Introduction:

Last year, I had a week off from work in the middle of August, which happened to coincide with the beginning of Japanese Giant Salamander breeding season. I didn’t have anything better to do, so I talked a friend into accompanying me on a trip to search for Andrias japonicus in Oita prefecture, the only region of Kyushu known to harbor these awesome caudates.  I’d seen live specimens of A.japonicus, A.davidianus (Chinese Giant Salamander) and Cryptobranchus alleganiensis (the awesomely named Hellbender) in museums and zoos, but I was determined to observe a giant salamander in-situ.

Our plan was to take a train as close as we could get to the area where the salamanders are known to occur, walk the rest of the way (about 20 miles) to the site and camp out until we found the critters.

the route walked from Usa Station to our intended destination.

 

Usa Shrine:

An hour into our walk, we came to Usa shrine. With ponds and plenty of vegetation, there was herping to be done.

 

Glandirana rugosaGlandirana rugosa.  Common names: Wrinkled-Frog , ツチガエル (tsuchigaeru)

 

Fejervarya limnocharisFejervarya limnocharis. Common names: Alpine Cricket Frog/ ヌマがエル(numagaeru)

 

 

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