- Apr 22, 2021
- Reaction score
- northeast US
- United States
I collected a clutch of what I'm pretty sure are spotted salamander eggs from a roadside ditch that is scheduled to be filled in. I believe they're 2-3 weeks old now. I'm hoping to hatch them and care for them until they've metamorphosed and then safely re-release them. I'm totally new to this and I've read everything I can about it but still have so many questions! Here's what i'm doing and my plan so far - I will be grateful for any feedback!
- I'm keeping the eggs in a large open bowl of the water I found them in, and changing out half every few days with fresh water from the same source. They're inside in indirect sunlight. The egg gel is pretty opaque so it's hard to see them but they're about this size and starting to wiggle. Not seeing any algae. How long can I expect to wait for them to start hatching?
- A few (especially on side of the clutch that rests in the water) seem to have slowed or stopped growing and are looking white-ish. Are these dead and if so, do I need to remove them from the gel?
- I've filled two 15 gallon tubs with the same source water and left them outside to collect rainwater and form mini-vernal pools. I plan to transfer the larvae in when they hatch and supplement with daphnia/other food sources.
- I'm digging another vernal pond in the woods on my property, about 1/2 mile from where I picked them up (away from the road.) The idea is to start gradually returning larvae to that pool as they metamorph (I plan to fill it with the water from the tubs and any source water/plants/soil that is left). My idea is to recreate their original pool as closely as possible and hopefully grow enough of a food ecosystem to support them without further intervention. I'd like to keep a few until they're a little bigger (and will need advice on that later) but intend to release all of them eventually.
- My biggest concern is that I am going out of town in 5 weeks for 9 days. I can have someone come and help me with them but I have no idea at what phase in the process they'll be and how long they could conceivably live in one of the outdoor tubs without supplementary food past what I leave them with. Any suggestions?