According to Salamanders of the Unites States and Canada that is normal for that species. There are also apparently more gilled adults than there are terrestrial adults. Either there is some selective agent that prevents the larva from transforming or its possible that terrestrial adults are very rare in that species.
I woulod have to agree with Erik. adluts are rarely found. I was out on a Urodela trip in Oregon with somebody living the area. We found 2 adults : one crossing the road by night and the other one was undug in a wood . This was an extraordinay catch accoridng to my compagnion. (They ware georgeous and quite bold).
We also had no problem finding numberous larvae bothy in the stream and seepages. We even found a sream with adult neotenic animals (one o vf them measured > 30 cm)
A few years ago on an unforested grassland hill where lots of cattle and horses lived I found 7 terrestrial adult dicamptodons in a pile of rocks and mud at the beggining of a spring fed creek(I released them).I have only found one adult there since for some reason.Every year the creek dries up, so there are no neotenic or aquatic adults here,maybe this is a reason why I found so many transformed adults in this location? An associate sceientist works there sometimes and while moving some boards found a 15 1/2 inch adult,I saw and measured it!It really was a specimen.
Another question. Do ambystoma gracile larvae ever share the same stream with dicamptodons or do the A. gracile live in stagnant pools,not streams?
well, breeding season seems the best time to encounter ambystomids, particularly at night and in transit to breeding ponds, often in shallow waters or irrigation ditches (or roadside) by flashlight, i think it would stand to reason that
Dicamptodon could be encountered simmilarly en route to breeding ponds.
Back in 89' I stopped at a nice large stream in the Willapa Hills to flip for caudates. I flipped a transformed Dicamptodon under about the third rock! I was stoked, it was my first and I thought they must be rather common. Four hours and a couple of thousand rocks later I was rather confused at my luck. I saw hundreds of larva but never another transformed adult.
it's funny, you can tell how little traffic the Dicamp threads get because the specificity of hunting locations on this thread is pretty high...
I'm not trying to get on anybodies case, I'm just observing that the moderators apparently don't read this thread.
Anyway, if you like Dicamps enough to be in this thread than you probably have respect for the creatures... besides, they are ridiculously hard to find as adults... chances are, even if you knew a good location it would all be luck in the end. I lived in prime habitat next to a stream with water year round in redwood forest and still have never found an adult in the 4 years of hiking and log flipping i did when i lived there... larvae, sure... Red legged frogs which are supposed to be rare were abundant. I could find Aneides vagrans under my house but never adult Dicamps.
I have pretty good luck finding transformed dicamps. I guess you just got to know when and how. Here is an interesting bit I learnt recently from a guy helping in a study on D. copei. In recent years, there were something like 80 or so transformed adult copei found in the course of a couple years at a study site in western Washington. That amazed me as I have only ever seem neotonic adults and have only heard of a handful of transformed adults prior to that.
Hi Dicamp lovers! I am a grad student at Oregon State University and I am doing some life history stuff on Dicamptodon copei. I was excited to hear about the 80 or so transformed individuals found. Do you know who found them or where they were found?
I've had some luck in observing both larvae and transformed adults in the wild in various places. They definately have different habitat preferences. Two of the largest adults I've seen were aquatic and appeared to be breeding when I found them. I've found certain streams that have very healthy populations of Pacific Giants, and made some trips to observe. I've found hundreds of egg masses, and hundreds of aquatic groups...which are fascinating...they actually appear to have a social structure. In certain pools, I've found a number of them, with the largest one having staked out the best position in the pool in terms of food, and the others feathered back and higher up. Anyway, here are a few pics...
I have found Dicamptodon larvae in a lot of creeks in northern california, but have only found adults in a couple locations, all fairly closte small streams that lack fish (i have found larvae in streams with steelhead though). All sightings have been in the late afternoon during a light rain, mostly in January i think. All of them were out and exposed walking around, i've never found them by looking under things. There is one particular area where i have found adults walking around in the same place every year for the past 3 years, so i suspect that they will remain in the same burrow year after year unless they need to migrate to breeding creeks.