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 Post subject: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 22nd, 2017, 5:21 pm 
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Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm
Posts: 94
So, what is an endemic? The term endemic I feel often has many meanings. For instance the dictionary definition is of one existing in a certain place. This means that when you describe an animal as endemic you must tack on a location to the end. However by this definition the Southern Two-lined Salamander, the most common species of salamander in Kentucky, is endemic to the US and that to me just doesn't seem right. Because of this I have my own pseudoscience criteria for a species to be called an endemic. First: A species must have a fairly small range when compared to other species. Second: A species must be unique to to a certain habitat. Third: A species must have an interesting life history or unique features that set it apart from others. So having clarified that let me show you some of the great "endemic" salamanders I found during Summer vacation. After all if you ask me salamanders have more "endemics" than anything else, which is probably why I love them so much.

Having finished my junior year of high school, which is by far the toughest, I wanted to put as much distance between me and standardized testing. This naturally meant a trip to Western North Carolina for a few days.
ImageSouthern Pygmy Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageBlue Ridge Gray-cheeked Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

After a day back in Lexington I had just enough time to pack for a week long camping trip with my dad in Virginian Blue Ridge and Allegheny Highlands.
ImagePeaks of Otter Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageBig Levels Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageShenandoah Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageCow Knob Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Lifer! This guy was my 100th salamander species!

ImageCheat Mountain Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

Back in Lexington for ten days and then on the road ( well actually plane) again to waste some time finding for snakes in New Mexico. I guess the trip wasn't a total loss with this guy :lol:
ImageSacramento Mountains Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Lifer!

Flew back to Lex for a whole two weeks this time and caught up with some friends before taking yet another father/son camping trip this time to the Southern Appalachians.
ImageSouthern Pygmy Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageJordan's Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageImitator Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

ImageRed-legged Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Lifer! This guy does have a much more encompassing range and generalized habitat than most of the others but I'll let it slide considering this was my favorite find of the summer.

ImageDwarf Black-bellied Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Lifer!

ImageChattahoochee Slimy Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
LIfer! Another sketchy endemic but honestly they're only found in Georgia's Appalachians.

ImageTellico Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

After that I was back in KY for four days and then spent my remaining vacation in Colorado with a friend. However while summer vacation was over the season of summer continued until Labor Day Weekend which gave me the time to get one last endemic.
ImagePigeon Mountain Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr

As you could probably tell I covered a lot of ground and am extremely thankful for being so fortunate. I also picked up more than what was just seen here so if you'd like to Czech out all my finds there on my Flickr page. That's all folks and thanks for reading. I hope to find even more "endemics" this fall considering the mid-summer curse is finally wearing off.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2017, 8:59 am 

Joined: June 2nd, 2012, 5:35 am
Posts: 7
Very, very nice set of sally photos. I study Blue spot and their hybrids, red backed, spotted, tigers and newts in Southern Michigan.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2017, 10:05 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm
Posts: 1145
Wicked nice! I want to see all those salamanders in the field. Your photographs are excellent.

Everything is endemic at some spatial scale. You did a nice job on the definition. Its a tough thing to define.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 23rd, 2017, 12:35 pm 
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Joined: March 22nd, 2012, 6:19 pm
Posts: 474
Wow! What an excellent selection, and congratulations on over 100 species of salamanders! I'd love to see some of those one day.

– Justin


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 28th, 2017, 2:31 pm 
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Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm
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jcb59 wrote:
Very, very nice set of sally photos. I study Blue spot and their hybrids, red backed, spotted, tigers and newts in Southern Michigan.

Thanks, man! You can't help but love those tigers and laterale.

Bryan Hamilton wrote:
Wicked nice! I want to see all those salamanders in the field. Your photographs are excellent.

Everything is endemic at some spatial scale. You did a nice job on the definition. Its a tough thing to define.


Thanks, Bryan! I tried my best so I'm glad it didn't just come off as a crazy rant :lol: .

intermedius wrote:
Wow! What an excellent selection, and congratulations on over 100 species of salamanders! I'd love to see some of those one day.

– Justin


Thanks, Justin. I will never forget that Cow Knob and it was definitely one of the biggest achievement of my life so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 28th, 2017, 8:00 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:22 am
Posts: 482
Location: Athens, OH
I think you did a nice job of defining endemic. And great photos.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 29th, 2017, 4:38 pm 
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Joined: January 19th, 2014, 4:34 pm
Posts: 522
Location: Springfield, VA
Excellent photos! I saw a few of these species earlier this year and now I'm jealous with how your shots turned out. Did you not manage to find a Shenandoah Mountain Salamander? They were in the same habitat as Cow Knob Salamanders for me, but more abundant.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: September 29th, 2017, 7:54 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am
Posts: 3483
Fantastic set of salis!

I would love a second post with each of those salamanders next to their microhabitat.


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics (Fall edit)
PostPosted: October 5th, 2017, 4:46 pm 
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Joined: January 18th, 2015, 3:04 pm
Posts: 94
Carl Brune wrote:
I think you did a nice job of defining endemic. And great photos.


Thanks, Carl! It's an interesting term to define, not to mention of my favorites to constantly throw around.

mtratcliffe wrote:
Excellent photos! I saw a few of these species earlier this year and now I'm jealous with how your shots turned out. Did you not manage to find a Shenandoah Mountain Salamander? They were in the same habitat as Cow Knob Salamanders for me, but more abundant.


Thanks, Matt. Salamander photography takes a lot of patience, to say the least. I did not see any P. virginia this time but on a previous visit, I did. It likely had to do with the seasonality of the small plethodons.

jonathan wrote:
Fantastic set of salis!

I would love a second post with each of those salamanders next to their microhabitat.


Great idea Jonathan! Sadly I'm rubbish at photographing anything other than the herp itself. Some of these species though like the pygs have really interesting habitat preferences.

Well, Fall break has arrived and that means more salamander searching in between college visits. So here's another one.

ImageCheoah Bald Salamander by Kevin Hutcheson, on Flickr
Lifer!


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 Post subject: Re: Some Summer Endemics
PostPosted: October 11th, 2017, 5:14 am 
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Joined: June 29th, 2011, 12:56 am
Posts: 777
Location: Belgium
100 salamander species! :shock: :thumb:
Great post!


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