Salamander beginnings

Reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) eggs with embryos showing yolk sac, head, tail, and gill slits

Reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) eggs with well-developed embryos, ventral surface up, and showing larval pigmentation (note: the cloudy solid whitish egg near the bottom of the photo is not viable)

Reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) egg with well-developed embryo showing larval pigmentation, one of the balancers (structure protruding from side of head), and gills

Reticulated flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) larva recently hatched from the egg

I found these eggs after getting some good tips from a friend who had some success at finding the eggs of Frosted flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma cingulatum) this winter. It was really neat to get to see this part of these secretive animals' life history!

I just added this photo that I took yesterday of a larva that I found within three inches of the eggs above. It is very likely one of the individuals that can be seen in those eggs. It's been out of the egg for about two weeks, and has a nice, full belly. Pretty neat.


Scorpion under black light

So I know this has been done before, but I had to see for myself how our little bark scorpions would look in black light. The following two photos are essentially the same photo, but with the first under white light only, and the second under black light. I think it's pretty neat. I found it interesting that the tip of the stinger and the tips of some of the mouth parts are black and do not respond to the black light as does the rest of the animal.


Lunar eclipse

Sarah and I occasionally take the time to enjoy events like meteor showers, visible comets, and lunar eclipses like the one photographed above. This one got a lot of attention for coinciding with the winter solstice. Here's a link to some information on this particular eclipse.