and newts call each other?
According to Dave Collins, the Aquarium’s curator of forests,
some salamanders and newts do call to each other. Collins
says their calls are just not as loud, or as often as frogs and
toads. “Vocalization is very limited in salamanders, but
does occur. Some species of lungless salamanders in the
southern Appalachians produce soft squeaks, while some large
aquatic salamanders of the Southeast United States create low
whistles at times. A variety of barks, clicks, squeaks
and whistles are made by newts from Europe and western North
America, Pacific giant salamanders and the mole salamanders.”
Collins adds that the limited knowledge of sound production
in salamanders seems to associate vocalizations with defense. Frogs
and toads tend to call mainly to attract a mate.
Salamanders also communicate with one another both chemically
and visually. Collins explains that many salamander species
have well developed glands used in courtship behaviors. These
are often referred to as “hedonic” glands. This chemical
invitation often leads to very complex, stereotypical and species
specific courtship “dances” during the mating process.
Whether for defense or for love, communication among newts and
salamanders seems to be used only when needed. Collins
says, “There’s not a lot of casual conversation going
on with these critters. At least that we know about.”