DEEP: Spotted Salamander

Spotted Salamander

(Ambystoma maculatum)

{Spotted Salamander}

IDENTIFICATION: Robust, broad head, gray coloration with bright yellow spots on back and tail. Large, adults 120-200 mm total length, females considerably larger than males.

This is Connecticut's most widespread mole salamander, reported from all the state's ecoregions. It is, however, undergoing a long-term decline within the state not only because of the loss of its vernal pool breeding habitats, but of even more importance, the reduction of upland habitat surrounding its aquatic breeding sites, as well as road mortality. Most wetland regulations proscribe a 50-100 foot wide forested buffer around vernal pools. This buffer is to maintain water quality. To maintain the amphibian biodiversity of a vernal pool requires 500 feet or more of primarily forested habitat surrounding salamander breeding pools. Section 26-55-3-A of the Connecticut Code protects spotted salamanders by limiting possession to no more than three adults at any time. Section 26-66-13-B prohibits collection of eggs and juveniles, sets an open season from May 1 to August 31, sets a daily and seasonal bag limit to three animals, and limits collection to hand or handheld implements, with seining specifically prohibited. Spotted salamanders are declining in urbanized and fragmented habitats throughout the northeastern United States.

Salamanders | Amphibians and Reptiles in Connecticut