January 2005 Archives

The US Fish and Wildlife Service revised and issued the recovery plan for the Barton Springs Salamander. The Barton Springs Salamander (Eurycea sosorum) is a unique aquatic species with one of the most limited vertebrate geographic regions.

Cuetzalan salamander

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Scanning the December 2004 issue of Herpetologica, I came across an article describing a new species of plethodontid salamander. The species, Pseudoeurycea quetzalanensis, is found in the Siera Norte de Puebla region of Mexico. This species is similar to other salamanders found in the canopy of the rain forests in South and Central America and out known as cloud salamanders. The Cuetzalan salamander differs from other similar salamanders in that it is small, stout and has small feet.

[view larger image]

TSMP website optimized for FireFox

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I put some effort into designing the Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program website to be viewable in both FireFox and Internet Explorer. I've been impressed with the functionality such as the tabs and live bookmarks. You can easily add the TSMP blog "a salamander blog" by clicking [Bookmarks] - [Manage Bookmarks] - [File] - [New Live Bookmark] and entering "a salamander blog" as the Name and "http://www.freelantzsolutions.com/plethodon/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog" as the feed. I believe the use of FireFox continues to grow with estimates this morning that over 20 million downloads had take place. I would suggest that if you haven't already take a look at FireFox as an alternative to IE.

Get Firefox!

salamander illustrations

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While searching for salamander illustrations to include on the Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program website, I came across the illustrations of Rachel Ivanyi at Science-art.com. I've emailed Rachel to request placing a sample of her work on this blog for all to see her incredible work. As soon as I have more details I'll post them...if you can't wait here's a link to Rachel's salamander illustration at science-art.com.

Rachel emailed me and gave permission to use the image above. Thanks Rachel! This watercolor shows a series of salamanders from the family Plethodontidae, the lungless salamanders. Genus:Hydromantes, Ensatina, Aneides, Plethodon, Pseudoeurycea.

herpetology as a career

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Interested in herpetology as a career? The Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles has a very good article on herpetology as a career. [view article at the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles website]
According to the Cryptobranchid Interest Group only a few zoos keep giant salamanders or Cryptobranchids and no zoo has successfully bred them within the United States. [View article from the Cryptobranchid Interest Group]. Below are a list of zoos that have them or are currently planning to place them on exhibit.

The National Zoo in Washington DC is constructing a major exhibit area which will be home to many Asian animals now living at the Zoo. The zoo's website states that both the Japanese Giant Salamander, Andrias japonicus, and the Chinese Giant Salamander, Andrias davidianus, are "exploring which salamander will do best on the Asian Trial". [View Giant Salamanders webpage at the National Zoo]

The Cincinnati Zoo currently has Chinese Giant Salamanders on exhibit with their Reptile house. [View Chinese Salamander webpage at the Cincinnati Zoo]

temporary URL change for TSMP

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Please note that the URL for www.plethodon.org has been changed. The Terrestrial Salamander Monitoring Program (TSMP) can be found at www.freelantzsolutions.com/plethodon until February 15, 2005.
I found a new book "Salamander Rain, A Lake and Pond Journal" by Kristin Joy Pratt-Serafini and thought it was worth noting and updating this previous post on salamander books for kids and adults. This book is written in a format similar to a field journal. The journal is unique as it can be used as a simple field journal on both coasts since it picks species, such as salamander species, found on both the East and West coasts of North America I have to admit that one of my favorite books is "The Salamander Room" by Anne Mazer. The illustrations are realistic, the story is engaging and I've bought a copy for nieces, nephews, my daughter and many other people. For reference, James Petranka has a great book "Salamanders of the United States and Canada". The photographs are great and the amount of details on each specific species is fantastic. This book is probably not for the the kids but a great reference. And because I reside in the great state of Minnesota, I must mention Moriarty and Oldfield's book "Amphibians and Reptiles of Minnesota: Native to Minnesota". This book "the guide" in Minnesota, is written well and provides a detailed look at native Minnesota amphibian and reptile species.

Green Salamander

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Thank you, State of Illinois, for electing the Eastern Tiger Salamander as the Illinois State Amphibian. [view the Chicago Tribune article]

a salamander festival

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A junior high school in Homewood Alabama is celebrating the migration of Spotted Salamanders in February 2005. [view article] Art contests, music and literature readings are all scheduled parts to the celebration.