WV salamanders

KevinS

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I've found a few interesting Plethodontids in the last week and thought I'd share a few pictures. First up is a typical adult Desmognathus fuscus. We have no shortage of these guys around here:


I always love finding the juvies though, because their colors and patterns are so much more bold. Occasionally I find an adult with nice coloration and pattern too, but they tend to be more drab on average. Here's one of the nicest juveniles I've come across:


I was surprised to see gills on one salamander when I flipped a rock looking for these duskies a few days ago. It was so large I initially thought it was a mudpuppy, but after I got a good look at it I realized it was a larval Gyrinophilus porphyriticus. I've been looking in this particular stream for the last 5 years and never seen a Gyrinophilus before, but on this particular day I found 2 of them (actually the first live Gyrinophilus I've ever encountered). The second one was much smaller, but here's a picture of the larger one:


I didn't measure it, but using the diameter of the deli cup I photographed it in, it was at least 4 inches total length (about 10 cm for those using the metric system) which is much larger than the larvae I'm used to seeing. I was tempted to keep this one for a while, but I released it a little while after I found it. I hope it doesn't eat too many of the other salamanders around here.

Finally, we turned up a Pseudotriton montanus diastictus. This is only the second one I've found and it's always exciting to come across such big brightly colored salamanders. This one had a lot of scars, most likely from crayfish (which we have an abundance of). Apologies for the picture quality, they came out a little dark on this one.


We've also got plenty of Eurycea in the area and every so often I'll come across a Plethodon. If I turn up anything else of interest, I'll add it here. Thanks for looking.
 

John

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Lovely images and nice descriptions Kevin. Congratulations (and thank you!) for being the first person to post in this area of the forum.
 
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