Salamanders in SW VA...August 2014

matamander

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This cold snap has got me reminiscing about the herping I've done this past year. How is it already mid-November?! Since I'm limited to only 8 pictures, here are a few of my favorites from SW VA last August. It was raining the entire camping trip...the worst weather for camping for three days, but I wanted to see salamanders and it was the best weather for that!

1. First find was a Blue Ridge?? Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi??). Not sure if the subspecies is correct, but it was in the right locale. Anyways was my first of two spring salamanders.
2. One of my favorite Appalachian species, the Yonahlossee Salamander (Plethodon yonahlossee). Ended up seeing about 15 of these guys throughout the whole trip.
3. Red-eft (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens), always love seeing these guys. This one is exactly how it appeared, no posing necessary!! He was walking about in broad daylight.
4. Gray-cheeked Salamander (Plethodon montanus). These guys are as common as Red-backeds in these parts. I honestly must have seen 100+ of these guys, they got "boring" after a while.
5. Newly hatched Gray-cheeked Salamander (Plethodon montanus)...surprised I was able to spot it.
6. Another Yonahlossee Salamander (Plethodon yonahlossee), again these guys are so cool!
7. Southern Ravine Salamander (Plethodon richmondi). A very non-descript salamander, but they aren't found where I'm from and the closest thing to a Red-backed Salamander I found in this area.
8. A Weller's Salamander (Plethodon welleri), this is the first time I've found one of these. This was my third attempt and I found it after giving up of searching for about an hour on the way home. I figured just one more log, it paid off!
 

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Redear

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I was in the mountains of Nelson County in mid October and it was the same thing, three straight days of rain. I couldn't imagine camping that weekend. You are brave! It was a great weekend for herpin, though.
 

Jefferson

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Nice finds! I was in VA this summer and managed to get a Peaks of Otter, Northern Spring Sally, Shenandoah, and some White-spotted Slimy after a Weller's down in NC and a Cheat Mountain in WV. Great Yonahlossee! I missed that one and the Wehrle's this summer, unfortunately. Always great to herp in the Southwest of the Old Dominion! It's definitely right up there on my "favorite places to herp" list. In Appalachia, herping stands for
High-elevation
Elation
Researched
Painstakingly

Great salamanders!
 

Aneides Aeneus

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Nice finds! I especially like the spring and the weller's salamanders (and of course the yonahlossee). Southwestern Virginia is a really pretty area, with some awesome salamanders!
 

matamander

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Thanks Andrew. I wouldn't call myself brave though, my friends are always extra prepared and there were 5 tarps at the campsite so I didn't get too wet.
 

matamander

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Haha Jefferson too true with Appalachian herping. I still have yet to see wehrles, did see peaks of otter and cheat mountsins this year though and shenandoahs last year. I must say the larger plethodons are by far my more favorite species.
 

Jefferson

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I know what you mean. Even though the Shenandoah was rare, it didn't match up against the jordanis and Slimies that I found. On those salamanders, the distinctions are usually obvious and you don't have to count costal grooves or analyze coloration of the underside to identify them!
 

matamander

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My thoughts exactly! The small Plethodons are cool because they are rare, but very nondescript. I do most of the costal groove counting on my computer hours after I was in the field. Which is probably why I'm drawn to the bigger Plethodons :D
 
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