[Tweeters] Spring is in the water - Salacious salamanders celebrate Valentine's eve

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at quidnunc.net
Wed Feb 14 22:01:53 PST 2007

Salamander sex report and Salamander Love Night and owl hoot public walks

As predicted, the LONG-TOED SALAMANDERS - Ambystoma macrodactylum
had a lovely night in the pond at Camp Long in West Seattle last night with
egg masses appearing this morning. Though I didn't check the pond for eggs
on Feb 13th, I did check a few days ago and found no eggs. I presume they
waited until the clock struck 12 last night for St Valentine's night to
begin their romantic endeavors. Several years ago I did check each night
until Feb 14th (or was it Feb 15th)when the pond was full of eggs after
being empty the day before, verifying that it was indeed the first or second
half of Valentine's night when they had their romantic rendez-vous. The egg
masses of the NORTHWESTERN SALAMANDERS (Ambystoma gracile)
http://mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/Catalog/images/3-picture3.jpg have yet
to appear. I suppose it will either be later tonight (the second half of
the night of Feb fourteen) or it will be during my Saturday night program
when the salacious salamanders juxtapose their genitalia as the gents eject
their tiny tadpoles over ova evicted from the gals' gonads into gelatinous

I just checked this evening from 7:15 pm to 7:50 pm and counted 12 to 15
adult salamanders in the pond, one a Long-toed and most or all of the rest
Northwestern, both pedomorph/neotene (adults with gills) and without, the
females fat with eggs.

I will lead a "Salamander Love Night" walk on Saturday night February 17th
at Camp Long to watch the salamanders assemble for their romantic rendezvous
then head into the woods to see the lungless Plethodons (that lay their eggs
in the ground - we are very unlikely to see them laying eggs)
the Western Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon vehiculum)
and the Ensatina - (Ensatina eschseholtzii)

The walk is 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm at Camp Long in West Seattle. It is $8 per
person. Pre-registration is required. Call Camp Long at 206 684-7434 to

Also I'll be leading an Owl Hoot walk earlier that evening (Sat. Feb. 17th)
at Camp Long from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. It is $8 for adults and $6 for kids.
Pre-registration is required. Call Camp Long at 206 684-7434 to

Stewart Wechsler
Ecological Consulting
West Seattle
206 932-7225
ecostewart at quidnunc.net

-Advice on the most site-appropriate native plants
and how to enhance habitat for the maximum diversity
of plants and animals
-Educational programs, nature walks and field trips
-Botanical Surveys

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