Spotted Salamander

Ambystoma maculatum

Identification

The Spotted Salamander is the largest of Vermont’s three mole salamanders. It grows up to 9 inches long. It is a black salamander with bright yellow spots. Spotted Salamanders have strong legs and a broad flat head.

They spend most of the year underground in shrew, mole, or mouse tunnels, hence the term mole salamander. They move to deeper tunnels to overwinter below the frost line.

Records in Vermont of Ambystoma maculatum (Spotted Salamander)

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Range/Habitat

Spotted Salamanders feed and overwinter in upland hardwood and mixed forests. They breed in vernal pools, beaver ponds, or old farm ponds. The Spotted Salamander is found statewide.

Status

This species has a state natural heritage rank of S5 (common). The Spotted Salamander also has been designated a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (medium priority) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan. Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful.

Additional Photos

Photo by Hope Valerie Pashos. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)  Photo by Hope Valerie Pashos. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)    Photo by A. Rooney. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)  Photo by Ned Bohman. (All photos on this site are © copyright to the photographer and used by permission.)

More Info

Species summary written by Ariel K. McK. Burgess.

Mating Salamanders in Water

Video by Chris Fastie, copyright ©2002. Used by permission.

He writes, “About 200 spotted salamanders were in my backyard pond in Salisbury, Vermont on April 9, 2002. It was a rainy evening, but the rain had stopped so the salamanders could be seen well in the water.”