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 Post subject: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 3:41 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:46 pm
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Location: Trenton, NJ
I found this salamander last April and the forum settled on Jefferson, but I'm still unsure so it's open to all opinions. The pictures aren't great, but it's something.

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 3:58 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
Posts: 261
Here's the deal... It's a mole salamander :P

Actually, I believe it is a Jefferson and here is why...

I noticed the specks on it's side in your original picture so I mega boosted the contrast and they are blue. Now, I have seen some blue flecking on spotted pictures before, but if the salamander was melanistic I would think the blue would be dark too... I'm going with jefferson. I could be wrong. Did it have a really extra long toe on the back feet?




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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:00 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:01 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:43 pm
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Location: Somerset, NJ
one of my pics of the beast

Image

and a possible jeffxblue hybrid from the same area?

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:06 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
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That famished little beast is what I would consider LLLJ. Not to be confused with LLCJ.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:10 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:43 pm
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Location: Somerset, NJ
Notread wrote:
Image



this will haunt my dreams


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:20 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:46 pm
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Location: Trenton, NJ
Color wise I think it's a Jeff, but it looks to be much bigger than any Jeff pictures I've seen and the head shape seems more maculatum. I don't think it had a ridiculous Jeff toe, but Scott's picture shows the hind foot very well. I guess we'll just have to go back and find more over spring break Scott.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:25 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:43 pm
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Location: Somerset, NJ
Darnell Brister wrote:
Color wise I think it's a Jeff, but it looks to be much bigger than any Jeff pictures I've seen and the head shape seems more maculatum. I don't think it had a ridiculous Jeff toe, but Scott's picture shows the hind foot very well. I guess we'll just have to go back and find more over spring break Scott.



If we must :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 4:33 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:40 am
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Location: Pennsylvania- Bucks Co. near Phila.
Anyone count the coastal grooves? Jefferson's have 12, Spotteds can have 11-13, Blue spots can have up to 13.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 5:32 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
Posts: 261
Great point, Kyle. For what it is worth, I only counted 11, but with the salamander turned like that it is hard to be sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 5:40 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:40 am
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Location: Pennsylvania- Bucks Co. near Phila.
How bout the toes?... compare the Jefferson's toes vs. the one up top...


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 5th, 2012, 6:36 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
Posts: 261
Darn. I quit. Nice blue speckled spotted salamander you got there Darnell. :beer: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 5:09 am 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:40 am
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Location: Pennsylvania- Bucks Co. near Phila.
:thumb:


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 6:07 am 
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Location: Morrisville, PA
Spotless Mac. I'm at least 50% sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 1:38 pm 
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Location: Trenton, NJ
Thanks for checking it out guys. I can definitely say its a spotted. It didn't have the outrageously long toe and it was much bigger and stockier than what I imagine a Jeff to be. I counted 11 costal grooves which matches maculatum, but can that count be official? I feel like each species has a range around the same numbers(11-13). Now I have a new lifer :D


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 6:24 pm 
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Joined: July 27th, 2011, 6:01 am
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Location: Annapolis, MD
So is the verdict that its a melanistic spotted? or are we just calling it a hebejebe?


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 6:39 pm 
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Joined: July 24th, 2010, 10:43 pm
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Location: Somerset, NJ
gone herpin wrote:
So is the verdict that its a melanistic spotted? or are we just calling it a hebejebe?


We are calling it my ruined lifer :cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 7:23 pm 
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Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
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Location: Southern Indiana
That's definetely not a jeff. Spotless maculatum, I'm 90% sure. The stocky head and the lines behind the eyes, are what gives it away for me. Also the head is mostly the same width, jeffs have very flat, broad snouts. Also, jeff toes are very long, with one on the hindlimbs being obviously much longer than the rest.
Image
Jefferson's Salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) by Zach Truelock, on Flickr

-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 6th, 2012, 8:50 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:48 am
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Yeah I agree with spotted. Zach pointed out some nice differences. The tail is also different, Jeff have a more flattened tail, whereas spotteds are more rounded along the top.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 7th, 2012, 3:08 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:22 pm
Posts: 585
why not photo shop some yellow spots, then we would not be arguing because then it would look just like a regular spotted. or then it could look like a jeff that was photoshopped. so now I am not sure,
next brick will put up a larval id .again :lol:

for the record I say spotless spotted.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 9th, 2012, 9:45 am 
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Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:17 pm
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Location: NY
I say this animal is a jeff, without a doubt. It's all in the hind legs. If hind legs are larger than front legs, it is a jeff. Jeffs also have a more squared-off head and dorso-ventrally flattened tail...where macs have the rounded head and cylindrical tail. The reason it's confusing is those characters on this critter are obscured by FAT. This thing is a blimp! Not normal full-of-eggs blimp, but legitimately obese. My goodness, look at that tail.

