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How to find Spring Salamanders in Pennsylvania

Viridescens

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One time I was at a babbling brook and under a rock was maybe the largest wild salamander I've ever seen......and it slipped through my fingers and got away. Does anyone have any tips for finding Spring Salamanders in Pennsylvania.
 

jbherpin

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In Newburg(PA) there are many springs in the mountains. Look under debris(rotted logs and flat stones, etc) at the spring side. They are incredible escape artists. Be advised. Beautiful salamanders though. The first time I saw one I darn near soiled myself due to the unexpected size...

JBear
 

Viridescens

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Thanks Jbear. Maybe I'll try to look under logs AND rocks when I get the chance.
 

jbherpin

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Thanks Jbear. Maybe I'll try to look under logs AND rocks when I get the chance.

They prefer high elevations in my experience and springs that have a good flow, not a trickle. Those that I have found, aside from quite large larval spring sals were under debris directly at the edge of a spring.

JBear
 

Viridescens

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Thank you. The one I found was by a fair-flowing brook, and it is spring, so maybe I'll find one.
 

Aneides Aeneus

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From my experience, in Kentucky, spring salamanders are almost impossible to find from late may to early October, and can only be found during the cooler months. However, I'm sure they are active longer in Pennsylvania, since it is much cooler there. In Kentucky, they can be found at night during rains by road cruising, or by simply walking around springs with a flashlight, as well as by flipping rocks and logs during the day time. When searching for spring salamanders, look out for larvae as well as adults - the more larvae you see, the more likely you are to find adults.

Hope this helps - I'm not sure how different their behavior is in Pennsylvania than in Kentucky.

-Ananth.
 

Jefferson

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Well, from my experience with Spring Salamanders in North Carolina and Ohio, Aneides is right about them being tough to find after late May/early June in adult phase and being easier to spot in the fall or early spring. I have found Blue Ridge Spring Salamanders in natural springs that are only small trickles, but Northern Springs tend to concentrate around larger springs, especially those with sand-substrate bottoms (at least in Central Ohio). As for the difference between Pennsylvania and Kentucky here, Aniedes's advice should hold a lot of water, as noted political analyst James Carville once said, "Pennsylvania is Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with Kentucky in between."

Happy herping!
 
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