Spotted-tail Salamander - Courtship and Reproduction - Larval Ecology

Larval Ecology

Larval cave salamanders appear similar to other larval Eurycea. Larvae have been found in both surface streams, and in cave streams and pools. It is thought that larvae found in surface streams may have been washed out of caves and crevices by heavy rains. Cave salamander larvae are predators, and feed primarily on benthic invertebrates, such as snails, ostracods, copepods, isopods, mayflies, stoneflies, beetles and flies, of which ostracods, snails and fly larvae are the most common dietary item. Prey is captured by slowly crawling over the substrate and grasping the invertebrate by the mouth and swallowing it whole, thus prey is limited by the gape of the salamanders mouth. From hatching to metamorphosis to a terrestrial adult takes between 6 and 18 months, although this period is variable by region. Larvae may attain sizes of 70 mm (33 mm snout-to-vent-length) by the time of metamorphosis.

Read more about this topic:  Spotted-tail Salamander, Courtship and Reproduction

Other articles related to "larval ecology":

Northern Two-lined Salamander - Larval Ecology
... Upon hatching, the gilled larva are about 10 mm long, and remain in slow-moving pools, or less frequently, hiding in crevices between rocks and boulders in swift-flowing streams ... The larvae do not begin feeding until their yolk sacs are reabsorbed, at which point they begin to feed on benthic invertebrates by prowling the bottom of the stream ...

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