Spotted Salamanders

By Gerry Bishop

The spots on this spotted salamander warn predators that the creature tastes really bad! Read on for more fast facts about spotted sallies.

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DOUBLE LIVES
Spotted salamanders are amphibians (am-FIB-ee-unz). That means they live part of their lives in water and part on land. Spotted sallies start out in ponds. But as adults, they spend most of their time underground or among fallen leaves and under logs on damp forest floors. In spring, the adults come out of hiding and return to their home ponds to breed and lay eggs.

EARLY LIFE STAGES

  • After mating, female salamanders lay jelly-like clumps of eggs on sticks and stems underwater.
  • A larva grows inside each egg.
  • After hatching, a larva uses its feathery gills to breathe. A wide, flat tail helps it swim.

DIGGING FOR DINNER
Spotted salamanders dig tunnels where they find earthworms, insects, spiders, slugs, and other small creatures to feast on. Some tunnels are very shallow, but others are as deep as five feet! Sometimes—especially after a rain—spotted salamanders come out to hunt for prey.

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