Spotted Salamander Eggs Mature in Abandoned SouthCoast Cranberry Bog

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Maturing Spotted Salamander Egg Sacs

Turtle Journal returned to an abandoned SouthCoast cranberry bog today to check on spotted salamander egg sacs that were deposited and fertilized during the torrential rains of late March.  See “Slithering Salamanders, Turtleman! Why Did the Spotted Salamander Cross the Road?” and Portrait of a Spotted Salamander.  The water level has dropped sufficiently to expose many of the sacs in suspended branches.

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Spotted Salamander in Late March Mating Aggregation

The (yellow) spotted salamander pictured above was discovered by the Turtle Journal team in a mating aggregation during a nighttime storm in late March.

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Close Up of Spotted Salamander Eggs Shortly after Deposition

These mating aggregations became filled with floating, slightly submerged, jello-like sacs the size of bulging Italian egg plants, each of which might contain a hundred or more individual eggs.  The photograph above was taken in the dark of night, which accounts for its lack of sharpness, but illustrates what individual eggs resemble shortly after deposition.

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Spotted Salamander Egg Sac Nearly Three Weeks Later

Now, we are nearly three weeks after spring rains and the mating aggregation.  The egg sacs are maturing as are the eggs within them.

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Close Up of Maturing Spotted Salamander Eggs

This close-up photograph taken today, April 17th, shows the changes that have occurred with the eggs since deposition and fertilization in late March.

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Spotted Salamander from March Mating Aggregation

Perhaps, with a little luck, we’ll soon see the next generation of spotted salamanders, some of which may become like this splendid specimen we encountered in the dark, spring rains of late March.

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