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Spotted Salamander Eggs


Masses are round, clear, jelly-like clumps that are usually 6.4–10.2 cm (2.5–4 in) long. Individual females deposit up to 250 eggs (average <100); eggs of an individual females may be laid in one large mass or divided among several masses of about 50-90 eggs. Hundreds of females may deposit eggs in a single pool, and the egg masses of different females often exhibit an aggregated dispersion pattern. Males produce blobs of sperm called spermatophores (white blobs seen among the egg masses in the last photo), and the females take these spermatophores into their bodies to fertilize their eggs.


Eggs usually are attached to submerged stems or other objects in vernal pools and semi permanent or permanent ponds in or adjacent to forest.


There is a particular species of unicellular green alga (Oophila ambystomatis) that grows on and in the jelly. The algae provides extra oxygen to the developing embryos, and may help camouflage the egg mass as well.

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marylou.wildlife 6 years ago

Thank you! We are surveying the same sites daily for spotted salamander reproduction, so I am getting to watch the embryos as they grow. It is amazing and beautiful and I can't wait until they hatch!

CalebSteindel 6 years ago

awesome macro photography, wonderfully detailed series! I just love that 2nd shot!

Spotted by

Laurel, Maryland, USA

Spotted on Apr 7, 2015
Submitted on Apr 15, 2015

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