Friday, April 16, 2010

Nursery visit

Last weekend I renturned to the Spotted Salamander and Wood Frog Nursery to see how things were progressing.  Remember all those millions of frog and salamander eggs that I saw being laid? Well now they are millions of tiny tadpoles. I think they are Wood frog tadpoles.  There were about 5 large groups like this in different areas of the pond.

They should be toadlets about the middle of June to the middle of July. I try will go back to take more photos and see the little guys leaving for their own adventures. Of course it will the salamanders that I really want to see.

If you missed the orginal post of a "Night to Remember" showing them mating you can link to it HERE.

When they first hatch they feed on their remaining yolk and then on the egg capsules. I think this is a photo of empty egg capsules with a Red Spotted Newt lurking about.

Some of the eggs have not hatched yet so next week there should be even more. To tell the truth I am not really sure if these are Wood Frog or Spotted Salamander eggs. I suspect Wood Frogs because of the sear volume. If anyone knows for sure please let me know.

Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, egg mass.  There is a smooth outer gelatinous membrane surrounding the egg aggregation, which gives clear egg  masses a halo appearnace surrounding the dark embroys. In the wood frogs egg masses lack the smooth outer membrane and therefore are bumpy.

The spotted salamander egg masses come in three flavors - milky-white, clear and intermediate.  The larva grow and metamorphose within 2-4 months. So between June and August I should be able to find some young salamanders walking out of the pond. If you click on the photos for a larger view you can see that most of the dot are no longer round like they were when they were first laid. They are more comma shaped.

Some of them were close to the edge and beginning to dry out so I picked them up and moved them back into the water. Amphibians need all the help they can get nowdays.

Below is a close up of those two little egges at the edge of the big blob in my hand.

Spring Peepers and Northern Red Spotted Newts lay their eggs singly near the bottom of the pond and are attached to vegetation. I think these are photos of those but I am not certain.

Visit more ABC Wednesday here.


Gaelyn said...

These are all Awesome images. Love your macros and can definately see growth in the eggs.
I remember seeing tadpoles like that at Mt St Helens at Meta Lake that looked like an oil slick. Then when they got legs I didn't even want to walk around for fear of smashing them.
Great post!

squirrel said...

Thanks, I know what you mean about walking around and the fear of stepping on them. They are so vunerable. I have also been enjoying your site and travels.

Wanda said...

This was extraordinary! What a visit to the nursery. Never seen one like it!! Thanks!

Sylvia K said...

What fantastic shots! I, too, love your macros! Something not many of us get to see! Wonderful post for the N day! Hope your week is going well! Enjoy!


Troy said...

What an incredible peek at Nature in action!

Never would I have come up with Newts in a Nursery for an N post!

Neat photos, Nice job.

On behalf of the ABC Wednesday Team, Thanks for participating this week. Hope you can join us again next week.


Jayne said...

Wonderful shots - especially the penultimate. :)

Mar said...

What wonderful nursery visit!! love your shots.

N is for numismatic!

Mara said...

Wow! What a great N. I would never have imagined a nursery looking like that and your close-up of those two eggs was brilliant as well.

Roger Owen Green said...

I'm guessing no one replicated your topic this week. Fascinating stuff.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

ChrisJ said...

We used to collect tadpoles and newts from the pond in the field at the back of our house. The pond was for the cows but it has totally dried up now. Thanks for bringing back wet and muddy memories:)

Carolyn Ford said...

I think you have won the prize for most amazing post this week! This is so interesting and what fabulous photos! Wow!

Jay said...

That's an amazing and wonderful photo of the two tiny amphibians inside their eggs on your hand!

I wish we had frogs, but they've deserted us. I think maybe the herons ate them all.