Thursday, March 31, 2011

Adventures in Salamander raising...

About a week or so ago, we went on a hike and came home with frog spawn and salamander spawn. Our tadpoles hatched the day after we came home. i'm guessing the heat of the house helped them along a bit. i'll post some pictures of them soon. They have already quadrupled in size.

We are still waiting for our salamanders to hatch.

This is what our Salamander spawn looked like when we first brought it home on March 20th. Each egg had a very round black dot inside it.

Two days later on March 22nd, the dots have begun to elongate just a little bit. We were able to observe what looked like the heads forming on a few of them.

By March 25th, heads and the beginnings of tails have formed.

March 29th. You can begin to see the heads and tails, and they are starting to look like tadpoles. Some of the eggs in the very center of the jelly mass began to look fuzzy and stopped developing. We found some info online suggesting that sometimes the eggs in the center will die and need to be removed. So i took out the 'bad eggs' and in the process of a few of the living eggs came loose from the protective jelly.

This little egg is 6-7mm, about the size of a pea.

This has really allowed us to observe the some of the details that were difficult to see when the eggs were in the jelly. You can clearly see the head, tail and feathery gills. The Spotted Salamanders usually hatch within 4 to 8 weeks depending on the water temperature.

This is our first time observing them, so we are very excited to see them finally hatch! i will post updates as they begin to hatch and grow.

You can find some info about Salamander lifecycles and a printout at Enchanted Learning.


  1. Awesome!

    Weird that you would have to remove anything though, in nature they would not have to removed..

  2. I have spent the last little bit looking around on your blog and it is official, I am in love.
    What a fun project. Thank you for sharing it. : )

  3. Fantastic. Just look at those little guys.

  4. What happens with the living ones that come out of the jelly?

  5. Hyla, removing the dead ones from the center just improves the survival rate. In nature the salamander may lay hundreds, but only the strongest will survive.

    Kai, The eggs will still hatch. The protective jelly just keeps them from getting eaten by a predator...i believe it is toxic/poisonous.