RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

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Josh Holbrook
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RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by Josh Holbrook » June 17th, 2015, 1:42 pm

Ok, so, yes - this is one of those annoying "I need spots for..." kind of posts. Apologies in advanced, but, I need some help.

I'm trying to find all the Ambystoma east of the Mississippi in 2015, but the Smallmouth salamander is providing a bit of a problem. I chose Ambystoma because I just had a beautiful baby girl this year, and Ambystoma are sufficiently 'gettable' in the short time spurts I have to herp. That said, I don't really have the time to make a special trip for texanum, but I will be in the Columbus, Ohio area for a short time at the end of July.


1.) Are they even possible to find then? I know Ambystoma in general are very seasonal, but it seems like texanum MIGHT be a little more find-able for longer windows.

2.) Is anyone willing to point me in the right direction for turning one up? I feel like it's probably unnecessary to say, but I will only be taking a couple pictures, not collecting.

If anyone could offer some sage advice on these, that would be wonderful. As always, any specific locations please restrict to PM per the terms of service.

Thanks again,


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Re: RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by ThatFrogGuy » June 18th, 2015, 5:14 pm

Sorry I can't really help for OH spots, but as far as the behavior of texanum in the Midwest: Chances of finding an adult in late July are not particularly good. Nothings impossible of course, but in most places they will be far underground avoiding the heat. However, metamorphs/larvae can be found relatively easily if you know of a breeding site. They're very small (<1 inch) but a texanum is a texanum.

If he doesn't see this thread, you may want to contact Carl Brune.


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Carl Brune
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Re: RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by Carl Brune » June 19th, 2015, 11:31 pm

I am afraid I don't have much of anything to offer here. I agree with what Zach said. I have seen a few smallmouths SE of Columbus, road cruising in the early spring. I do not know where the breeding pools are and also the places where I have seen them are not public land.

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jason folt
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Re: RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by jason folt » June 22nd, 2015, 5:21 pm

I don't mean to be a downer, but the end of July things are pretty hot and dry down there. I have also only seen them roadcruising in the spring, NW of Columbus. It can probably be done, but that is a pretty hard target out of season.

Good luck,


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Re: RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by stlouisdude » June 22nd, 2015, 5:26 pm

There were two places I found large quantities in St. Louis County, MO. I do not know how that translates to OH. One was a river floodplain. The adults took cover under logs in and around the flooded areas and the larvae where in swallow, flooded backwaters that recede in late summer. The second place was along railroad tracks at the bottom of a hillside. The hill and the upward bank of the tracks created a flooded depression that did not always dry up. The adults were along the tracks under logs and tracks in the shade. I assume the larvae I assume were in the larger pools along the sides but I never bothered to check. I found one offs in other places but those two had large numbers visible.

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Mark Brown
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Re: RFI: Smallmouth Salamanders around Columbus Ohio

Post by Mark Brown » June 23rd, 2015, 1:21 am

I did a good bit of vernal pool hunting in Columbus in the '70s and don't recall ever seeing A. texanum (nor do my field notes). Saw some up in the Toledo area, but that doesn't help you.

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