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Salamanders and newts of Pennsylvania


Salamanders and newts of Pennsylvania By: Jordan, Bryan, Tony What are Salamanders and Newts? Salamanders are a secretive and nocturnal, amphibious creature. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Salamanders and newts of Pennsylvania

Salamanders and newts of Pennsylvania
  • By Jordan, Bryan, Tony

What are Salamanders and Newts?
  • Salamanders are a secretive and nocturnal,
    amphibious creature.
  • Their skin is smooth and must remain moist.
  • Salamanders lack the claws, scales and external
    ear opening of the lizards.

Difference between Newts and Salamanders
  • There different Historically not usually
    scientifically .
  • A Salamander is called a newt if is in a certain
  • Newts have distinct differences between the sex
    and their courtship.
  • Newts usually spend more time in water then
    salamanders as adults.

Eastern Hell Bender
  • The hellbender is more commonly gray, but some
    specimens could be an olive-brown to almost black
  • The body and head are flattened. Several loose
    flaps of thick, wrinkled skin hang along the
    lower sides. The legs are short and stout with
    four toes on the hind legs. The tail is flat and
    rudder like.
  • Habitat- Cool clear streams near vegetation.

  • Gray to brownish to almost black, stomach
    speckled gray with a few large dark spots, larvae
    and juvenile have broad dark strips down back
    that are border by yellow stripes.
  • Habitat- streams and weedy ponds, the mudpuppy
    needs water that has coverings (rocks, weeds or
    logs) and are more abundant in clear waters, but
    can withstand muddy water if clear water is
    available for reproduction, shelters by day in
    deep water under rocks and wood overhangs.

Jefferson Salamander
  • This salamander is long and slender with a wide
    snout. Its toes are proportionately longer than
    those of most other salamanders. The back and
    sides are brownish gray the belly is a shade
    lighter. The area surrounding the vent is usually
  • Habitat- They are burrowers, spending most of
    their lives underground. Usually Only see it
    during the spring time when they are spawning.

Spotted salamander
  • Two rows of large yellow or orange spots run
    erratically the length of the body. Beginning on
    the head and near the eyes, the spots end at the
    tip of the tail. The spots on the head usually
    are orange even though the spots on the rest of
    the body could be yellow. The ground color ranges
    from black, to blue-black, to dark gray or dark
    brown. The belly is slate-gray.
  • Habitat-Spotted salamanders require woodlands
    with ponds for breeding. Fish free ponds are
    best, but Figiel and Semlitsch (1990) found that
    larvae may change habitat usage to survive in
    ponds containing fish.

Marbled Salamander
  • The body is dark gray to black, with bold white
    or silvery cross bands. On the female these bands
    tend to be a bit more gray. Occasionally the
    cross bands run together on the sides, encasing a
    black area within a striking outline of white.
    The belly is black and unmarked.
  • Habitat- Adult marbled salamanders live in damp
    woodlands, often close to ponds or streams.
    Unlike most other mole salamanders, this species
    does not breed in water. Adult marbled
    salamanders breed only in dried up pools, ponds,
    and ditches, and females lay their eggs under the
    leaves there. The eggs hatch after the ponds
    refill. ()

Red Spotted Newt
  • Efts are brilliantly colored, generally
    orange-red, to dull red or orange. The adults are
    duller than the efts, and are usually
    olive-green, brown, or dark greenish-brown, with
    yellow bellies.
  • Habitat-Immature larvae and the adult newts live
    in small bodies of freshwater (ponds, small
    lakes, ditches, and marshes) usually with mud
    bottoms. Adults can survive on land if their
    aquatic habitat becomes unsuitable adults may
    move onto land during dry periods when the water
    is low or to rid themselves of ectoparasites. The
    juvenile "eft" stage lives in lakeshore and
    woodland habitats and is often seen in forest
    litter on rainy nights

Green Salamander (Threatened Species)
  • The green salamanders green or greenish-yellow
    irregular patches stand out boldly against an
    otherwise black body. It is a slender salamander
    with a flattened body. The head, however, appears
    to be swollen in the area just behind the eyes.
    The toes are square-tipped and expanded.
  • Habitat-Crevices in cliff faces, rock outcrops,
    and caves in shaded, mesic hardwood forests.
    Crevices are moist, but not permanently wet.
    Occasionally found under fallen tree bark, or in
    rotting logs and stumps that probably feature
    lower temperatures and higher relative humidity.

Northern Dusky Salamander
  • The northern dusky salamander is gray to tan or
    dark brown on the back becoming a bit lighter on
    each side. Although usually plain, a close
    inspection may sometimes show mottling not much
    darker than the background color. Larvae and
    juveniles have pairs of oval blotches on each
    side that often fuse together to form streaks
    running the length of the body. The underside is
    pinkish with blue-gray speckles.
  • Habitat-It is abundant in stream, springs,
    seepages in bottomland forests and wooded ravines
    throughout most of Virginia. It is rare in the
    ridge and valley region above 1200 feet
    elevation. This salamander inhabits a variety of
    habitats, both aquatic and semi-aquatic.

Appalachian Seal Salamander
  • The Appalachian seal salamander has a robust body
    similar to its cousin, the northern dusky
    salamander. The tail makes up about half the
    total length of this salamander. Although the
    body can be variably patterned, it is mainly
    light brown or grayish above with dark brown or
    black wavy streaks or reticulations that stand
    out markedly.
  • Habitat-The seal salamander is found in the
    Appalachian mountains and adjacent areas of the
    piedmont in Virginia. It inhabits hardwood
    forests near rocky, cold streams, seepages, and
    springs. It is most abundant at elevations below
    1370 meters.

