There are some memorable days when some of your higher-ranked wishes on your “most wanted” list really happen. Among mine, I always dreamt to witness the live bearing of a fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra) in the wild.
If you are on this site you probably already know that I’m not a fool and my passion for the smaller living beings goes straight to the higher ranks of that list.
Some days ago my child times wishes came true and, funnily enough, very close to my hometown Genova.
I was out in search of some mating couples of common toads along a nice stream, where many other species of Amphibians live and breed. Suddenly I realized that among those rocks and submerged tree trunks, emerging at the edge of a stream pool there was something alive, something yellow and black and it was in the middle of the day, a bright sunny day!
Seeing a fire salamander during such kind of weather isn’t really a normal thing. Moreover, that black and yellow “piece of living plastic” was in fact a female fire salamander during the delicate process of live bearing her larvae into the water flow. That stream gave me a huge gift, cause in two days of exploration of the area I found a total of 7 (seven!!!) females! It was something I never thought to be able to see in such big numbers!
In the end I was also able to take some underwater shots of the newly born larva close to its mother. Just a few shots before the larva made a wriggle and disappeared into the depths of the pool, in the relative security of rocks and mud. I didn’t want to bother too much her mother, so I left the beautiful female to her mission and left the place.
No toads were active there, nature didn’t want me to find any toad, but hey, I returned home with a large big smile and a unforgettable experience to tell.
Note about the images: all shots were taken inside my beloved Antola Regional Park (a small but amazing park near my city, Genova) with a underwater equipment.