Dave's Pond

History of a Significan Indiana Herpatological Site


  • John O. Whitaker, Jr. Indiana State University
  • David C. Rubin Central State University


Dave’s Pond, 1 ¼ miles NE of Sandcut in northeastern Vigo County, Indiana, is compared to ‘‘Sand Hill’’, now part of Deming Park on the eastern edge of Terre Haute, Indiana, which was a favored collecting site of the naturalist W. S. Blatchley in the 1890s. Both sites lie at the juncture of Illinoian uplands and Wisconsinan lowlands, have sandy soils, and include ponds, woods, and meadows. At Sand Hill, Blatchley collected 35 species of amphibians and reptiles; some have not been found elsewhere in Vigo County and some are probably no longer extant in the county. In comparison, Dave’s Pond yielded 21 species of amphibians and reptiles including the state endangered crawfish frog (Lithobates areolatus); the spadefoot toad (Scaphiopus holbrookii), which had previously been known in Indiana no closer than 65 miles to the southeast; the newt (Notophthalmus viridescens), which has not been found recently at any other locality in Vigo County or the surrounding counties in Indiana and Illinois; and Kirtland’s snake (Clonophis kirtlandii), another species of special concern. The Dave’s Pond population of crawfish frogs is the only known extant population in Vigo County and may be the most northern extant population in the state. Most species of pond breeding amphibians found in Vigo County were found at both Sand Hill and Dave’s Pond. Sand Hill has been considerably altered and no longer has the habitat or the herpetofauna that existed in the 1890s. Dave’s Pond, while degraded to some extent, remains a significant herpetological site.