How do you go about finding salamanders in Georgia?

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Cliygh and Mia

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Back in Georgia, my dream is to find Ambystoma opacum and Ambystoma Maculatum. But when we go herping (even when it rains) we never find any. It seems like Georgia is a land of lizards and anurans. I mean, I know I'm lucky to even find animals when I go herping, but do you have any tips on finding the above species, and what times (winter, spring, summer or fall) to find them?
 

manderkeeper

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I've not looked specifically in GA, but in general salamanders are pretty easy to find in the breeding season. First, refine your search to fishless, small woodland ponds. They can and do occur even in urban areas and flooded areas but since you've had a stroke of bad luck start in a place like that where many will congregate. Now to know when they will be at the ponds you can take some guesses or download articles regarding studies of the species in your state which usually include exact weather conditions such as "the first rains in jan when the temp is over 45F" and those details can be helpful when known. I've found lots of marbled salamanders under logs at the edges of fishless ponds in fall in upland area, in drift fences around ponds I made, and under logs in wooded areas next to swamps.
 

AdvythAF

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I have never been to Georgia, or herped there, but I would recommend looking up the species you want to find. Many websites, such as state fish and game websites, can provide great information on where to find the species. First target the habitat the salamander prefers, then locate that habitat. Sometimes, salamanders prefer even more specific habitats, for example a specific plant community, a specific species of tree, a type of forest cover, or like manderkeeper said, fish-less ponds. Then, find out the salamander species' breeding season, wait for rains, and then start flipping logs. This is the strategy I use to find caudates, I'm not sure how it is herping in Georgia. Good luck!
 

jbherpin

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Back in Georgia, my dream is to find Ambystoma opacum and Ambystoma Maculatum. But when we go herping (even when it rains) we never find any. It seems like Georgia is a land of lizards and anurans. I mean, I know I'm lucky to even find animals when I go herping, but do you have any tips on finding the above species, and what times (winter, spring, summer or fall) to find them?

Both are readily found in suitable habitat(areas surrounding small to intermediate fishless flood lands) under forest debris on hillsides. A. opacum are protected from collection in many states, where as A. maculatum are less 'governed'. A. opacum will be most readily encountered between August and October, and A. maculatum in February through late march depending on weather and locality. A. maculatum egg masses develop a greenish tint. I you find these, adults are assuredly within close proximity. Best of luck. Both frequently share breeding sites, suggesting if you locate one, you are likely not far from the other. Hope this helps... I will add that both are quite tolerant of drier conditions than other ambystomids.

JBear
 
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Cliygh and Mia

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Oh, and there is a creek that I go to, but I think the reason I haven't found any is that there is too much human disturbance. Not like trash and litter or anything, but every time I go herping there, there's like 20 people, and they bring their dogs, and go fishing for minnows,(Eastern Silvery) so I don't think that the salamanders would like that much disturbance
 
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Cliygh and Mia

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Is it okay for me to say what name the creek is? It's not a location problem so I think that I can say what it's called :confused:
 

manderkeeper

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A brook would be better to find some species of lungless salamander larvae in and the adults with be under stones nearby or under stones in the steam itself depending on the species, but for the mole salamander family you will have more luck with fishless, woodland ponds and sometimes I've found their larvae in flooded areas, too. If you're going to collect them, I would not take the adults, but I would collect only a tiny amount of the larvae.
 
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