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Some Spring Salamandering (3/28/06-3/31/06)

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The last few days have been pretty productive in northern Illinois, for amphibians at least. Its been in the sixties the last two days and the frogs are calling in full force, and the salamanders are at their breeding pools. One of my goals this year has been to find a spotted salamander in my home county, Dupage, which is to the west of Chicago. A few weeks ago I scouted out a vernal pool which looked promising. I went there on thursday and there were dozens of western chorus frogs calling. I did find a few central newts in and around the pool, so I was hopefull that I might turn up a spotted as well.

Heres a central newt eft from Du Page County

Despite the hunch I had, there were no Spotted salamanders to be found that day. I did continue on to another vernal pool an I found 20 or so Blue spotted salamanders. I also heard leopard frogs, and a grey treefrog in addition to the ubiquitous western chorus frogs.

Ambystoma laterale
Dupage County, Illinois

It was getting dark, so I headed to yet another pool, this one in Cook county, where I heard the first spring peepers I have ever heard in northern Illinois.

Thursday night brought some light rain to the area, so I decided to give the pool where I had suspected finding a spotted salamander another try. Adam accompanied me this time. We were greeted by the familiar chorus of frogs. After a few minutes, I rolled a log to find my first spotted salamander in Du Page county!

Ambystoma maculatum
Du Page county, Illinois

I was very happy with this find. After that, we caught a couple of chorus frogs, and I photographed a few while they were calling.

Pseudacris triseriata triseriata

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