Vernal Pools for Me – Week 5 – The Dance

A Web Comic – by Laura Bollert with Kris Hoffmann

In Maine (which is our neck of the woods) Blue-Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma laterale), Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum), and Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus) reach their vernal pools when there is still plenty of ice. They enter through the open water at the edge of the pool, and begin courting. A male salamander will crawl underwater to a female, tap and rub her with his snout, and may circle her repeatedly. The female salamander will lay her eggs sometime in the next few nights.  Male Wood Frogs attract females using their duck-like call. Each female will lay her eggs that same night while the male is present.

To view a YouTube video of dancing salamanders and calling wood frogs visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EqyMB0Xv9M and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oc6H7FLYObg.

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