Sunday, June 2, 2013

Spotted Salamander - Murray County

I found this Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) in a Conasauga River bottomland forest on March 12, 2013. This species is a member of the mole salamander family (Ambystomatidae). They spend much of their life underground. In late winter they congregate at spawning pools to breed. The female lays large egg masses(see below), sometimes 2-3 which can have as many as 200 individual eggs in each mass. There is a unique relationship between these egg masses and a species of algae, Oophila amblystomatis. Learn more about the recent discoveries concerning this endosymbiosis at this site:

For more info about the Spotted Salamander go HERE.

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