|SOME AMPHIBIANS OF THE BALTIMORE-WASHINGTON AREA
Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)
The Red Salamander is not very common in most of our
area. This pair of salamanders was found under a log in
damp woods, but these salamanders seem to prefer cold
running water. The Northern Red Salamander is more often
found in, or very near, streams and springs.
These are the eggs of a terrestrial salamander, most likely
the Red-Backed Salamander. They are often found under
or inside logs or under stones in damp woods.
Pickerel Frog (Rana palustris)
This picture was taken on my front porch. On damp and rainy nights this Pickerel Frog sits
near the porch light to eat the insects the light attracts. The Pickerel Frog and the
Southern Leopard Frog (Rana utricularia) are sometimes called Grass Frogs because they
are often found away from the water in grassy areas. The Leopard Frog has more round,
rather than square, spots, and has a pointy snout. The Southern Leopard Frog is found
south of Baltimore and on the Eastern Shore, while the Pickerel Frog is found throughout
the Maryland-Washington, D.C.-Virginia area.
Green Tree Frog (Hyla cinerea)
The Green Tree Frog are said to be found on the coastal plain in southern Maryland,
eastern Virginia and the Delmarva Peninsula. I have never actually seen one here, but
they are extremely common in parts of the South. This photo was taken in South Carolina.
American Toad (Bufo americanus)
Our common toad often found under street lights where they eat bugs that are attracted
to the light and fall to the ground. Also found hopping around in gardens and woodlands.
The trill of the male American Toad trying to attract a mate is one of the first signs of
spring. Small insects, earthworms, even salamanders and very small snakes are eaten.
Toads are distinguished from frogs by their dry "warty" skin. Behind the eyes are two
glands called parotoid glands (not to be confused with the parotid, or salivary, gland).
These glands secrete a repulsive, and possibly toxic, substance that deters some
predators, particularly mammals and probably birds. Many snakes seem to be unaffected
by the parotoid gland secretions, including Ribbon and Garter Snakes and the Hognose
Snake which lives almost exclusively on a diet of toads.
Long-Tailed Salamander (Eurycea longicauda)
This salamander was found under a piece of sheet metal beside a
small stream at Lake Roland. I have found several long-tailed
salamanders at Lake Roland, but I do not recall ever finding one
anywhere else, so I expect they are pretty uncommon.