Field Herping in Michigan?

Scorpion

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Is there anyone from Michigan who could give me some advice about field herping here? I've never gone field herping before, and I've only ever seen one salamander in the wild. It was a blue spotted salamander under a log up at my grandma's cabin. Anyway, what would I bring? Where would I look? And what kinds of salamanders/newts/water dogs/mudpuppies/etc. would I be looking for?
 

Wolferic

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Well i herp Quite a bit and It gets a little easier when you know the species for which your herping.. Like frogs and Turtles for example you can try looking for ponds or water ways or bogs.. ditches. With Salamanders.. Depending on the Salamander your search for it could vary... Though the later the Summer the harder to find certain mole Salamanders.. LIke your Yellow spotted or Blue or Even tiger.. Try logs.. a nice moist area is good.. Also something with Vernal pools around makes for a good spot to find Salamanders. Though Doesn't mean you will find one.. I find it easier after a nice rain.. or the next day.. Though in your state you have the Eastern Tiger Salamander.. Yellow spotted salamander, Blues potted Salamander, Red back salamander,Four toed salamander,Small mouth Salamander.Marbled Salamander,eastern newt..(also watch for them in the eft stage) and Mud Puppy..(aquatic) .. AM i missing any?LOL.. so this time of year The Left over Egg masses might be your clue to vernal pools.. Look for Greenish type masses.. or clear gelitin masses in the water to indicate the type of salamanders. Anyhow Under Logs or under debris in the forest and sometimes in Logs.. You may find those tricky little mole salamanders. Redback can be found in leaf piles or under logs in around moist forest.. I find in the really thick forest near small streams is a good place to find Red efts.. SLow moving streams that is.. Anyhow Hope this helps:>
 

Neotenic_Jaymes

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Herping during this time of year you'll need to be ready for a lot of things. All the bugs that bite are coming out so be ready for mosquitos! There has been constant rain and mud puddles are everywhere and wet forest floors should be at their prime. Knee high rubber boots or thigh high boots work prefect for me. I always take a backpack loaded with essentials as well. My herp backpack usually has a headlight, flashlight, dip net, extra clothes, water/food, and anything else I might need to survive.

What to look for! You'll be able to find all sorts of ambystomid larvae in vernal ponds. Right now the Ambystoma larvae are at a advanced stage. You might be able to tell what species they are by now. You can find adults under bark or logs. If you go to the right places you can find Eastern Newts. I consider Eastern Newts and Tiger Salamanders good finds. Green frogs, Leopard frogs, Bull frogs, and toads should be out. A couple species of snakes are easy to find but you shouldn't handle anything that looks like its going to bite. Most likely you won't find mud puppies they're really out of season.

GOOD LUCK!
 

Neotenic_Jaymes

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Let us know what you find out there! I will be going out soon as well hope we find all kinds of herps.
 
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