Friday, April 3, 2009


This evening, I attended the vernal pool program at Bear Swamp Archery Complex, organized by Jacobsburg State Park. There was a great turnout (over 30 people) and the herpetologists Andy Curtis and John Becker were great. We started out by turning rocks over to look for salamanders and newts. We found lots of Red-backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) and several Red Efts (Notophthalmus viridescens) (terrestrial form of Red-spotted Newt). We also saw a single Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus).

Spotted Salamander:

After searching the first vernal pond, and finding nothing but a Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and some egg masses, we headed to a large drainage pond along the road. Here, the Spring Peepers (Pseudacris crucifer) were extremely loud. In a back corner of this pond, over 20 Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) had congregated, swimming and wriggling around.

Spotted Salamander:

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