Monday, March 30, 2009
Here's a picture of a large gravid Spotted Salamander as well as the rare Blue-spotted Salamander taken in Newton earlier this week. These vernal pool breeding species have been on the move with the recent rain. The Blue-spotted Salamander is listed as a species of Special Concern in Massachusetts and is protected pursuant to the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. This species has a fascinating and bizarre means of reproduction which will I will describe in a future posting. I am collaborating with other researchers across the state in collecting tissue samples from this species this spring for a genetics study.