Salamander Adventures

closeup

1/2″ salamander nymph

Meet our newest  pets, mommy responsibility,  school project: salamanders.

We went hunting for frog spawn.  We found gobs of jelly with dots in the creek, and brought home one blob to hatch and raise.

Last year we caught tadpoles and raised (and released) them, but we never found the frog spawn.  The kids were so happy that we got to watch them hatch this time!

egg mass

Before hatching

Problem is, those aren’t tadpoles.  Nope!  Apparently frog spawn is one solid mass of connected eggs.  This bunch of goo is a double layer – eggs inside, then goo outside.  Not tadpoles.  Salamanders (or newts, maybe?)

I didn’t figure that out until they hatched.  They just didn’t look right – like tadpoles on a diet.  They had legs.  And they wouldn’t eat the spinach.  Uh oh!

hatching

Eggs hatching

So I did some research – and yup, salamanders.  Which is cool … sort of.  They’re predators and carnivores.  To them, spinach is just something to hide under.  They need their food alive and wriggling.

/sigh I can see where this is going already.

Of course we kept them!  Who would release these cute little things with the feathery gills back into the creek to be eaten?

top view

The view from the top

So for now, there’s a slightly disgusting batch of pond water in residence on my counter for plankton.  There’s a bucket of standing water with algae outside, enticing mosquitoes to lay eggs.  And I’m searching for the best price for water fleas on the internet.

Yay me.  The things I do for school!

habitat

I raided algae and plants from our shrimp tank

 

 

 

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