Reptiles and Amphibians!

Spotted Salamander Migration, also showing wood frog and spring peepers

  • Migrate to the spotted spermataphores deposited by the males of the species
  • Migrate using Magnetoreception, which is the ability to perceive the earths magnetic fields
  • After spending the cold months underground, they emerge in late winter to migrate to their aquatic breeding sites, most likely the very site where they were born
  • Most individuals in the area arrive at the breeding site on the same night. The specific trigger for this coordinated migration is determined by a combination of factors including ground and air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, and darkness. In general, the first rainy night over 45 degrees Fahrenheit, after the ground has thawed, is sufficient to trigger the migration
  • Once they have arrived at a wetland pool, the males gather in groups of 12 to 200 called congresses. They then entice the females with an elaborate courtship dance. The males deposit gel-like structures with sperm packets attached, on the twigs and leaf litter in the pond. The females then pick these up and use them to fertilize their eggs internally. A few hours to days later the female will deposit 100 to 300 eggs in a clear mass about the size of a tennis ball on a rock or twig below the pond’s surface. The adults then leave the pond on the next wet, warm night and travel to their summering ground - usually in an abandoned rodent hole or under a rock or log
  • In a couple of weeks the egg mass becomes greenish due to the growth of algae which may provide oxygen for the developing embryos. In drought years the water levels may drop low enough to expose and kill the eggs. Other factors affecting water quality, such as acidity, will also determine survival. Those that survive will hatch into 1/4-inch larvae in a month or two, depending mostly on water temperature
  • Hundreds of salamanders are killed each year by traffic, as they attempt to cross roads on their migration route. In towns across Massachusetts, wildlife enthusiasts wait for the night of the big migration and get out there to help. This involves identifying the roads that cause a problem, and temporarily closing them, or physically carrying the salamanders across
  • Although not a solution to the loss of critical habitat, tunnels under roads (a.k.a. amphibian migration corridors) have been successful in some areas as well

I do not own this video, source for video, source for information also part of my animal behavior class today

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