Sunday, January 8, 2012

Salamander Eggs

The pond is now full of salamander egg clusters.  Jefferson Salamanders are always the first to breed at Blue Jay Barrens, so the eggs probably belong to that species.

I’m assuming the salamanders moved into the pond on December 27.  Rain began on the evening of December 26 and continued well into the next morning.  This would have been perfect for salamander migration.  It wasn’t until January 1 that water conditions were clear enough to see the eggs.  High winds kept the water choppy, so it was hard to get a picture.

All of the egg clusters are attached to the rush stubble that I left while preparing the pond for salamander breeding.  This puts all of the eggs in the deepest water, so they are not likely to be affected by fluctuating water levels.

Reflections in the water make it hard to get a good count of the number of egg clusters.  In a couple more months the angle of the sun will move to a position that eliminates the reflections and allows easy late day viewing of the pond bottom.

Night shots with the flashlight better show the egg clusters.

This is the normal winter pool level.  Unless we suffer a severe drought, the eggs will be well covered with water and there should be a good crop of salamanders.

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