spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS: This is a fairly large salamander that is gray

or black with large, rounded, yellow or orange spots from the head

through the tail. The belly is pale slate without spots or blotches. Adults

reach a total length of 4.5-7.75 in (11.2-9.7 cm). The males are slightly slimmer than the females and in the breeding season they may be recog-

nized by the protuberant vent. With first warm rains they breed in pools

with egg masses up to 200. The eggs hatch in 30 to 55 days. During the summer and winter, adults live underground and in early spring they mi-

grate at night to small woodland ponds to breed. The critical environment-

al factors affecting the timing of migration appear to be temperatures

above freezing in conjunction with moisture provided either by snow or

rain.

 

DISTRIBUTION: This salamander occurs statewide in Virginia, with

the exception of the far southeastern portion of the Coastal Plain and the
barrier islands. It inhabits bottomland forests and floodplains, but may
also be found in upland forests with suitable breeding sites (semi-per-

manent pools about 1 m deep). These salamanders are fossorial during

the nonbreeding season and migrate to ponds, streams, or pools to breed.

 

FOODS: Larvae feed on zooplankton, but will also take aquatic insects,
isopods, dragonfly larvae and other small aquatic invertebrates. Adults
prey on a variety of terrestrial invertebrates including earthworms, mol-

lusks, spiders, insects and even other salamanders.

 

 

Back to Invntory of Amphibian Families and Species

Home Page

Park Activities

   Calendar of Events
  
Volunteer Programs

   Park Regulations

Sky Meadows Park
  
Location
   Geography
   Habitats
   Trails
   Visiting Park

   Virtual Tours

Crooked Run Valley

   Historic District

   Architecture Sites

   Mt. Bleak

   Historical Events

   Park History

   Agriculture

Special Projects

   Blue Bird

   Biodiversity Survey

   BioBlitz

 

Home Page

Nature Guide

   Purpose

   Databases

   Copyright

Plants

   Trees

   Shrubs

   Vines

   Forbs/Herbs

   Ferns

   Grasses

Animals

   Mammals

   Birds

   Reptiles

   Amphibians

   Fish

   Butterflies

   Bees

Fungi

   Mushrooms

   Lichens