Trip Details

Start Time: 4:00 p.m.

Weather: Partially Sunny. 45 degrees for a high. Wind around 10 mph.

Location: Linn County Iowa

Herpers: Jim Scharosch & Matt Ricklefs

Account by: Matt Ricklefs

Thought of the Day: Salamander Dreams

We have never had an Iowa post before March. I was determined to have an Iowa post for March and that meant amphibians. The whole week I waited for a day to get out and Friday ended up being that day. Jim and I had spoken or emailed often to plan for the spring herping season so I mentioned going out and he concurred.

My whole life there is one species I have wanted to find in Iowa, the Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale). Not only are they secretive as most salamanders are, but they are also endangered in Iowa. I have been out on just a few occasions over the years to look for them to no avail. I was hoping today was different.
Jim and I wandered around talking about the upcoming herp trips we had planned and to be honest, even in the right area, did not expect to find our quarry. However, at 4:44 pm Jim said the magic words: “Found one!”

Photos by Matt Ricklefs

Photos by Jim Scharosch

There it was in all its glory. A small salamander as a species, this particular one was about 3? inches long and was beautiful. We were astounded and I was quite giddy. A lifer for both of us, this will be a highlight for any year, AND we got our March Iowa post. Not a bad way to start this season. After a short time of picture taking, we re-dampened under its log and let it go back to “snuggling in” for the night.

2010 HAS BEGUN!!

To all of you out there, happy spring time…and to all of you herpers, may we all have a good year and plenty of Happy Herpin’!!

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