The other day I was perusing my folders of salamander photos to find some my sister-in-law could use in a slideshow. I came across the ones below, which I took in March 2004. They are maybe the worst photos I will ever post here, but they document an interesting phenomenon I haven’t witnessed since: red-spotted newts kissing underwater.
There were multiple pairs doing this, and I don’t remember if these photos all show the same couple. Their behavior wasn’t all as gentle as in the above three photos. Some pairs were violently thrashing around.
Eventually I had to intervene to see what was going on. I scooped a pair out of the pond, and in a moment they separated…
…to reveal that they had been stuck together because they had been eating opposite ends of the same earthworm! Like the spaghetti scene in “Lady and the Tramp,” but more like the parody of it in the Simpsons episode “Two Dozen and One Greyhounds,” which ends with the dogs snarling and fighting over the spaghetti.