Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, the two Vertebrate Zoology sections sampled fish assemblages at Jennings’ Woods. Although Tuesday’s weather was less than ideal, raining and cold, the class caught a new fish that we’ve never managed to catch with seining – a Least Brook Lamprey. Unfortunately, the rain and sampling prevented me from taking too many photographs of students in action, seining and giving the-all-too-important fish call. Here’s a few of folks presenting and observing the classes’ catches.
One point of interest that came up during the salamander hunt on Wednesday night was the variation in spotted salamander coloration. Not much hybridization occurs with spotted salamanders (at least not as much as in the Jefferson complex), but this variation could conceivably result from hybridization. I wonder what environmental conditions could cause spot variation. Presumably, spots serve to warn potential predators of a distasteful and possibly toxic prey source, so with lots of natural variation occurring, it’d be a bit easier to test predation-risk as a function of the number or prominence of yellow spots.
Anyway… here’s a couple of spotted salamander photos illustrating some spot variation, Dean’s first encounter, and a spermatophore!
As is likely the case with any photographer, I have discovered a large back-log of photographs that have yet to be processed – they lack names, tags, geographic positions, general descriptions. And, this log has now reached over a year; I have photos from teaching last summer’s Vertebrate Zoology lab and this Spring’s. Since I like to keep this blog as a log of my somewhat recent activities, it’s easy for these photos to pile up if I don’t immediately process and publish them. But the other option might be to delete them… So, in an effort to process some, below are a few photos from a Spring trip to Triple Springs Creek in West Branch State Park. I don’t even remember the student’s names…