Fall visit to the George Reserve

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).

2015-10-29 13.38.392015-10-29 13.39.392015-10-29 13.39.52We 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.

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And then we had quite a number of “jackpot boards”!

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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.

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All in all, a very fun day in the field. Thanks to Amber, Jenny and Jeff for joining me!


Published by Katy Greenwald

Professor of Biology at Eastern Michigan University

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