During my Vertebrate biology class last week, we discussed amphibians. A large portion of the lecture was devoted to salamander diversity within the Appalachian Mountains. Apparently, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the "Salamander Capital of the World". In fact, there are five different families of salamanders that reside in the park: Cryptobranchidae, Proteidae, Salamandridae, Ambystomatidae, and Plethodontidae.
This discussion sparked my interest, because I was immediately reminded of the times that I had fished with live salamanders in the pond behind my house as a child. I can remember catching salamanders in the creeks, and then watching big largemouth bass go crazy over them. Those salamanders were like magical fish magnets. (Unfortunately, I could only find them readily during the spring.)
After class I started thinking that big browns might also feed readily on salamanders. After all, salamanders are amphibians, so they spend the early portion of their lives in water. Given the great diversity of salamander life within the park, it might be worth the effort to develop some salamander patterns for future experimentation.
What do you all think?