It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Paul Aiscan » Sat Apr 08, 2017 4:05 pm

So i finally saw my first Salamandra during daylight this year, normaly I only get lucky at night :D however that day was very busy with these guys, and as night fell, there were even more of course

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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Thu May 04, 2017 12:35 pm

Tomas Klacek wrote:Hi,
eventually I made a gif from interaction photos which I promised in other thread. I guess both are males, am I right? One of them constantly tried to get underneath the other one and It also looks like he tried to flip him upside down.

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Here is the GIF (10.3MB)

What do you think about it? I never saw a salamander fight, so I´m really not sure, what I saw...
Thank you!
T.


I overlooked this question. This seems like a regular mating attempt. I think the second one is a (unreceptive) female, but cannot be 100% sure. If you dig into older posts in this thread, you will find some fight footage.
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Tomas Klacek » Fri May 05, 2017 9:51 am

Thank you, Jeroen!
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby GertJan Verspui » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:17 am

Yes it is always worth to go out for salamandra and hedgehogs, thanks mate, was a good night!
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Frédéric Seyffarth » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:34 pm

Hello guys!

Just saw a nice one this morning during a little walk ...found it during a 4°C rain...
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:28 pm

In case anyone's wondering, I'm still mandering. The story, however, does get a bit repetitive after all these years (as in: for forum readers, not for me coz I luuurve it...!). Autumn has been bliss, as always. We had a couple of days of snow last weekend, but all gone melted again now and the brave manders are out again. Below a busy boy trying to mate with a gravid female (but she said no).

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December 7th 2017
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:42 pm

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October 8th 2017

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September 9th 2017

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September 9th 2017
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Ilian Velikov » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:38 pm

Nice manders! I like the behavior shot and the one with the mushrooms. It's great to have some herps active through the winter in your area to get you to spring. Yesterday, I heard a snake fleeing in the bushes just outside of Barcelona. My wife saw a grey tail so I'm suspecting Natrix but who knows...Can't wait for spring to see what's in the area.
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Here's another memorable episode of "life and death in the mander woods".

10°C and a drizzle last night. You know what that means. While they were still dry on December 7th, last night was the first round I did with water in the ditches. This is still a consequence of an unusually dry year, as normally these ditches would have water and larvae in the first half of November. Several females quickly took advantage of this to deposit larvae.

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It is well-known that they may also release some sterile and/or not fully developed eggs. While it is very easy to see these pale marbles in another Flemish forest, it's the first time I see it at my spot.

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Surprisingly, the larva was visible within the capsule.

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Well into the route, we bumped into the remains of three predated animals. Marten, hedgehog, fox, rat, cat, ...?

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Among the casualties, I lost a dear old friend: an old male (ID 000058) that I first found on March 30th 2008 and have since found 57 times. Ironically, his ID number is the same as the visit number prior to which he was assassinated by some no-good ball of fur. This is also the first time I found signs of predation during my fieldwork. The mander's toxicity is said to make it a fairly unattractive prey item. In contrast to the two other corpses, the old boy didn't seem to have been eaten. Old grey literature states adult manders to be more toxic thus less frequently predated than younger conspecifics.

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After a little tear, on we went, to sooth our minds with the signs of new life. Here's a youngster from last year and a larva of probably no more than 24h old.

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Towards the very end of the route, an always welcome orange gem.

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With this visit, I passed the total of 3000 mander observations along my route, so 2017 has been productive. Up to 2018!
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Re: It's always worth it to go out (for Salamandra) ;-)

Postby Jeroen Speybroeck » Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:03 pm

It has been too long since I posted about my most beloved animal friends, my local fire salamanders! I will make it up with a nice long read ;).

This year has been brutal for them, or at least for those looking for them. From April to October, temperatures were way above normal. The drought that came with it is still showing its marks - ditches and brooks that should be full of water and packed with larvae are still dry. Hopefully females will be able to deposit before it is too late, and larvae will be able to metamorphose in time before summer 2019 kicks in. Wait and see...

In the mean time, activity levels are high, even with fairly low temperatures calling the shots. Early darkness allows for less lack of sleep, so I did my usual round from 19h10 until 21h00. 5.3°C, 96%, 1.2 km, 106 salamanders. Nothing like the 300+ after the (also rather) dry summer of 2016 and well below this year's maximum (252), but still quite high for such a low temperature. I am excited to see what the weekend will bring, as temps are supposed to go up to 12°C and all other parts of the magic formula will remain optimal.

Now about that picture... The guy at the left is ID 000041. That means he's among the first I found when I started back in 2008. Since then, I have recaptured him nearly 70 times. He's one of the larger fellas (ca. 19 cm). Here he is sitting next to his usual beech tree (where he's been nearly always when I found him). The other guy is a smaller male. He's ID 001819. His first capture was in October 2014 (which is the year where I picked up the pace, going from 10+ to 30+ count event per year). So what are they doing together? Is the smaller one claiming the territory of the other, regular inhabitant? Hard to tell, as behaviour gets most often interrupted by annoying flashlights. Not that much (if anything) is known about it in this species... The fact that the smaller one seems to be climbing up, is a bit of a brainteaser too. Salamanders are found quite often climbing the lower tree, even up to half a metre above the forest floor. Tree trunks may channel rainfall to the forest floor, so a salamander seeking moisture may like to mount the tree base. Or is it the ample food items (like harvestmen, woodlice, spiders, slugs, ...) that can often be found on the lower part of the tree trunk which lure them up the tree? Females do it too, so sniffing up pheromones may not be the answer. What do you think?

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