It’s the second week of February and what can be more romantic that the sweet sounds of frogs calling for a mate at night? The rain we got here (Auburn, AL, USA) the last couple days only seems to encourage all the *peeps* and *wonk wonks* among other sounds.
One night, some people in the Auburn University Herpetology lab led by Brian Folt decided it was time to go survey Tuskegee National Forest (Macon County, AL). As soon as we got down to Forest Service Road 900, it was clear that quite a few species of frogs are out and about. We spent most of three-hour excursion searching at various floodplains. After flipping a few logs and searching leaf litter we were able to find some juvenile salamanders and a few species of chorus frogs including the spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer), Upload chorus frog (Pseudacris feriarum), Mountain chorus frog (Pseudacris brachyphona), and the sought after Ornate chorus frog (Pseudacris ornata)!
P. crucifer and P. ornata
The next day we surveyed a little stream running into Halawakee Creek (Lee County, AL). In two hours of searching, we found 24 Webster salamander (Plethodon websteri), a Red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber), and a couple of Spotted Dusky salamander (Desmognathus conanti).
The first couple field trips to survey has been productive so far!