Larvae ID

rachel1

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I found a whole bunch of larvae in a muddy puddle while on vacation in midcoast Maine. Hoping for help with identification. They are very small, about 1" long with fully developed front legs with 4 toes and back limb buds. Olive brownish color with black speckling down the tail. Any ideas? I don't know the native species very well. They were in a silty ditch by the side of the road with some leaf litter, probably 150 of them. Here's a pic. Thanks!
 

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rachel1

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One more pic, from above.
 

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Otterwoman

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It's not so easy to identify larvae. Mostly figure out what exists in that location and go from there.
 

TroySoldier

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My some what inexperienced opinion is that there yellow spotted salamander larvae (or another type of spotted salamander) I have raised yellow spotted salamanders before and that one looks pretty darn close.

hope this helps
 

rachel1

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Did some homework, and it looks like my top contenders are:
1) spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)
2) blue spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
3) eastern red spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens)
Any tips on differences between the three? Specifically developmental markers, like at what size they would have fully developed back legs, etc. Also approximate size and developmental status at this time of year would be useful. Leaning toward spotted salamander, as it seems the most common. The red spotted newt seems a bit too small, but I'm not sure how close these larvae are to metamorphosis.
 

Jennewt

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Yes, the red-spotted newt would have very small larvae, and they would have a black stripe across the eye. And they'd be unlikely to find in a mudpuddle. The other two would be difficult to distinguish at the larval stage. A. maculatum is most likely, simply because it's more common.
 

rachel1

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Thanks for all the help! I'm going to try to morph out a couple and see what I get. I suspect the spotted salamander is the winner. They have hearty appetites and a strong prey drive. I'll update if I get a positive ID down the line. I'm already turning them into little fatties- hopefully that's a good sign. Here's an updated pic from tonight.
 

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rachel1

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My little ones are morphing. Ambystoma maculatum confirmed!
 

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