yellow spotted salamander MNYesterday, we studied herpetology in our Master Naturalist class which is the study of amphibians and reptiles. The best part of the class was a field study at Woodend Sanctuary. Check out this female Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculate) that we found under a log near the creek.

We learned that these salamanders usually have two rows of yellow or orange spots along their sides, but this little lady had only one spot on either side of her head. Quite unusual.

She may be enlarged due to the storage of eggs that she will lay next season. So cool!

Please remember that when you are scouting for vertebrates:

  • Roll the log towards you, so you aren’t surprised by its inhabitants
  • Try to look & not touch (this little lady was handled by our instructor only who is a Herpetologist. P.S. The bag was only used to hold her and her nearby leaves, she was not held or captured in the bag.
  • Be sure that the animal is out of the way before rolling the log back into place to avoid accidental crushing
  • Replace disturbed leaf litter around the log as necessary

Go enjoy the great outdoors!