Michigan Threatened and Endangered Species Week: The Marbled Salamander

Photo : Flicker.com Photo : Flicker.com
This year is the 40th anniversary of Michigan’s Endangered Species Act and this week is being celebrated as Threatened and Endangered Species Week. We will be highlighting endangered species found around the state all week.
Did you know we have two endangered salamanders here in Michigan? One is the Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum), who’s chunky body ranges in size from 3.5 to 5 inches with white or silvery stripes across his black body. This salamander is unique because it breeds in the fall, not the spring like other species. When winter is around the corner females bed down in low leaf litter areas that fill with fall rain to lay on average 100 eggs. Eggs with either hatch in 2 weeks if conditions are right, or stay dormant until the following spring.
The marbled salamander diet consists of earthworms, insects, slugs and other small invertebrates. Their habitat varies from sandy upland deciduous forests in the warmer months to lowland forests in the fall for breeding. While habitat fragmentation and wetland draining are primary causes for marbled salamander habitat loss and possibly their endangered status, another problem may be their fall breeding season. Since most shallow woodland ponds freeze completely during our harsh winters, their breeding habits may not be well adapted to the Michigan weather. Marble salamanders haven’t been spotted in the state for quite a while, so keep your eyes peeled for these rare little amphibians.
To learn more about the Marbled Salamander, click HERE!

Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.