The Olander Park System’s Conservation Crew found several salamander larvae (aka salamander tadpoles) in a small wetland at Sylvan Prairie Park!
This is exciting because we have never seen salamanders at Sylvan Prairie before! They are an encouraging sign that our restoration efforts are creating good wildlife habitat. Salamanders lay eggs in wetlands, and their larvae (babies) live underwater. After several weeks, they become adults and begin living on land. Because of their need for both wetland and upland (dry land) habitats, they are considered an indicator of environmental health.
Look at this picture of a salamander larvae. It is tiny, but you can see the gills sticking off the sides of its head. That is how we know it is a salamander and not a frog or a toad. Frog and toad tadpoles do not have visible gills.
We’re going to keep track of the salamander larvae at Sylvan. Hopefully they will survive to become adults, and we’ll be able to identify what kind they are.
See Ohio Amphibians web site to learn more about Ohio’s salamanders