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Spotted Salamander

Spotted Salamander
Photo Information
Copyright: John Denk (jpdenk) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 307 W: 3 N: 74] (333)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-10-04
Categories: Amphibians
Camera: Nikon D90, 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor
Exposure: f/16, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-10-04 16:03
Viewed: 4656
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
A bit late in the year to be seeing many herps, but this little Salamander was found in the woods near my home today while looking for things to photograph. I put it on a log for taking a few photos, it was not there on its own. After taking photos, it was placed on soft, moist soil under a dead log which is where they are typically found.

This is a Spotted Salamander, Ambystoma maculatum, a fairly common species of hardwood forests in eastern North America. Where I live, northeastern Illinois, we are on the western edge of their range in this area.

It's one of the mole salamanders, and they spend most of their life underground or under debris looking for various arthropods to eat. They reportedly also eat earthworms, which are not native here.

Like many salamanders, they breed in late winter or early spring as soon as the woodland vernal ponds are free of ice. They prefer these temporary ponds for breeding because they have no fish to prey on the salamanders and their eggs and larvae.

I have seen the more common Tiger Salamanders and Blue-spotted Salamanders before, but this is the first Spotted Salamander that I've ever seen.

I hand-held my camera for this shot, used the built-in flash diffused with a Gary Fong Puffer.

tuslaw, CatherineD, Luis52, jusninasirun, marhowie, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To jusninasirun: Thanksjpdenk 2 11-10 18:19
To marhowie: Thanksjpdenk 1 11-10 11:33
To Luis52: Thanksjpdenk 1 11-10 11:19
To tiborsos: Thanksjpdenk 1 11-10 11:13
To genevrois: Thanksjpdenk 1 11-10 11:08
To CatherineD: Thanksjpdenk 1 11-10 11:02
To tuslaw: Thanksjpdenk 1 10-04 20:49
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-10-04 19:58]
  • [+]

Hello John,
Excellent shot of this Spotted Salamander. The detail is awesome and the colors are gorgeous. You can even see the texture of it's spotted skin very nicely. Superb image!!
I missed out on the spring migration this year up at one of our Metro Parks near Akron. It's a really big deal every year when they cross a certain roadway at night to reach a pond for breeding. The park will actually call you on the phone and let you know when they are on the move, if you give them your phone number. I just found out about it this past spring through an article in our local news paper. This year I will definitely be there, and ready to shoot some photos.

Hello John,
Great capture of this beautiful Salamander. Details are so sharp! Very good management of flash with natural colours. Interesting note too. Cheers,

Très belle capture de cette superbe salamandre. Les couleurs sont naturelles. La note est perspicace et intéressante. Merci

to far away to see such a beauty, tfs

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-10-06 18:14]
  • [+]

Hola John.
I think We both have things in common. The same camera, same lens, and proceed the same way when we leave in the same place the small animals after taking the photos.
Beautiful photo. Fine details and elegant colors of this salamander.

Hi John. It has been a while since I last visited your gallery and I was surprised to see so many pictures have disappeared. This is a fine shot and you have captured well with this excellent glass and a new body. The yellow spots strikes out pretty well against the black body. Nicely closed and a great capture as always. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful weekend. Regards. Jusni

Cool critter John, great detail in your closeup..
Good use of flash and the diagonal bark adds nicely to the comp.
Well done, have a great weekend :)

Hi John,

A beautiful shot, the wood texture and cute salamander compliment each other nicely. Very sharp, with vibrant colors. Good job spoting this, the lighting and shadows are excellent. TFS and i wish you a happy and healthy New Year in 2011 with your loved ones MF!


  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-06-16 2:54]

Hello John,
this is a real beauty. Excellent sharpness,especially the shines on its smooth body. Really a wonder as it is so well contrasted, the yellow spots ans the timber floor.
Very well presented shot.


Hallo John,
a superb macro shot of this Salamander taken from an excellent point of view showing impressive details, outstanding sharpness and very beautiful colours.
Best regards

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