The Alaska Herpetological Society

THE HOTTEST SOCIETY IN THE NORTH

Long-toed Salamander (Ambystoma macrodactylum)

     

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Adults: 5.0 – 8.1cm (2.2-3.3 in) from snout to vent. They are dark to black above and have a yellow dorsal stripe running from their head back almost to the tip of the tail. Usually have a white or silver flecking on their sides as well. Often with distinctive grooves along their sides.

 

Eggs: Laid singly and in masses (highly variable). May be attached to vegetation, underside of logs or laid unattached on bare sediments. Masses typically contain 10-20 eggs but smaller or larger clusters are common. 

 

   

 

Larvae: May be hard to distinguish from Northwestern Salamander. Above are two larval stages (the bottom being an older individual). Notice no line of spots like the Rough-skinned Newt!

 

FACTS

1.  Long-toed salamanders are found in a variety of habitats but usually not very far from a water source.

2.  Adults spend most of their lives underground except when migrating to and from breeding sites!

3.   They are thought to be poor burrowers and may generally depend on underground spaces between rocks, roots, rotting wood and tunnels built by other animals.

4.  While active on the surface in the spring they seek refuge under decaying logs, bark, rocks and other structures to maintain moisture.

5.  Adults are terrestrial and almost exclusively nocturnal.

6.  A long 4th toe on the rear feet gives this salamander species its name.

 

Long-toed Salamander Video