Once again, Allen Lloyd, local herpetologist, led a magical outing for families through World of Wonder. Once a year in late winter, spotted salamanders congregate in wetland areas to breed. These charismatic amphibians can be found hiding under rotting logs, among wet leaves and detritus. They breed in the water of ephemeral wetlands and the females eggs hatch into larvae. The larval salamanders have gills and remain in the water as they feed and mature. Upon maturation, lungs develop and the salamanders move to land, where they eat earthworms and other invertebrates. A spotted salamander can live to be more than 20 years old! Amphibians are known as “bioindicators”, or species that mirror the health of an ecosystem. Amphibians’ skin is absorptive, so they will often show the effects of pollution before other animals in an ecosystem. A huge thank you to Allen for inspiring the next generation of biologists to love and appreciate these awesome creatures!