BC Press: Urban Critters: Western redback salamander
This is a Press Information page entitled BC Press: Urban Critters: Western redback salamander within the Press / News Items section of Caudata.org --- &lt;u&gt;VANCOUVER SUN &lt;/u&gt; &#40;British Columbia&#41; 27 January 07 Urban Critters: Western redback salamander &#40;Nicholas Read&#41; What it&#39;s called: The Western redback salamander, or in Latin, ...
| ||LinkBack||Thread Tools||Display Modes|
|29th January 2007||#1 (permalink)|
<u>VANCOUVER SUN </u>(British Columbia) 27 January 07 Urban Critters: Western redback salamander (Nicholas Read)
What it's called: The Western redback salamander, or in Latin, Plethodon vehiculum.
What it looks like: It's not a snake, but it looks a bit like one, except for having very short legs near its head and about half way down its very narrow 11-cm-long body. And as its name suggests, it has a bright orangey-red back and grey-black scaly sides. Also, the males have a long (for a salamander) row of teeth in a long (for a salamander) snout, at least compared to the females.
Where to find it: A strictly terrestrial creature, it can be found in most southwestern B.C. forests, including Stanley Park. In fact, it's one of the species that will benefit most from the great blow-down in the park, given that it's happiest scurrying about decaying logs and coarse woody debris characteristic of old-growth forests and unmanaged young forests.
When it's too hot or too cold or too wet, it tends to bury itself under rocks, so watch for it in spring.
What it eats: Insects and their larvae, mites, spiders, slugs, snails and earthworms. In fact, they'll eat almost anything they can fit in their mouths. But even though they're life-long predators, they're not great hunters, preferring to sit and wait for their prey rather than go out and chase it.
What eats it: Various birds, shrews and garter snakes.
How they reproduce: Salamander sex can be quite risque. An integral part of their courtship behaviour involves the male carrying the female around on his back while she keeps hold of him by biting his tail. The males also use all their teeth to lacerate the skin of the female during mating. Clearly, this is a show not suitable for every audience.
They're also very prolific. Depending on the size of the female (the bigger she is, the more eggs she'll lay), she can lay up to 19 eggs at a time.
New mothers deposit these eggs in clusters under rocks, and incubate them for up to two months. The eggs are yellowish white and are surrounded by protective jelly envelopes.
Hatchlings don't measure much more than a centimetre and a half in length, but they grow about a centimetre a year. They reach sexual maturity when they're about 4.5 centimetres long.
Are they endangered? No, and especially not now in Stanley Park.
|29th January 2007||#2 (permalink)|
While I'm glad that information is reaching the general public on salamander species they probably wouldn't normally see, I'm bothered by the author's use of "scaly sides." Seems like another person who is confusing amphibians and reptiles. It doesn't seem like it would be hard to look it up and find out they are slimy or moist and do not possess scales.
|critters, press, redback, salamander, urban, western|
|esn, kay, Tatl|
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|BC Press: Urban critters: Giant coastal salamander||wes_von_papineäu||Press / News Items||0||26th April 2008 15:33|
|Urban Biotope for Marmoratus||rubén||Photo & Video Gallery||12||27th February 2007 10:55|
|PREGNANT REDBACK SALAMANDER??!!!!||jay||Newt and Salamander Help||1||30th April 2005 11:15|
|Pregnant Redback Salamander||redbacks||Newt and Salamander Help||0||25th April 2005 18:18|
|Western Red-Backed Salamander (basic captive care/info)||slackra||General Discussion & News from Members||1||26th March 2003 20:55|