by Crystal Cockman
November 1, 2017
I was walking on a friend’s property the other day and we were following a stream through the woods and came to an area he called the “drip spring.” This was an area that was wet even though we haven’t had a lot of rain. Here we found a salamander, but didn’t catch it so we didn’t get a chance to identify it. However it got me thinking about a category of salamanders known as stream salamanders.
One of the unique characteristics of stream salamanders is that they are able to withstand small fish. Most other salamanders inhabit ephemeral pools where water dries out over the summer and so fish cannot live in them. Fish are a predator of salamanders, especially larvae. For stream salamanders, the larvae and the adults are hiding under rocks, and it is hard to catch them, so they can hide from fish. Most lay their eggs underneath rocks and many of them guard their eggs. Most egg maturing happens in spring-time when the water gets warmer, and the eggs hatch into larvae. As adults, they become more terrestrial but also still hide under rocks in the water. [Read more…]