Sunday, May 15, 2011

subterranean dwellers

This one was resting beneath the raspberries under black landscape fabric.

Western long-toed salamander larvae are preyed upon by dragonfly larvae, predacious diving beetles, gartersnakes, fish, kingfishers, and wading birds. Adults are taken by gartersnakes, pesky bullfrogs, fish and herons. In turn adult long-toes eat woodlice, crickets, beetles centipedes, earthworms and spiders, while larvae feed on zooplankton, and small macroinvertebrates like immature insects, crustaceans, snails, tadpoles and leeches.

This one was occupying a cool moist habitat beneath plywood and a straw-filled tarp (one of our waterline insulating efforts).

Oregon ensatinas can live up to 15 years and take 3-4 years to mature. They never enter water, preferring instead to inhabit moist soils. They retreat deeper in the dry months. They have an elaborate hours long mating dance which culminates in the male placing a spermatophore on the forest floor which the female then picks up with her cloaca. In desperate times of danger, it will drop its tail which trashes wildly about while the individual gets away.

the final touches for the garlic

opening up earth 2

opening up earth 1