There's a Pink Lizard Under my Trailer
"There's a pink lizard under my trailer." These were the words that fellow naturalist Kenny Barnett, otherwise known as NaturalistGuy, heard on his phone one spring day. Here's the odd animal to which they refer (which is actually NOT a lizard at all).
Here's the full story from NaturalistGuy's Facebook page:
"Normally when an animal geek gets a phone call about an all WHITE lizard under a trailer home in Upstate NY, you ask them about their alcohol consumption first. :-) But this woman was persistent! "Mr. Barnett, this creature looks alien," and "Please come see it, my son is getting it into a bucket now with a stick."
ME: "DON'T POKE IT WITH A STICK." LOL.
So I made the long drive to take a gander at her "mole-creature" that looked as if it was "dropped in pinkish/white paint." This was 2009 if I remember right (which is like saying I remember right).
Astonishment might be the word when I got out of the car to the lady running toward me with a bucket. Inside, sat a LEUCISTIC mutation of the YELLOW SPOTTED SALAMANDER, Ambystoma maculatum. A mutation- where the animal lacks most melanin on the body, but has pigment in the eyes. . .this was a once in a life time find for anyone.
I kept the animal for a few days. An exhibit here had pondered putting it on display for eduction. Eventually the decision was to return it to the vernal area where it had survived against the odds. A very remarkable creature."