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.

1 comment:

nclarkii said...

Very cool!!! All of the cingulatum eggs hatched on New Year's Day over here.