Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

Common Name: Spotted Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: United States and Canada
US States Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Max Size: 10 inches

While the Spotted Salamander is found throughout most of the eastern United States and Canada, it isn’t seen often because it spends most of it’s life under logs or the ground. Best time to spot them is after a heavy rain fall when they are traveling to ponds to breed. When they breed depends on where they are located, southern populations breed in December while northern populations breed in March and April.

Interestingly, the Spotted Salamander eggs have a symbiotic relationship with green alga. The alga produces oxygen for the egg while the egg produces carbon dioxide for the alga.

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Dr James Van Dyke


The goal of Herper of the Week is to highlight people from all walks of life who work with reptiles and amphibians and show their work to others. This week’s Herper of the Week is Dr. James Van Dyke. He earned his Ph.D from the University of Arkansas, with his dissertation on viviparous snakes and soft shelled turtles.

He is currently a lecturer at Charles Sturt University in Australia. His research focuses on conservation of freshwater turtles in Australia, conservration of alpine placental lizards, and the evolution of the placenta and live birth in vertebrates.

You can visit his website at http://www.jamesuvandyke.com/

You can follow him on twitter at @JamesUVanDyke

Frog of the Week

Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus zeteki)

Common Name: Panamanian Golden Frog, Zetek’s Golden Frog
Scientific Name: Atelopus zeteki
Family: Bufonidae
Location: Panama
Max Size: 2.4 inches (63 mm) for females, 1.8 inches (48 mm) for males

While the name for this cutie is the Panamanian Golden Frog, it is technically a toad since it’s from the family Bufonidae. This froggie is from Panama but possibly not anymore. It has not been seen in the wild since 2007. There are some Panamanian Golden Frogs in zoos and other conservation breeding programs so all hope isn’t lost yet. Chytrid Fungus, over harvesting, and habibat destruction all contribute to the status of the species. It is also referred to as the Zetek’s Golden Frog because the scientific name was named for Dr. James Zetek.

These frogs are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest during the night like us. Another weird thing that they do is that they can climb up to around 10 feet high in trees. Additional weird thing, they wave to communicate.


Meet Rayna – the African Bullfrog

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Rayna is one of my pet frogs. She is an African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus). African Bullfrogs are one of the largest species of frogs in the world, but it’s the males that grow the largest, so she won’t get to the 9 inches. She enjoys jazz music and hiding under her log. Her main diet is worms and crickets. Her exact age is unknown. African Bullfrogs are my favorite species of frogs so I had to get her.


NBA Teams but Frogs

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Chicago Bullfrogs


Philadelphia Spring Peepers

Plains Spadefoot by Stanley Trauth

San Antonio Spadefoots


Cleveland Cane Toads

Miami Reed (frogs)

Boston Coastal Tailed Frog

Atlanta Hairy Frogs

Fleischmann’s glass frog by Mauricio Rivera Correa

Golden State Glass Frogs

giant squaker

Los Angeles Squeckers


Rocket Frog by Wikiuser Froggydarb

Houston Rocket Frogs

Toronto Rain Frogs


Los Angeles Cricket (frogs)

Vietnamese mossy frog by Katie Chan

Minnesota Mossy Frogs

Brooklyn Natterjack Toads

Purple Frog

New Orleans Purple Frogs

Phoenix Suriname Toads

Detroit Parsley Frogs

Portland Poison Dart Frogs

Dallas Mountain Chickens


Washington Wood Frogs

Indiana Gopher Frogs


New York Clown Frogs


Oklahoma City Turtle Frog

Whites Tree Frog by LiquidGhoul

Utah Whites Tree Frogs

Sacramento Coquis

Denver Colorado River Toads

Budgett’s Frog by Ltshears

Milwaukee Budgett’s Frogs


Charlotte Horned Frogs

Orlando Mantellas



Hynobiidae – Asiatic Salamanders

Number of Genera: 9 – Batrachuperus, Hynobius, Liua, Pachyhynobius, Paradactylodon, Pseudohynobius, Ranodon, Salamandrella, and Onychodactylus
Number of Species: 67
Hynobiidae is a family of salamanders referred to as the Asiatic Salamanders because they are found dun dun dun… in Asia. They are closely related to the Giant Salamander family – Cryptobranchidae. The family is broken into 2 subfamilies, Hynobiinae and Onychodactylinae. Onychodactylus is the only genus in the subfamily Onychodactylinae

Batrachuperus is known as the Stream or Mountain Salamanders. They are found in China and Myanmar.

The genus Liua is found in only China.

Shangcheng Stout Salamander (Pachyhynobius shangchengensis) is the only member of the genus Pachyhynobius.

The genus Paradactylodon is known as the Middle Eastern Salamanders because they are found in Iran and Afghanistan.

The genus Pseudohynobius is only found in China.

Semirechensk Salamander (Ranodon sibiricus) is the only species in the genus Ranodon. It is found in China and Kazakhstan

The genus Salamandrella is called the Siberan Salamanders.

Onychodactylus is known as the Clawed Salamanders.


Seven Amphibians to get you into the Holiday Spirit

Nothing quiet get’s me into the holiday spirits like some amphibians

Sandhill Frog by B.Maryan

This one reminds me of some peppermint bark

Vietnamese mossy frog by Katie Chan

You could make a wreath out of these frogs

Red Salamander by Leif Van Laar

He has his santa suit on

Horned Frog

Red + Green = Christmas

Marbled Salamander by Brian Gratwicke

Like snow on the trees

Blue Spotted Salamander by Dr. John P. Clare

Like snowflakes in the sky

Anthony’s poison arrow frog by Tubifex

Like a candy cane

Frog or Toad

Frog or Toad 12/5/17


Can you tell if this is a frog or a toad? Try to make a guess below! If you need some tips read this. Also if you want to know what exactly are the differences between frogs and toads, read this!

Answer will be posted on Wednesday!

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Dr. Amanda Duffus


The goal of Herper of the Week is to highlight people from all walks of life who work with reptiles and amphibians and show their work to others. This week’s Herper of the Week is Dr. Amanda Duffus, Associate Professor of Biology at Gordon State College. She obtained her Ph.D from the Queen Mary University of London, in the United Kingdom. Her work focuses on Ranavirus – a disease that affects amphibians in the Southeastern United States.

You can visit her website to learn more – https://www.amandaduffus.com/