Take a guess! Do you know what these white blobs are? They’re in our watershed!
This photo was sent in by a friend of Manchaug Pond from a walk last weekend. Our next post will take you there and give you all the details!
Not frog eggs. Not your neighbor’s golf balls. But the egg mass of the SPOTTED SALAMANDER!
This is an egg mass of the Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maxulatum, taken in a vernal pool in the watershed of Manchaug Pond. The photographer reported seeing “about 80″ masses this year. The spotted salamander is a very large amphibian (4.5-8” long) which is black in color with yellow spots. Adults spend their lives in forested areas within a half mile of a vernal pool, tunneling under logs or in the crevices of stone walls. Feeding at night, they are seldom seen except on rainy early spring nights when migrating to vernal poos to breed.
The egg masses are firm in texture and may be attached to twigs or leaves in the vernal pool. Laid in mid-March through May they will begin hatching from mid-May onward. The larvae, the stage between egg and adult, live in the water of the vernal pool having feathery external gills. With the approach of summer, the vernal pool drys, and the larvae grow and develop into adults with the gills disappearing as the salamander becomes a land-swelling animal.