Monday, August 26, 2013

Rise of the Salamanders

Long-toed salamander (c) John AshleyAfter a dry, smoky spell, we finally got a good rain last night to clear the air. The soaking moisture also lifted some long-toed salamanders (Ambystoma macrodactylum) up to the surface to feed. After not seeing one all of spring and summer, I found four in the yard after midnight. These little guys have moist skin and spend most of their lives under the duff and deeper. But when the ground is wet, they often rise to the surface where it's more efficient to look for small spiders and insects to eat.

Long-toed salamander (c) John Ashley
An adult long-toed salamander watches and waits for a midnight snack to walk by