Nature Now

April 15, 2022

Nature Now by Andrew Hoffman, Ph.D., Postdoctoral researcher School of Environment and Natural Resources Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology Laboratory

Spring is finally here! As the first woodland wildflowers bloom, we can expect to start hearing the chorusing of toads and treefrogs throughout Ohio. The eggs left in vernal pools and wetlands by spotted salamanders and wood frogs over the last two months are now hatching and you can start to watch the tiny larvae grow day by day. Our reptiles are also becoming more active as eastern gartersnakes, northern watersnakes, and other "Natricines" begin to regularly come out to bask, move about, and even mate. You might start noticing painted turtles and snapping turtles out basking or crossing roads to get to a wetland or pond as well. Even Ohio's rare rattlesnakes (the timber rattlesnake and massasauga) are starting to come out of their dens to soak up some sun. It will still be a week or two before most reptiles are truly out and moving around the landscape, but it is all starting now! April and May are the best months for seeing amphibians and reptiles active as they represent the biggest overlap in activity between many of our amphibians (which are most active in late winter and spring) and reptiles (which are more active in late spring and summer). It's a great time to get out and explore!

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