Friday, December 4, 2009

Salamanders Are So Cool

This salamander turned up in our little goldfish pond a while back. I had never seen one like this.

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What looks like its muffin, is actually a goldfish food pellet.

Since we still occasionally have critters get stuck in the pond and drown, we were a little anxious about this cool little guy. So when the salamander was still in the pond the following morning, B scooped it out with the net.

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He put it in the leaf litter beside the pond. Now, if it wanted to go back in the pond, it easily could. If it was stuck in the pond, it has been rescued. We did not see it again.

I emailed our local IFAS office for help confirming the identification. He wrote that it is a marbled salamander, Ambystoma opacum . He said that they are sexually dimorphic: the females have grey or silver markings, while the males have white. Well, our jury is out on this call. It seems to be rather silver in the water pictures and white in the net. Fall is their mating time and the eggs are laid in still water. The goldfish would likely have eaten the eggs anyway. They are mole salamanders so I guess those long toes come in handy (so to speak) for digging. This last shot was just rather amusing to me. It was floating in the water. The toes are so fanned and, I swear, it was smiling for the camera.

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2 comments:

Floridacracker said...

Very, Very Cool. We have tiger salamanders in our pond some years. I'm hoping these rains bring them out.

Carol said...

Put an escape ramp in the pond. They they can come and go.

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