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Ambystoma tigrinum

This is a discussion on Ambystoma tigrinum within the Field Herping Accounts forums, part of the Fieldwork / Fieldherping category; This is a very brief video of a recent encounter I had with a mass A.tigrinum congregation in the middle ...

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Old 14th September 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ambystoma tigrinum

This is a very brief video of a recent encounter I had with a mass A.tigrinum congregation in the middle of a factory parking lot somewhere in Illinois. There has been rain in this area of the midwest for three days straight and they've been out everywhere this whole time. After seeing a few hundred of them I was shocked to think we only saw one casualty in the road. To get to the parking lot two of us got out and move the salamanders off the road while the other drove. This video was about the center of the lot in a patch of grass that didn't extend more than a foot from the light post it was around. In just this small patch of grass we counted 33 healthy adults plus however many were hidden in numerous burrows in the grass. I would have gotten a longer video and taken more than just this one but I didn't want to ruin my new camera in the rain. Enjoy what little footage I captured




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Old 14th September 2008   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

Very nice Jake. It sure is a high concentration of them _o
Reminds me of a time i was literally surrounded by Salamandra s. I think its a special feeling when you get to see big numbers of caudates.



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Old 15th September 2008   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

I wish we had hundreds of tiger salamanders wandering around after rains here. Maybe I'll just have to go to Illinois to see some. Neat video.



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Old 15th September 2008   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

How big were they on average? What was the biggest and what was the smallest?



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Old 15th September 2008   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

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Originally Posted by caudatadude28 View Post
How big were they on average? What was the biggest and what was the smallest?
My guess is about 8 inches long, but that's purely a guess, I didn't measure any. The smallest ones were a few towns over from where I saw the mass of them and they were all about 6 inches long.



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Old 15th September 2008   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

I wonder why the mass movement at this time of year?



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Old 15th September 2008   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

I wonder if the shorter days, cooler temperatures, and torrential rain they've been having in the Midwest (Yay Ike!) are mimicking spring.



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Old 15th September 2008   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

Nice finds. I just found a couple of Ohio Tigers yesterday myself. As for why they are moving in the fall. It is pretty well documented (at least with Eastern Tigers) that they move at night during fall rains. Not really anything to do with thinking it is Spring, but probably looking for food.

Andy



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Old 15th September 2008   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Avram View Post
It is pretty well documented (at least with Eastern Tigers) that they move at night during fall rains. Not really anything to do with thinking it is Spring, but probably looking for food.

Andy
Exactly right. They were all pretty well fed from what I could tell. Every year they seem to come out, but I've never seen as many as this year. I think the fact that they were near a breeding pond and a construction site may have played a role. There were some large ones that still had gill nubs and a lot of them were in areas that recently had a lot of earth moved. I was surprised that we only saw a handful of frogs though.



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Old 16th September 2008   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ambystoma tigrinum

The morphs leave the breeding ponds in late fall and early spring after rains. I am guessing they are this year's morphs.



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