fourtoed salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)
CHARACTERISTICS: This species is 2 to 3.5 inches in length. The
back is brown and the belly is white with conspicuous scattered black
dots. This salamander is unique because it has 4 toes on each hind foot
(most salamanders have 5) as well as 4 on each front foot. The female
lays 30-50 eggs under sphagnum moss in early March, and the larvae
hatch in May. The larvae mature at 1.5 years. Brooding is a solitary ac-
tivity, but there is communal egg laying by up to 14 females. This spe-
cies is aquatic in the larval stage and terrestrial as an adult.
DISTRIBUTION: This salamander is found in the Coastal Plain (except
extreme southeast Virginia), Piedmont, and Ridge and Valley regions of
Virginia. It inhabits bogs, seepages or shallow ponds with moss-covered
logs, roots and grass clumps over quiet water. It is usually found in areas
with sphagnum moss.
FOODS: The four-toed salamander eats adult and larval insects, arthro-
pods, worms and other terrestrial invertebrates.
Crooked Run Valley