Signs of infection with Bsal (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans) often only become visible a few days before the host dies. Even then the symptoms may be difficult to recognize. When infected animals are found they are therefor often already dead.
The pictures (right) depict how the fungus affects the epidermis. Over time spots and erosion's in the skin become visible. The fungus causes skin irritation and can drive the animals to leave their hiding places and sometimes can be found in dead in plain sight. During the mating season dead animals can also be found in streams and other bodies of water in their habitat. Recently deceased animals are often in tact and sometimes the infection is visible. To determine if the animal is indeed infected with Bsal tests need to be done in the laboratory (DNA-tests and histopathological examination).
Things to look out for:
- Salamanders with very obvious wounds often died of other cause then chytridiomycosis. Animals found on roads are often victims of traffic. Salamanders found dead or wounded near ponds or other water bodies are often partially predated by for example herons or other predators.
- In garden ponds that completely freeze over in winter and subsequently thaw in spring dead salamanders may be found (often accompanied by other aquatic organisms like frogs and fishes). Dead animals found under these conditions are often the results of a lack oxygen in the water while the surface was frozen. Via this link you can find tips and tricks on how to prevent mortalities due to lack of oxygen.
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