Alaska Herpetological Society
Northwestern Salamander (Ambystoma gracile)
Adults: 20-22cm (7-8.7in) total length from nose to tip of tale. Gray/brown color, smooth skin, costal grooves evident, large paratoid glands behind eyes, back may have flecks of green or yellow. Males become darker than females during the breeding season.
Eggs: Laid in clusters of 30-270 eggs (often 60 – 140), masses usually 5-15.2cm (2-6in) in diameter, masses sometimes have green color from algae, attached to vegetation, submerged trees in slow moving streams, ponds or lakes (usually permanent.
Larvae: 7.5-15cm (3-6in) long, body is brown, olive green or light yellow on top, sides are blotched (sooty) with yellow spots, glandular strip on tail fin.
1. Northwestern Salamanders are found in coastal forests, next to freshwater (ponds, lakes, muskegs); under logs or rocks.
2. Adults are terrestrial and primarily live underground!
3. They are usually active on the surface only during rains and migrations to their aquatic breeding sites.
4. They can be found from sea level to tree line!
5. Some adults may remain neotenic meaning they remain aquatic with gills for their entire lives.
6. The distribution and status of this species in Alaska is unknown and in need of study.
Northwestern Salamander Video
(Note: There are also Long-toed Salamanders in this video. They have the yellow dorsal stripe)