Image

Here's an easy comparison photo taken by a friend of mine of regular looking non-obese spotless mac and jeff males.

-Amanda


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 9th, 2012, 12:57 pm 
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Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
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Location: Southern Indiana
ALT wrote:
I say this animal is a jeff, without a doubt. It's all in the hind legs. If hind legs are larger than front legs, it is a jeff. Jeffs also have a more squared-off head and dorso-ventrally flattened tail...where macs have the rounded head and cylindrical tail. The reason it's confusing is those characters on this critter are obscured by FAT. This thing is a blimp! Not normal full-of-eggs blimp, but legitimately obese. My goodness, look at that tail.

-Amanda
Looks pretty normally proportioned for an Ambystoma to me. That's why it's important to look at all the characteristics, and there isn't a single on on this animal to make me think it's a jeff.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 9th, 2012, 8:19 pm 

Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:05 am
Posts: 223
I agree that it's definitely a jeff. The head shape is more squared off like that of jeffs, as opposed to the more rounded head of macs. As Amanda (ALT) said, jeffs also have a more flattened tail, it is a bit rounder than typical on this individual since its a bit fat, but it still has a flatter, jeff-like tail, rather than the really tails of macs. Also, the melanistic macs I've seen are typically a darker, slatey grey color than this individual is, the coloration is more like that of a jeff than a mac. You've definitely got a jeff.
-Eric


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 9th, 2012, 10:51 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:20 am
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Location: Marshall County, WV
I must say, I'm also on the Jeff train for this one. The head just looks to long and squared to be a mac.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 7:20 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:43 pm
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Location: your soul
So.....let me get this straight. You actually have some people convinced, that not only is that a Spotless Spotted, which is about 1 in every 1,500 or so IF THAT, but a Spotless Spotted WITH BLUE FLECKING.....from an area in the JeffxBlueSpot Hybrid zone? Thats really what you're saying?

The power of suggestion is awfully strong with you.

Come on people.....its nose is far too sharp for Spotted. It aint no Jeff either cause its toes aren't long enough. But the second....the SECOND that OTHER picture was posted of the "possible hybrid from the same area"......the thread should have ended right there.

So add Silvery Salamander to your list Mr Master Herper. who can't even identify mole salamanders properly. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 1:08 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:46 pm
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Location: Trenton, NJ
I understand that I made a mistake, but it was only to gain knowledge on these species in New Jersey. I'm not trying to be known as a master herper or anything like that. My reason for being here is simply because field herpetology is my passion and I want to try and be involved, while learning from more experienced people.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 4:22 am 
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Location: Morrisville, PA
Don't sweat it Darnell. I thought it was a spotless spotted too. Maybe JSM can start his own forum so we can just ask him anything directly and cut out any sort of conversation about anything altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 4:22 am 
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obeyJSM wrote:
So.....let me get this straight. You actually have some people convinced, that not only is that a Spotless Spotted, which is about 1 in every 1,500 or so IF THAT, but a Spotless Spotted WITH BLUE FLECKING.....from an area in the JeffxBlueSpot Hybrid zone? Thats really what you're saying?

The power of suggestion is awfully strong with you.

Come on people.....its nose is far too sharp for Spotted. It aint no Jeff either cause its toes aren't long enough. But the second....the SECOND that OTHER picture was posted of the "possible hybrid from the same area"......the thread should have ended right there.

So add Silvery Salamander to your list Mr Master Herper. who can't even identify mole salamanders properly. :lol:


Pretentious.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 1:38 pm 
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Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
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Location: Southern Indiana
obeyJSM wrote:
So.....let me get this straight. You actually have some people convinced, that not only is that a Spotless Spotted, which is about 1 in every 1,500 or so IF THAT, but a Spotless Spotted WITH BLUE FLECKING.....from an area in the JeffxBlueSpot Hybrid zone? Thats really what you're saying?

The power of suggestion is awfully strong with you.

Come on people.....its nose is far too sharp for Spotted. It aint no Jeff either cause its toes aren't long enough. But the second....the SECOND that OTHER picture was posted of the "possible hybrid from the same area"......the thread should have ended right there.

