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Spotted Salamander Breeding Migration

A

achiinto

Guest
Hi,

I am very interested to witness their breeding activities. Don't know if anyone ever has any success finding them during their breeding time in wild. I do have seen them in the wild under logs in some of the Ontario, Canada Forest. I am planning to look for them this year in a forest that is more near by. Although, I am not sure if spotted salamander is find in this forest, I have seen Red Back Salamander and Eastern Newt in this forest I am planning to go. And there are vernal pools in the forest which I think will likely be used by Spotted Salamander.

From some conservationists in the region, they said that the salamanders will start breeding during the first rainy night over 5 degree Celsius. I am not sure if this is true. Any more advice will help,

thanks,

Ian
 
T

tylototriton

Guest
The easiest time to find Spotted Salamanders is during the breeding season. They tend to congregate en masse at vernal pools (temporary ponds). They tend to breed quite early, the rule of thumb here in CT is the first warm rains of spring you'll find them moving and then you may find them breeding for an additional 2 weeks or so after that date. You have the right idea as to when and where to look. Enjoy it, watching them breed is a treat.

Best of Luck,
Alex
 
A

achiinto

Guest
The easiest time to find Spotted Salamanders is during the breeding season. They tend to congregate en masse at vernal pools (temporary ponds). They tend to breed quite early, the rule of thumb here in CT is the first warm rains of spring you'll find them moving and then you may find them breeding for an additional 2 weeks or so after that date. You have the right idea as to when and where to look. Enjoy it, watching them breed is a treat.

Best of Luck,
Alex

Thanks Alex, for the additional two weeks you mentioned, does that means that they go back to the land each morning and come back out at night for breeding for 2 weeks of time?

Does it require a lot of waiting to see them during the rainy night? I dont want to miss them while they might actually crawl out the next second after I left. I am excited, but finding someone who is willing to go with me is a challenge.
 

Nathan050793

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Does it require a lot of waiting to see them during the rainy night? I dont want to miss them while they might actually crawl out the next second after I left. I am excited, but finding someone who is willing to go with me is a challenge.

From what I've read, finding them on those rainy nights entails walking through the woods, patiently scanning the forest floor with a flash-light for that "typical" salamander shape. It can take anywhere from minutes to hours, and you aren't guaranteed to find anything; Sometimes you may head out too early in the season, and may have to wait until a later rain.

I've also heard that finding their mass congregations within the vernal pool is quite the sight to see- swirling masses of black and yellow under the water's surface.

Good Luck, and if you find any, please take photos!
 
T

tylototriton

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The two weeks is just my way of saying that the whole process happens quite fast. They will tend to hang around the vernal pools during the day, sometimes hidden at the bottom or in the leaf litter around the pool. They are quite easy to find in the pool, its finding them outside of the pool thats a problem. In CT the easiest way to find any Ambystomatid is to walk the roads with a flashlight on these rainy nights. A great way to tell if there are salamanders in a pool is the presence of spermatophores. Males deposit spermatophores during mating. They look like little white gum drops on the leaves. Thats an easy way to check and see if salamanders have been present. Other than that its just being in the right spot at the right time. Bring a partner and split up to look around the woods.

Alex
 

dane_zu

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I found some last March 31 crossing the road on one of our first rainy spring nights.
CIMG6905.jpg
 
A

achiinto

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Nice photo,

So I guess, Feburary is a bit too early for Spotted Salamander. Most online resources and book suggest time that is more in the 3rd week of March. I guess probably the same up on Ontario Canada as well.
 

Gregarious

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Last night I went out to two different locations for about 3hrs total and found one spotted salamander, under a log. The weather has been bitter cold but just warmed up a few days ago. We got rain yesturday and the day before. The snow is still out there and the ground is still frozen under a few inches of mud. Some logs wouldn't move because they were still stuck to the ground. I would agree that it is a bit early in the season but not by much. I was suprised to find a group of woodlice on the bottom of one log litterally right next to ice. When considering where to look for spotted sal's I try to find a vernal pond with a hill right next to it. I think they like the higher ground but still need the pond to reproduce. Higher ground meaning, not saturated with water (swamp) during the dry season. Spotted's like to dig and if they were in the swamp down low that would result in swimming. I dont want to imply that you wont find spotted sal's in a swamp just that you stand a better chance of finding one where the low and high ground meet. Good luck!
 
