Now I’m seeing the larvae in every part of the creek. The cooler water temperature of the creek causes these larvae to develop more slowly than their relatives living in upland pools. While the salamander larvae in the pond are nearly ready to leave the water, these creek dwelling larvae will remain in their aquatic environment for several more weeks.
I am assuming that the salamander population
has been increasing since stream disturbance, such as cattle access, stopped
when I purchased the property.
The down side is the fact that the smaller
tributaries stop flowing earlier in the summer than the main creek. Larvae in the tributaries are at a greater
risk of losing their water supply before they have time enough to develop
sufficiently to adopt a terrestrial lifestyle.
hatching from beneath large flat rocks in the fast moving stream reaches are
swept into the quiet waters of downstream pools.
the pools, the water can sometimes move quite swiftly and the larvae need to
keep from being swept away. Their long,
thin shape helps the larvae settle in and ride out times of storm runoff.
We’ve had plenty of rain this spring and the
water table is high. The creek should
keep flowing well past the time that the salamanders lose their gills and move
away into the surrounding woodland.
Color and Aroma of Spring
3 hours ago