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Plethodontids and Lungless Salamanders (Bolitoglossa, Eurycea, Plethodon, etc.) The largest, and one of the most diverse groups of salamanders, these salamanders have all evolved to breathe solely through their skin and are found almost exclusively in North America.

View Poll Results: Coolest spring subspecies?

Gyrinophilus p. porphyriticus - Northern spring 2 33.33%
Gyrinophilus p. duryi - Kentucky spring 0 0%
Gyrinophilus p. dunni - Carolina spring 0 0%
Gyrinophilus p. danielsi - Blue Ridge spring 4 66.67%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 15th January 2018   #1
PDONTnAMBY
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Default POLL: Favorite G. porphyriticus ssp?

Y'all, I know we've got some spring sally keepers 'round these parts, and many more who appreciate them (whether on herping trips or from the comfort of their computer monitors). The question is: which spring sally is best spring sally? That can be in terms of captive care (though I doubt many of us have had the luxury of keeping multiple ssp), how much you like herping for them, how interesting you find their behavior, or just how gosh-durn pretty you find them.

So which is it? G. p. porphyriticus, the northern spring, with its wide range, wild color variability, potentially monstrous size, and subtle reticulated patterning? G. p. duryi, the Kentucky spring, with its pleasant salmon coloration and large, sparse polka-dots? G. p. dunni, the Carolina spring, with its reserved coloration and bold dorsal bars disintegrating into mellower lateral webbing? Or G. p. danielsi, the Blue Ridge spring, with its shock coral-to-scarlet dorsum, scattered black flecks, and Sam Elliott-esque salt-and-pepper mustache? (Sorry to all the geezers from Ohio, but I'm not gonna include your beloved Hocking Hills cf. inagnoscus--mostly because I'm salty about never having found one during my four years in Columbus )



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Old 17th January 2018   #2
Nativenewt
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Default Re: POLL: Favorite G. porphyriticus ssp?

Such prose... Such Poetry! Northern Spring because its the only one I would have a chance of finding



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Old 17th January 2018   #3
PDONTnAMBY
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Default Re: POLL: Favorite G. porphyriticus ssp?

"Poetry," you say? You're too kind (or just the right amount of sarcastic.) Glad to see the Northern is getting some love (even though I selected Blue Ridge)--I find the standard coloration and patterning of G. p. porphyriticus to be really gorgeous, even if they're rather understated compared to the Kentucky or Blue Ridge ssp.

On a semi-related note, does anyone have any good references on the relationship between coloration and altitude for G. porphyriticus, and how that tracks with local subspecies and populations of P. ruber? Of course we're all familiar with the general relationship (higher elevation=brighter colors) as outlined in field guides, and on a coarser scale I've read about Mullerian mimicry for coastal plain vs. Appalachian highlands subspecies of Pseudotriton and Notophthalmus... but I've never seen any *academic* sources for how it all works in spring sallies, or what the mechanism is--is it mediated by food sources? Temperature? Something else?



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