submitted to FrogWatch and other amphibian monitoring programs at the end of the
We have permission to care for salamanders for 24 hrs for analysis in the laboratory.
Each salamander will be supplied with five two-week crickets in their holding facility
immediately upon their return to the laboratory. Salamanders will be transported in
plastic containers, measuring 30 cm X 20 cm X 12 cm and stored on shelving in my
office that receives plenty of natural light. Food will also be available to the salamanders
through the debris you include in their portable terrarium. Containers will be lined with
litter substrate from where the animal is captured, moistened with mineral water, and are
perforated for adequate ventilation. Salamanders will be kept for no longer than 24 hrs,
fed crickets for recovery after examination, and returned the following day to their place
of capture. You will need to coordinate your activities such that the outlined techniques
can be executed in the morning to give you time to return the salamanders the next day.
Try to coordinate your plans such that you return to the site of capture to do the
ecological classification, for example.
Dorsal Stripe Spectrometer
On some days you will have captured and transported one to two salamanders back with
you (50 salamanders through the season). The dorsal stripe of these salamanders will be
analyzed for spectral reflectance values using a spectrometer connected to a dissecting
microscope. The spectrometer techniques are new and will require a bit of work until a
standard protocol is developed. We ordered a USB2000 spectrometer with a 25 µm slit
and grating with a 350-1000 nm color range from OceanOptics
. The spectrometer will
be connected via fiber optic cable to a dissection microscope and supplied with a
Tungsten Halogen light source. The sampling geometry and lighting are important
parameters that must be consistent and MDT will supervise on this project.
We will salamanders in greater detail at the lab using the techniques of Alford et al.
(1997). In addition to the measurements in the Amphibian Field Card (see field
notebook) you will take measurements of the fore and hind lengths. A set of digital
calipers will be used and measurements will be taken blind; we would like to set this up
as a double blind experiment up such that you won't see the caliper measurement, just
push a button to record length to a computer when the calipers are in place. Each
measurement is taken three times. A detailed morphological measurement scheme will be
developed as you work on this project with MDT at the start of the field season.
Analytical Chemistry: Skin Secretions & Nutrients
Your independent study project will provide an important contribution to our monitoring
methods. We will use and develop upon the techniques of Grant and Land (2002) and
Grant and Evans (2007) to obtain noxious secretions. You will be working through the
- see also
Salamanders will be transported in plastic containers, measuring 30 cm X 20 cm X 12 cm and stored on shelving in my office that receives plenty of natural light. Salamanders will be kept for no longer than 24 hrs, fed crickets for recovery after examination, and returned the following day to their place of capture. Dorsal Stripe Spectrometer On some days you will have captured and transported one to two salamanders back with you (50 salamanders through the season).