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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Year of the...


The Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Snake, began on February 10th.  We thought it would be fun to post a picture of a local snake this week, and believe me I've been trying to find one, but so far I haven't been successful.  In general, Bodega Head isn't a great place to find snakes.  And winter is probably an even more difficult time to locate one.

Late today I tried again and turned over a few old boards.  No snakes, but a couple of salamanders!

These Arboreal Salamanders (Aneides lugubris) were small, only ~5-6 cm long.  One (above) had lots of dense gold speckling on the top of its head.  The other (below) was darker overall, but had noticeable metallic gold patches where the legs met the body.

Here's a close-up where you can also see scattered blue and gray spots everywhere.  It's like looking up at the night sky.

(I only held the salamander briefly for a couple of photos before releasing it back under moist cover again.)
I also posted a couple of Arboreal Salamander pictures last January, so if you'd like to learn a little more about them, you can read more here.

And, here's a useful trick that Eric taught me about the blog.  You might have already figured this out, but I hadn't!  If you're interested in seeing *all* of the salamander posts — for example, if you wanted to quickly compare photographs of all of the different salamander species or encounters I've written about — you can click on the word "salamander" where it says Labels at the bottom of this post.  That's actually a link that will show you all of the posts that have salamander as a label.  Fun!

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