The lab had a prospective student visiting yesterday, Jeff Bartman (currently working with Dr. Jennifer Moore at GVSU). It was a great excuse for a few of us to get out to the George Reserve for a fall visit. We’d had a very rainy day on Wednesday, courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Patricia, so I was optimistic that we might see some salamanders despite the cool temperatures. And indeed, one of the first boards we flipped had a salamander underneath. Given that we have about a 9:1 ratio of unisexual Ambystoma to “real” blue-spotted salamanders at this site, this pretty girl is probably a uni. Since it was our first salamander of the day, there were many photo ops (top to bottom: Jenny Sutherland, Amber Stedman, and Jeff Bartman).
We didn’t need to worry, though – there were piles more salamanders to be found! Sometimes literally. The next board I flipped had this cute little juvenile, likely one of this year’s metamorphs.
And then we had quite a number of “jackpot boards”!
The only other amphibians we came across were a few very chilly Western Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris triseriata). There is one in the photo above, but here’s an individual better illustrating the three stripes from which they get their name.
All in all, a very fun day in the field. Thanks to Amber, Jenny and Jeff for joining me!