Early Winter Herping

Aneides Aeneus

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For a while temperatures have been pretty low here, but last weekend we had a short warm spell, and we decided to do some herping:

We headed out to a stream we like to visit in central Kentucky. The stream cuts a small gorge through the limestone bedrock, before spilling into the Kentucky River. Although we found few salamanders in the gorge, further upstream there were quite a few rocky banks where we found some cool salamanders (and a couple of frogs). We ended up finding 4 green frogs, 29 two-lined salamanders, 5 streamside salamanders, and two very pretty spring salamanders.

As soon as we left, it began to rain, and the rain continued throughout the day. Due to the rain and warm temperatures, we decided to go road cruising. We headed out to a road that parallels a stream, in a valley near where we were in the morning. Once we got there the rain stopped, but the road was still moist, and we managed to spot a few two-lined salamanders and zigzag salamanders. Later on, the rain began again, and as we were prepering to leave, a large spring salamander began squirming across the road. We took some photos and moved it off the road before heading back home.

One thing I found odd was that, in the second-to-last photo, one of the streamside salamanders seems to have much more obvious coastal grooves than the other. Does anyone know why that might be?
 

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Azhael

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Wow, that habitat shot is absolutely spectacular O_O So are the phibs, obviously, but i'm blown away but that beautiful landscape.
Thank you for sharing those pictures, they are lovely.

As for the difference in costal grooves, one of the animals is visibly thinner than the other and that certainly plays a role. It's certainly possible that there's also polymorphic variation between individuals.
 
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