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Larvae ID?

This is a discussion on Larvae ID? within the Fieldwork / Fieldherping forums, part of the Advanced Newt & Salamander Topics category; Sorry for the double post, i think i posted the last one in the wrong section.. was curious if anyone ...

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Old 11th April 2013   #1 (permalink)
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Default Larvae ID?

Sorry for the double post, i think i posted the last one in the wrong section.. was curious if anyone could help me ID this little larvae? Im located near dayton ohio if that may help? Ive tried searching online all day and was gueasing maybe red spotted newt or spotted salamander? Im clueless lol
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Larvae ID?-uploadfromtaptalk1365658049454.jpg   Larvae ID?-uploadfromtaptalk1365658059861.jpg   Larvae ID?-uploadfromtaptalk1365658078468.jpg   Larvae ID?-uploadfromtaptalk1365658087333.jpg   Larvae ID?-uploadfromtaptalk1365658094435.jpg  




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Old 11th April 2013   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

A few, general, quick tips for identifying larval salamanders:
  • Look for where the dorsal tail fin starts. If it starts on the body (i.e., anterior to the hind legs and hips), then it has what they call the "pond type" morphology. This doesn't mean that the critter necessarily lives in a pond, though, but it will rule out many species. Both newt larvae and spotted salamander larvae will have tail fins that originate anterior to the hind limbs. The first photo attached one of my photos of a very young, spotted salamander larva. The second is of a mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoidium) larva, which more clearly shows where the tail fin originates in Ambystoma larvae (on the body). Your little guy doesn't have a tail fin that passes the hind legs, so it's neither of these. Ambystoma also have hilariously large heads as larvae.
  • Count the number of hind toes. If you count only 4, look again, and look very closely. The "thumb" of the hind foot on larvae can be very small, and it's easy to miss it. Your larva will have 5 toes on the hind limbs, which also rules out newts.
  • Larvae can sometimes look nothing like adults, especially if young (i.e., that mole salamander larva is beautifully patterned, but the adults have none of that pattern), so be wary if you're trying to match larval pattern to adult pattern.

Your guy/gal is some type of Eurycea, a "brook salamander."

From a quick Google search, it looks like Ohio has three species of Eurycea, the two-line (E. bislineata), the longtail (E. longicauda), and the cave salamander (E. lucifuga). Based on the location you gave, the two-line and the cave appear to be out of range (used range maps from this site OhioAmphibians.com: Frog & Toad Calling Survey, Salamander Monitoring Program), so perhaps it is the longtail?

Of these three species, I've only had experience with the two-lined salamander, so perhaps someone else will comment who has more applicable experience. I've also not herped in Ohio, and if there have been revisions to range maps, I don't know about them.
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Old 11th April 2013   #3 (permalink)
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I was sorta going basing it off of the little guys head shape and long body why i guessed two lined. The mouth area is a bit squared off like the photos of the two lined larvae pictures i found online. Looks like this is going to be harder then i thought lol. I guess time will tell



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Old 11th April 2013   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

Body shape and and head shape, I'd go with 2 Lined Salamander if you found it in a stream. If you found it in a still water like a pond or swamp I'd say a Eastern Newt or Central Newt.



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Old 11th April 2013   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

Whoops! Caught a mistake. Notophthalmus have 5 toes on the hind feet not 4.



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Old 11th April 2013   #6 (permalink)
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We found him in a creek under a large rock. So he was in running water. Not still water or a pond :)



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Old 11th April 2013   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

It's certainly a Eurycea, and I'd call it E. cirrigera.



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Old 11th April 2013   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

I thought I sent a post? lol. Anyways, we found him in a creek so there was running water. Def not a pond, though he was on the side where the waster wasnt really moving haha.



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Old 12th April 2013   #9 (permalink)
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Dang double post lol. Didnt realize the first one showed up.. thanks for the help!



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Old 13th April 2013   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

Found a 2nd little guy today! You can see their pattern a little more on this one
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Old 15th April 2013   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Larvae ID?

That one looks like E.bislineata for sure. You should be able to find an adult real easy.



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