The plump belly on this guy attests to the fact that the pool has no shortage of food items suitable to hungry young salamanders.
Unfortunately, no toads have yet
visited. Depressions in the mud bottom
are the result of deer traffic. Several
deer trails intersect here. Recent rains
have recharged the ground water reservoir responsible for keeping the pool full,
so there should be no repeat of last year’s disastrous premature water
Large heads accommodate large mouths and the
salamander will eat anything it can get through its mouth.
The developing front legs can
be seen directly below the gills. The
rear legs are just beginning to emerge.
This individual needs about another four weeks before it ends its larval
Hind legs will begin to show in
another week of so. It’s likely that the
piece missing from this tadpole’s tail was removed by a hungry salamander
They feed on plankton, algae and
decomposing plant and animal matter.
Their feeding activities clean away algae and keep the water clear. Their waste products feed plankton and algae,
so the more they eat, the better conditions are for more food to grow. This is how masses of tadpoles manage to
prosper while crowded together in small puddles.
think of salamander larvae as fragile creatures, but they can be terrors to
other aquatic life in the pool.
just couldn’t quite get the whole thing in its mouth. I’m sure that the salamander wasn’t going to
give up and whatever the food item was, it eventually went down.
Color and Aroma of Spring
3 hours ago