Ohio Salamanders – Tadpole Photos
All amphibians are amazing creatures. Their role in the ecosystem is obvious to anyone who hates pesky insects. I love them because they portray a diverse branch of natural history—amphibians live on both land and in the water. Some spend equal time in land and water; some start their lives aquatic and then move the land; a few stay in the water their whole lives.
In my neck of the woods there are many amphibians from frogs and toads to salamanders and newts. While I have seen more frogs than salamanders, I have seen four of Ohio’s 24* species of salamanders. Salamanders are not very easy to spot since they don’t give out their proximity with mating calls and "peeps” when they jump into water like frogs do; furthermore, salamanders hide in dark, damp, cool places during the day, making them difficult to find.
I have not been able to identify the salamanders that live in my vernal pools. I have been watching them for years as tadpoles and adults. These are photos of tadpoles that have just gotten their legs. When they reach maturity, their gills go away and their bodies are dark grey; the adults’ backs are covered with tiny, metallic blue speckles. I have never seen any longer than around three inches.
Every few years I catch a couple tadpoles to watch them grow in a terrarium. These are a couple in a small tank. When they mature I will release them back into the pools. I would like anyone who can identify these to let me know what species they are.
More Salamander Links
NOTE: According to OhioSalamanders.com, there are 25 species of salamanders in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, there are 24 species of salamanders in Ohio.