In autumn, the amphibians begin to quiet down, but they can still be found along the edges of water and in the forest. It is also the beginning of the mating season of the Marbled Salamander. As the weather grows cold, most of the amphibians take cover under the leaf litter, in burrows, and under ponds and lakes. And that brings us to winter. While most activity has ceased, the larvae of Marbled Salamanders can be found swimming beneath the ice on a frozen pool. Tadpoles of the more slowly developing frogs, such as Bullfrogs and Green Frogs, are wriggling about in more permanent bodies of water. And on a warm winter afternoon, a Spring Peeper, awakened too soon, can occasionally be heard "peeping" in the distance. If you are interested in enjoying this group of animals, the "kick off" season begins late winter/early spring. It is at this time the Spring Peepers and Wood Frogs begin their chorus and the Spotted Salamanders emerge from the ground to their rendevous in nearby vernal pools. Spring and summer evenings are filled with the chorus of frogs. Their courtship ensemble create a blend of peeps, growls, twangs and trills. Salamanders hunt in the understory and along the edges of streams. Summer is also the time of the tadpole, or polywog, and toward the end of the season, a time when many of the salamander larvae can be found in diminishing pools and larger bodies of water.
True Frogs (Ranidae)
Considering the cold winters we experience, Connecticut, the third smallest state in the union, has a relatively generous list of frogs and salamanders. Twelve species of salamanders (Caudata) and ten species of frogs(Anura) call this state their home.
Over the years, I've been snapping pictures of the herpetofauna in my region. I've included some of them here, along with a brief bit on their life histories. If you'd like to hear the call of a particular frog, give a click on its picture. Every now and then I will be updating this site with new pictures, information, etc.
The two books below are from my "Nature Upclose" series with Children's Press. Click on one of the covers to see sample pages and ordering information.
For a look at some CT moths...
About this site: The page was created and maintained by John Himmelman. John is a naturalist & author/illustrator. The photographs are his own. For more information, go to his other site, John Himmelman's Digital Home.
Click on the salamander for info on a Powerpoint presentation on the amphibians of New England in relation to the changing seasons (for land trusts, clubs, libraries...)
Mole Salamanders (Ambystomidae)
Lungless Salamanders (Plethodontidae)
Hey, here's something to read!
Frogs and Salamanders of the Northeast
by John Himmelman
Stories, photos and drawings covering all of the amphibians in this area and my adventures in seeking them out.
Author stalking his quarry for the book...
(for my children's and natural history books)