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Phenological Differences in Wood Frog and Spotted Salamander Egg-mass Onset and Peak Accumulation

James S. Andrews1 and Erin Talmage1,*

1Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, 642 Smead Road, Salisbury, VT 05769. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 28, Issue 4 (2021): 456–461

We used egg-mass counts to monitor populations of Lithobates sylvaticus (Wood Frog) and Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander) at 4 ponds located in central Vermont. We monitored numbers of egg-masses for 15 springs over the course of 20 years (2000–2020). Each year, the number of Wood Frog egg-masses at our breeding sites increased rapidly, over a period of close to 2 weeks. Spotted Salamanders deposited eggs beginning about a week later than the Wood Frogs, and the number of their egg-masses increased at our study sites over a period of up to 8 weeks. Consequently, when using egg-mass counts to determine presence/absence or to monitor populations, it is important to take the relative phenology of these 2 species into consideration.

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