Puddle breeding amphibians breed in ephemeral wetlands, also known as vernal pools, seasonal, and temporary ponds. Many species may also breed in any small, fishless water source including tire ruts, roadside ditches and even pool covers that have collected rainwater. These types of wetlands contain no fish, and over 60% of our Atlanta amphibian species will use, or need to use ephemeral wetlands to breed.
Pond breeding amphibians breed in permanent wetlands such as ponds and lakes. These species often have special adaptations to live with fish such as toxic tadpoles. Bullfrogs, for example have toxic tadpoles that take more than a year to develop and metamorphose! 14% of our urban amphibian species breed in permanent ponds.
Stream breeding amphibians (mostly salamanders) live and breed in, around or near a stream or creek and their presence (or absence) can indicate stream health. More than a quarter of our urban amphibian species breed in streams, mostly salamanders.
Terrestrial breeders, such as a couple of salamanders in the genus Plethodon do not need a water source to breed. They can lay their eggs terrestrially and as long as the eggs are kept moist, they can develop and hatch into larvae for a short period before metamorphosing into terrestrial juveniles. Only 2 of our urban amphibian species can breed terrestrially.
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