Monday, November 1, 2010

HHEI Sampling from Captina - Salamanders

As a followup to last Friday's post, here are some additional pics from HHEI sampling in Captina.  I'm going to focus on salamanders this time because of their importance as a barometer species for stream quality.  Salamander skin is permeable to an extent giving them the ability to absorb substances from water directly into their bodies.  Finding numerous salamanders in a stream is a good indication of the quality of water although other supporting tests need to be conducted for confimation.  Here is a sampling of some of the native salamanders of the Captina headwaters.

A closeup of a larval southern two-line salamander (Eurycea cirrigera).
Note the external gills still present behind the head.  Two-lines
are probably the most commonly encountered salamander in the
cold headwater stream habitats of Belmont and Monroe Counties.

An adult ravine salamander (Plethodon electromorphus).  Another
commonly encountered resident of the Captina watershed.  Ravine's
are more commonly found under rocks and debris upwards on hillsides
surrounding headwater streams as opposed to actually in the stream.
Note the long tail and slender body.

A juvenile ravine found under a rock next to the stream. 
Approximately one inch in length.  The smallest one I've ever seen.

The second of two adult spring salamanders (Gyrinophilus
porphyriticus) found in this stream.  Measuring about
5 inches in length this individual was under a stream
side rock.

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