Amphibian Cover Boards Yield Blue-spotted x Jefferson Salamanders

Blue-spotted x Jefferson hybrid Salamanders were encountered today while checking amphibian cover board grids. A total of fifteen grids yielded 2 Blue-spotted x Jefferson hybrids Salamanders, 11 Red-backed Salamanders, and 12 Red-spotted Newts (eft stage). The Blue-spotted hybrid Salamander is always an exciting amphibian to come across due to its endangered species status in Connecticut. The cover boards are used as a method to monitor their population at White Memorial.
Blue-spotted x Jefferson hybrid Salamander
Seven newly constructed cover board grids were checked today for the first time. Only three of the grids had salamanders underneath them, indicating that the grids without any salamanders were either not placed in appropriate amphibian habitat or the boards have not been there long enough to attract any salamanders. The recent hot weather also seemed to dry out the leaf litter under many cover boards, which is not favorable conditions for the moisture-loving salamanders. As the summer progresses I will be interested to see what other kinds of amphibians we find under cover boards and if the Blue-spotted x Jefferson hybrid Salamanders will become more prevalent.  

Red-spotted Newt
Red-backed Salamander

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