Sunday, 26 January 2014

Salamanders, newts and frogs in January.

So far this has been a mild winter in France, particularly so in the west and south west. This always creates a risky situation for amphibians, especially those that are temperature sensitive when it comes to breeding such as the Common frog that is always an early breeder. Although the Common frog, (Rana temporaria), is a species that isn't present in Vienne I understand from talking to people in other Departements that Common frogs started to spawn in December and there are already tadpoles to be seen. Severe cold weather is always likely here until at least the end of February and any sustained freeze will destroy spawn that is on or near the surface or in the case of shallow water that freezes completely any tadpoles.

Salamanders, (salamandra salamandra), will also release their egg sacs or young larvae into the water any time from Autumn 'til Spring if it's mild and my pond currently has larvae in various stages of development with adult females at the waters edge last night.

Click on photos to enlarge.

Also to be seen in the water last night were a few Palmate newts, (Triturus,(Lissotriton), helveticus), perhaps a little early in the season but unlikely to be a problem for them.

Also I saw this little frog, either Edible frog, (Pelophylax kl. esculentus), or Pool frog, (Pelophylax lessonae), no more than 3 to 4cm making its way to the pond, again very early but it would soon find somewhere to hide away should the weather turn very cold.

Plenty to come on Amphibians in the near future.