Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Salamanders and Tree Frogs

The relatively warm temperatures of the past two days have the amphibians of the park on the move.
It has also given me the opportunity to release two Gray Tree Frogs (Hyla versicolor) that were given to me as tadpoles by a naturalist friend.  The tadpoles are now emerging as air breathing true frogs with only residual tails visible.

#2 climbed out of the water onto this piece of branch and spent several hours enjoying a breath of fresh air adorned in a couple pieces of duckweed.
Even at this stage of development it is capable of changing color to blend in with its surroundings. It looks stunning in "Duckweed Green".  Just before release it had climbed the glass sides of the aquarium waiting for me to remove the screen cover. It was having some difficulty getting it's sticky little toe pads from releasing from the glass.

Also enjoying the warm rain but putting itself in great peril was this Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) found on the concrete floor of the Maintenance Shop.  Blue Spotted Salamanders are members of the "Mole Salamander" group preferring to borrow into the soft rich soil on the forest floor.

This salamander is only about 3 inches long from nose to tail. That is approximately the length of the tail of the park's Tiger Salamander which can be seen daily at the Fox Island Co. Park Nature Center.
Photos by J. Ormiston