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Long-toed salamander

Ambystoma macrodactylum

Description:

Globular egg mass with embryos. Several of these grapefruit size egg masses were in these pools of water attached to vegetation. Like all amphibians, the life of a long-toed salamander begins as an egg. In the northern extent of its range, the eggs are laid in lumpy masses along grass, sticks, rocks, or the mucky substrate of a calm pond. The number of eggs in a single mass ranges in size, possibly up to 110 eggs per cluster. Females invest a significant amount of resources into egg production, with the ovaries accounting for over 50% of the body mass in the pre-breeding season. A maximum of 264 eggs have been found in a single female—a large number considering each egg is approximately 0.5 millimeters (0.02 in) in diameter. The egg mass is held together by a gelatinous outer layer protecting the outer capsule of individual eggs. Larvae hatch from their egg casing in two to six weeks. They are born carnivores, feeding instinctively on small invertebrates that move in their field of vision. Food items include small aquatic crustaceans (cladocerans, copepods and ostracods), aquatic dipterans and tadpoles. As they develop, they naturally feed upon larger prey. To increase their chances for survival, some individuals grow bigger heads and become cannibals, and feed upon their own brood mates

Habitat:

Spotted in pools of water from snow melt at Government Meadows in the Cascade mountains. above 4000.0 ft elev.

Notes:

The distribution of the long-toed salamander is primarily in the Pacific Northwest, with an altitudinal range of up to 2,800 m (9,200 ft). It lives in a variety of habitats, including temperate rainforests, coniferous forests, montane riparian zones, sagebrush plains, red fir forests, semiarid sagebrush, cheatgrass plains, and alpine meadows along the rocky shores of mountain lakes. It lives in slow-moving streams, ponds, and lakes during its aquatic breeding phase. The long-toed salamander hibernates during the cold winter months, surviving on energy reserves stored in the skin and tail.

No species ID suggestions

2 Comments

SarahWhitt
SarahWhitt 8 months ago

You are welcome, Brian. :)

Brian38
Brian38 8 months ago

Thank you Sarah for steering me in the right direction. My research showed me the most likely candidate is the Long-toed salamander.

SarahWhitt
SarahWhitt 8 months ago

Maybe spotted salamander eggs? They are green.

Washington, USA

Lat: 47.09, Long: -121.39

Spotted on Jul 8, 2018
Submitted on Jul 12, 2018

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