Spotted salamanders weren’t the only amphibians laying eggs in the pools. Something had laid eggs in a single line that often spiraled. Some of these eggs were laid on top of the salamander masses.
Spotted salamanders weren’t the only amphibians laying eggs in the pools. Eastern American toads lay eggs in a single line that often spirals. Like spotted salamanders mating occurs on rainy nights in early spring. Interestingly, some of the toad eggs were laid on top of the salamander masses. The toad eggs hatch in about a week, a much shorter time than the salamander eggs. The black tadpoles are toxic to some predators and adults are toxic to most mammals.
Eastern American toads are present across the state of New York. Other toad species of New York are the eastern spadefoot and fowler’s toad, but both of these have very limited ranges, mainly on Long Island.
The round object is a salamander egg mass covered with lines of toad eggs.
Leaf litter hosting the remnants of American toad eggs
American toad tadpole in a little human hand
An American toad tadpole basks in the sun in the shallow pool.
Adult eastern American toad
This concludes the Vernal Ruts series. To learn more about identifying vernal pool wildlife, check out this resource: