Ad from Freecycle and Craigslist:
WE HAVE A SMALL POND IN FRONT YARD..AND CAN’T BELIEVE IT.WE HAVE TONS OF SALAMANDERS..IF YOU WANT SOME,BRING A LARGER FISH TANK NET AND BUCKET. THEY ARE YOURS..I WANT THEM GONE.
Well, Ya know I had to call. Nate got excited when I told him what we would do the following day – he had read the ad on Craigslist, but didn’t think I’d want to go Salamander Wranglin’. On Craigslist they indicated that they had “Hundreds”. Nate was thrilled. When we got there, turns out it was just a few Newts in a small fountain, and the owners of the property were terrified of touching them. They wondered how the boys were going to catch them . . . ha ha ha ha ha . No Problem!
My little nature boy’s favorite part – was finding kathousands of eggs at the bottom of the fountain. He was eager to show me. We looked them up, and learned that they were probably Newt Eggs. The owners thought they were Frog Eggs.
Turns out we only got five – turns out they are Orange Rough Skinned Newts. We read that they lay eggs from February til late spring.
We watched them four about 24 hours. Brought in quite a few baby slugs and bugs for them. Good Times at Petra School – Then went to transplant them.
Sometimes I wonder what people think when they drive by during one of our nature walks. . . . Hmmmm. We were going into the forest, and the growing season is intense. I had some brush clippers in my back pocket, the boys prefer machetes and hatchets. We battle – The Black Berry!
This area widens out, and then spills into three or four wide pools before going out to the lake. They thought it most resembled the water fountain. We learned that the newts like to lay eggs in deep water.
Although the boys put them on the bank, they ran FAST fast to the stream. Fun Times!
Breeding and Early Life Stages: The breeding season depends on elevation. At lower elevations, the species begins breeding in February; at higher elevations, breeding begins in June. During this time, rough-skinned newts frequent vegetated areas surrounding permanent lakes, beaver ponds and slow moving streams. From mid-spring through summer, females lay their eggs and attach them individually to vegetation submerged in a half meter to two meters of water. Their eggs are tan colored above and cream colored below surrounded in a thin layer of jelly. Depending on water temperature, eggs hatch in three to 10 weeks.
Larvae are brown with light spots along their sides and have gills. During the day, aquatic larvae hide under stones or amongst aquatic vegetation. They consume a variety of aquatic invertebrates such as larval insects and small crustaceans. Larvae usually metamorphose by late summer, but at higher mountain elevations, they may require two years before metamorphosis. Both males and females usually reach sexual maturity by their fifth year. Neoteny (retaining the larval form into mature adulthood) occurs in some individuals that live in cold permanent water bodies.