So add Silvery Salamander to your list Mr Master Herper. who can't even identify mole salamanders properly. :lol:

Spotteds regularly have blue flecking.....here's an exaggerated individual found by forum member noah k.
Image

For the record, I agree with hybrid and it was silly of me to not have thought of that earlier.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 2:32 pm 

Joined: June 12th, 2010, 4:32 pm
Posts: 385
I have little experience with either, but I will say the defense of a jeff, blue spotxJeff presented a far superior case. The nose looks rather pointed to me. I'm use to seeing the grey belly of a spotted too.

Brick don't take Emma's comment to seriously this is Dave's personality he isn't totally serious. And you Darnell stop acting like a choir boy you love to talk smack....How many coastals have you found this year Chris??, lol.....I didn't forget about you either (internship).


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 3:18 pm 
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Location: Trenton, NJ
dragoncjo wrote:
Brick don't take Emma's comment to seriously this is Dave's personality he isn't totally serious. And you Darnell stop acting like a choir boy you love to talk smack....How many coastals have you found this year Chris??, lol.....I didn't forget about you either (internship).


Haha I'm just trying to be nice. It's such a struggle to be here :cry: ..... just playing.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 21st, 2012, 5:46 pm 
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Location: your soul
ThatFrogGuy wrote:
obeyJSM wrote:
For the record, I agree with hybrid and it was silly of me to not have thought of that earlier.



This guy gets it!

And in the midwest, with the 3 or 4 moleys doing god knows what with each other in those pools, you guys probably find aberrants like that all the time. Round here, not so much.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2012, 11:01 am 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
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Location: The Dark Side of the Moon
Darnell,


I'm pretty sure it's a Jefferson's salamander. The dorsum seems to the classic Jefferson's coloration of brownish with lighter tints of blue. In that region (judged by the situ) slimies and spotties are much more stout and the eyes are not pulled out of the head. It's also to small to be a leadback. As said by many other guys, there is a one in million-ish chance of a spotless spotted salamander.


I hope this helps


Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 24th, 2012, 5:41 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
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Location: The Dark Side of the Moon
You know I think I was wrong about the Jefferson, because the species actually looks more like a Silvery Salamander, judged by color and side blotches. Salamanders are so confusing these days ;) .

Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 28th, 2012, 9:54 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
Posts: 261
So let me get this straight:

1. The salamander has been formally identified as a species with taxonomy that is no longer recognized (right?).

2. Further, the identification as a A. platineum can only be proved against the other former taxon A. tremblayi by genetic markers which we can obviously test for with these photographs.

3. Then, we ignored the fact that a "silvery" salamander or a "tremblay's" has to be a female, and just assumed that the salamander here was sexed as a female.

4. We then went on to compare mole salamanders to slimeys and redbacks, deciding that it can't be a redback because it was too small and it can't be slimey because slimies are more stout. (Sorry intermedius :P)


EDIT: I forgot #5.
5. (Which is expanding on 3...) To have a hybrid population of unisexual salamanders you must be able to maintain genetically pure males from either jefferson or bluespots, but we have ruled out the possibility of it being one of the parent species because it is in a hybridization zone.

Thus, the fact remains...
It could be a blue spot, a jefferson, in the Jefferson/Bluespot complex (a 50/50 hybrid or a hybrid leaning one way or another) or a stupid spotted salamander which nature forgot to spot. Best of all... we will never actually know.



This thread is full of awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Spot-less Spotted Salamander?
PostPosted: March 28th, 2012, 10:31 pm 

Joined: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am
Posts: 261
obeyJSM wrote:
ThatFrogGuy wrote:
obeyJSM wrote:
For the record, I agree with hybrid and it was silly of me to not have thought of that earlier.



This guy gets it!

And in the midwest, with the 3 or 4 moleys doing god knows what with each other in those pools, you guys probably find aberrants like that all the time. Round here, not so much.


It is my impression that it doesn't happen here because the size of each species sperm creates barriers to cross breeding. Spotteds do not normally cross with Jeffersons or Bluespots for this reason. The same reason a laterale heavy hybrid female will only breed with laterale males and a jefferson heavy hybrid eggs can only be fertilized by a jefferson male. I don't know about mole salamander species elsewhere, but here that is the reason things are the way they are and we don't have Spotted-jefferson-bluespot-slimey hybrids running all around. :twisted:


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