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Spotted Salamander Larvae Feeding

5-28-15 spotted salamander larva-May  IMG_6665A few short weeks ago spotted salamanders gathered at vernal pools to breed and lay eggs. Since then their eggs have started hatching, and gilled spotted salamander larvae can now be found in these pools. The larvae are major predators and consume many insects and crustaceans, including mosquito larvae and fairy shrimp. During the next two or three months, these larvae will develop lungs, absorb their feathery gills and begin life as terrestrial amphibians, assuming the temporary pools they are in don’t dry up prematurely.

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5 responses

  1. Treah

    What happens if the pools do dry up? Do they die? And what about the tadpoles? Because our vernal pool is drying up fast in this drought.

    May 29, 2015 at 9:11 am

    • Without water, the larvae will die. Some vernal pool life can survive overwinter without water, but not spotted salamander larvae, as they breath with gills.

      May 29, 2015 at 9:46 pm

  2. I’ve never seen one of these – how cool! Thanks, Mary.

    May 29, 2015 at 4:26 pm

  3. Kathie Fiveash

    Life is such a beautiful gamble.

    May 29, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    • Ain’t it the truth! Love your statement, Kathie.

      May 29, 2015 at 9:29 pm

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