Herpetofauna: One Life's List

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus
Northern Spring Salamander

Blount Co., Tennessee
March 13, 1999

Where in the world were we?  Not far uphill from the Pigeon River, on a trail alongside a small creek, where water seeped from the muddy, mossy hillside.  A description to fit a thousand spots in these Smoky Mountains.  Under a muddy stone, this creature, its colors and textures seemingly unnatural.  I managed a few photos as the afternoon's dim light grew dim.  The moss in the top photo is a nice backdrop, but not really staged; every rock here is covered with it.

Down in the creek below the seep, the larvae of this species hide under stones and logs, feeding on aquatic insects, and the larvae of other salamanders.  When the larvae mature, they leave the stream and crawl up to the seep, and continue their predations on other types of salamanders along with terrestrial insects. 







Return to Life List Index                    Return to Mike's Page