed by: Beth Moore Staff Naturalist

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