Mountain Dusky Salamander
  • The Mountain Dusky Salamander is a slender
    species whose hind legs are stouter than its
    front legs. Adults may reach lengths of 7-10 cm
    (2.75-4 in), and are quite variable in color. In
    the northern reaches of their range, they
    typically have a yellow, orange, olive, gray,
    tan, brown, or reddish straight-edged stripe that
    runs down the back and tail. The stripe is
    bordered with black.
  • Habitat- you would most likely find it near wet
    rock faces, springs, woodlands, seepage areas and
    streams, and under stones, logs and leaves where
    the ground is wet

Northern two-lined salamander
  • Northern two-lined salamanders are 2.5-3.75
    inches long. This salamander has two dark lines,
    each running from the eye down to the tail (one
    on each side). The belly is yellow.
  • Habitat- Found near brooks and streams. Always
    close to water.

Long tail salamander
  • A long (up to 16 cm TL), slender lemon-yellow to
    yellowish orange salamander with scattered black
    blotches along back and sides. Belly yellow to
    cream and usually unspotted.
  • Habitat- Near cool streams and spring seeps in
    forests of dissected, rocky uplands and valley
    edges. Dark-sided subspecies partial to twilight
    zones of caves, sometimes deep within caves and
    along surface streams nearby.

Northern spring salamander
  • The Northern Spring Salamander is a long
    salamander with a moderately robust build. It is
    variable in color, ranging from pinkish or salmon
    to yellowish-brown. They also tend to be mottled,
    with a darker pigment on the back. The lower
    sides of the body and the belly are pinkish or
    yellowish, and there are often dark spots on the
    belly, throat, and lower jaw of older adults.
  • Habitat- Spring Salamanders are semi-aquatic,
    spending a majority of their time in springs, wet
    caves, and cool, clear mountain brooks (Tenn.
    Aquarium, 1998). Spring Salamanders can also be
    found under stones and logs near stream edges
    (Wild Portraits, 2000). Because they are lung
    less, and must obtain oxygen through their skin,
    Spring Salamanders are limited to areas where
    there is adequate oxygen and moisture.

Four-toed salamander
  • The Four-toed Salamander is a relatively small
    salamander with adults typically only reaching
    lengths of 2 to 3.5 inches (5 to 10cm). As its
    name implies, the Four-toed Salamander can be
    readily identified from the presence of only four
    toes on each hind foot.
  • Habitat-This species favored habitats are
    sphagnum bogs, grassy areas surrounding beaver
    ponds and deciduous or mixed forests rich with

Red back salamander
  • A relative of the Ravine Salamander, the Red back
    Salamander has an elongated body, small limbs and
    a rounded tail. They generally exist in two color
    phases referred to as the red back, or lead
    back. The red back phase has a red,
    orange-red, or brownish-red stripe on its back
    that runs from the head to mid-tail. Also, its
    sides are generally dark gray.
  • Habitat-These salamanders are primarily found in
    upland coniferous and mixed forests. Soil ph. is
    important. They are found in and under rotting
    logs, stones, bark, and other debris. I have
    found these salamanders in moss mats in water
    saturated potholes in Pine County.

Slimy salamander
  • The slimy salamander has mainly black skin,
    covered by abundant silver-white or brassy
    specks, or both the ventrum has variable shades
    but is generally lighter than the dorsum.
  • Habitat-The slimy salamander is commonly found
    beneath stones and decaying logs in wooded areas
    and alongside streams, as well as in the crevices
    of shale banks and along the sides of gullies and

Wehrles Salamander
  • Coloration of body is dark gray or brown with a
    row of irregular whitish spots along the side of
    body.  The throat is white or splotched with
    white, while belly is gray.  Have webbing on hind
  • Habitat-Usually found in upland forests under
    stones, rotting logs, rock crevices, and caves
    throughout the mountains of North Carolina.

Northern Red Salamander
  • The Northern Red Salamander is a stout-bodied,
    bright reddish-orange salamander with small
    irregular black spots and a yellow iris. The
    lower sides and belly are light salmon or red,
    and the lower jaw may have dark spotting.
  • Habitat-They can be found under logs, moss, and
    rocks near clean springs and brooks

Eastern tiger salamander
  • This chubby, small eyed salamander has a dark
    background color, ranging from black to deep
    brown, and is patterned with yellowish or olive
    irregular light markings. The belly is an
    olive-yellowish color marbled with a dark
    pigment. The snout of the Eastern Tiger
    Salamander is rounded and the eyes are often gold
    in color.
  • Habitat-The tiger salamander inhabits sandy pine
    barren areas with temporary or permanent pools
    for breeding.

Eastern mud salamander
  • Coloration of body is red with a brown eye.  Body
    is also covered in black spots.  This species has
    a short tail and a small snout.
  • Habitat-Usually inhabits the coastal plain and
    piedmont of North Carolina.  The Eastern Mud
    Salamander is found in muddy environments of
    springs, streams, seepages, and swamps.  They
    often burrow in the mud or hide in crayfish holes
    to escape predators.

Northern ravine salamander
  • Ravine salamanders are elongate and slender with
    short legs and a long tail that accounts for
    about 50 of the total length.  Their dorsal
    color is brown to black frequently with many gold
    or white flecks and their Venter is uniformly
    dark with minute white mottling. 
  • Habitat-Forested hillsides and slopes, where it
    is almost exclusively found under rocks.

Valley and Ridge Salamander
  • It has short legs, a long tail, and usually 21
    costal grooves. The dorsum is dark brown to black
    with scattered white or brassy flecks.
  • Habitat-The Valley and Ridge Salamander inhabits
    forested habitats in the upper Valley and Ridge
    province, where it is found under flat rocks and
    logs. It is apparently tolerant of cool
    temperatures and is most active in late winter
    and early spring. They disappear deep underground
    during the hotter summer months only to reappear
    near the surface during early fall.