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A LAKE FULL OF SALAMANDERS

A special LYNX article by Chris Van Wagenen, son of HUPC board member Rick and member Linda Van Wagenen

On a backpacking trip this June we stumbled across a little lake in the Lakes Backcountry. We decided it was a good place to camp. We went fishing and discovered there were no fish but found there was something even better... salamanders, and lots of them!

Tiger salamander by M. Pettis with apologies to Stebbins. Do not copy.

There were two different sizes of salamanders. The first ones were about 4 inches long, a dark greyish- brown and hanging out close to the bank in tall reeds covered in mud. The second size were the same except they were about an inch longer and had three frills on each side of their necks. We don't know if the size differences were a species difference or a maturity thing.

I did a total count of the salamanders in the lake and found 38. I think they were eating insects and things off the surface of the water. I observed them for three days; they were really neat!

*Tiger salamander drawing by M. Pettis with apologies to Stebbins


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