Posted on March 29, 2017 by Neil Ungerleider
Spotted Salamanders have been called the “quiet celebrities of vernal pools.”
Each spring they emerge from their nearby forest retreats for their annual breeding season. They live in burrows or under forest debris.
The salamanders produce large jelly-like egg masses of 100-300 eggs and attach them to twigs or rocks in a vernal pool.
“This salamander can grow up to nine inches long and live for more than 20 years. No other species in our state has large yellow spots,” according to Mass Audobon.
The Vermont Center for Ecostudies reports that the Spotted Salamander travels only 300 feet or so from their forest habitat to the vernal pool.
“Spotted Salamanders are among our best indicators of healthy vernal pool/woodland ecosystems.”
Perhaps that is why they seem fixed with what looks like a perpetual smile.