A

achiinto

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I was thinking a bit the same these few days. The snow is melting fast, flooding is everywhere and the temperature is climbing. Raining every night and heavy fog. I was wondering if I should stick with the suggestion of Late March timeline. But thanks for the your comment, I will try to go earlier. Perhaps in a week or two.
 

Kaysie

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Hi Chad. You must be Jaymes's friend.

I went out 2 nights ago, and can agree with Chad. Too early, but not by much. I suspect 2 weeks from now will be perfect, depending on the rain.
 
A

achiinto

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It actually became freezing temperature in the previous week. BUt this weekend, it is going to be warm and rainy. Anyone has any success? I might give it a try tonight.
 

jwilkerson3003

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I am in Northern IL, and I just took the kids out to see how the area that I normally find spotted salamanders at was, and the water is still iced over. It was in the mid 60's for the last few days, and it has been raining for the last 24 hours or so. So I think we may have to wait a bit longer to start seeing them. Just thought I would let you know.
 

jwilkerson3003

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I went out earlier today and found that the water was still ice over in northern IL, and figured it was still to soon for them, but it has been raining all day so the kids and I went for a drive around 8PM, and spotted salamanders were all over the place. So the migration has started here in the Midwest.
 

Kaysie

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I'm in Virginia this week, and some of the males have migrated to the pond, as well as one female. We're waiting on rain for the mass migration (should be the next day or two).
 

deliriah

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I'm excited that the migration has started in your area! Hopefully I'll see some here in MA soon too! I haven't seen them in years. I first got to see the beauty of their migration when a friend took me for a drive to a lake in the area. The road that we took has the typical wet swampy lowlands, and temporary ponds in the spring, and heavily wooded hills off to the side. At the time I was undereducated on the life of the spotties, so I've returned many times only to find nothing but eastern newts and a few redbacks. I missed out last spring and this year I am waiting and watching. I hope they still inhabit that area. The road is not really heavily used, and as far as I know nothing in the area has changed in any way that would drive them away from there. Wish me luck. :)
 

JeffOYB

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Hi! I'm a newbie to this forum but a longtime fan of the herps. I'm trying to show my kids the migration. I've never seen it myself. I'm in mid-Michigan, by Lansing. Any reports on this area? Any tips? We tried tonight. It's not raining but has been within a few days. I looked under some logs. Nothing. Did see a bunch of hibernating baldfaced hornets. Nice that they were quiet. We waded around edge of vernal pond with headlamps at 9pm. Tomorrow it's supposed to get up to 50degF and rain. But then it's falling to 15degF in the night. I hope to get out and look in some more ponds just after dark. Hopefully it won't be too cold or crazy stormy at that time. Ya never know. We've already had some warm rainy days followed by 10degF. Think any action went down already? I think the word is usually late March but we lost our snow early this year. Thanks! --JP
 
A

achiinto

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Hi JeffyOYB,

It is the same thing happening in Ontario Canada. There has been some warm rainy night in between crazy freezing periods. I suspect nothing happened during those time, since I have been to the forest couples times and all those warm rain freezed to ice.

Some websites suggest a time in Late March for the salamander migration in the Ontario region. And someone told me that the first rainy night over 5 degree celsius will trigger them to come out. However, I have noticed so many night with such temperature already, so it seems confusing and hard to predict the time.

Hi! I'm a newbie to this forum but a longtime fan of the herps. I'm trying to show my kids the migration. I've never seen it myself. I'm in mid-Michigan, by Lansing. Any reports on this area? Any tips? We tried tonight. It's not raining but has been within a few days. I looked under some logs. Nothing. Did see a bunch of hibernating baldfaced hornets. Nice that they were quiet. We waded around edge of vernal pond with headlamps at 9pm. Tomorrow it's supposed to get up to 50degF and rain. But then it's falling to 15degF in the night. I hope to get out and look in some more ponds just after dark. Hopefully it won't be too cold or crazy stormy at that time. Ya never know. We've already had some warm rainy days followed by 10degF. Think any action went down already? I think the word is usually late March but we lost our snow early this year. Thanks! --JP
 

John

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Just my thoughts, but you can never predict exactly when they'll start laying unless you have experience of your region. Here in Texas there were Spotted Salamander egg masses in January. Having said that, there were still some being laid in mid February.
 
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