Spotted Salamanders: From Eggs to Larvae

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Spotted Salamander Larva in Protective Sac

Since torrential spring rains on March 20th and 21st, Turtle Journal has been observing and documenting the development of spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) eggs within an abandoned cranberry bog in Marion on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts.  For earlier reports, see Spotted Salamander Eggs Mature in Abandoned SouthCoast Cranberry Bog, Portrait of a Spotted Salamander and “Slithering Salamanders, Turtleman! Why Did the Spotted Salamander Cross the Road?”  Within the last few days, larvae have progressed quickly to nearly release state within their individual protective sacs.

Development of Spotted Salamander Eggs and Larvae

Combining original Turtle Journal footage with material from Yale University in 1920, the video clip above documents the development phases of spotted salamander eggs.  Still images below were taken within the last 24 hours and show the current state of salamander larvae development on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts as of April 22nd.  A few of the larvae were spotted free-swimming in vernal pools adjacent to an abandoned cranberry bog in Marion.

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 Spotted Salamander Egg Mass in SouthCoast Vernal Pool

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 Spotted Salamanders Develop in Individual Sacs

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Individual Sac Holds Developing Spotted Salamander

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Spotted Salamander Larva Develops Gills and Stabilizers

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