Fun Green Salamander Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
May 02, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel
Here are some fun green salamander facts.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

With a black and green color pattern, the green salamander is an amphibian, often seen hiding inside a rock crevice, under leaves, and in other moist areas in the woods. These animals are known as habitat specialists, which means they are exclusively found under certain conditions.

They do not venture into bright spaces or fields. They are extremely secretive and shy.

This has also made conservation and survey efforts difficult. This has also made knowing their exact habitats difficult, too.

They are mainly found in the Appalachian region within the United States but some of the population is also found in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Mississippi. Their habitat in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has not been verified since 1930.

The color pattern (also known as mottling) of green salamanders offers them some degree of camouflage in their habitat. They have flattened bodies that have adapted to quickly scaling trees and rocks.

Adult green salamanders feed on small insects, worms, arachnids, and snails. Adult females are longer than adult males. They are especially known for not feeding at all during the brooding season.

If you enjoy reading this article, be sure to check out these spring salamander facts and yellow-spotted salamander facts.

Green Salamander Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a green salamander?

The green salamander is a type of salamander which is an amphibian.

What class of animal does a green salamander belong to?

Green salamanders, also known by their scientific name Aneides aeneus belong to the class Amphibia.

How many green salamanders are there in the world?

The secretive nature of Amphibia makes it difficult to ascertain its exact population range and no estimate is currently available.

Where does a green salamander live?

Green salamanders are found exclusively in the United States. They are found in mountainous regions like the  Alleghenies, Allegheny Plateau, and Cumberland Plateau. They are also found in patches in the Blue Ridge Escarpment, and western Virginia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

What is a green salamander's habitat?

The green salamander habitat includes damn and moist places and rocky environments. They exist in small crevices and under leaves, tree barks, and mounds. Their unique body pattern helps them to blend in when they hide from predators in mosses and lichens.

Who do green salamanders live with?

Except for mating season, green salamanders prefer to live solitary lives.

How long does a green salamander live?

It is believed that the Aneides aeneus or green salamander's lifespan is around 10 years. They become sexually mature at around three years of age. They perform poorly in captivity and only live for 3-4 months.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding activity for green salamanders lasts from May to early June. Males wait for females in dark crevices on under rock faces. Once the females visit, the two will engage in a courtship.

After courtship, the males release a spermatophore which the female scoops up. While brooding, the female will not eat and is extremely aggressive, attacking and eating any invader.

They remain attached to the top of rock faces or inside crevices of a rock outcrop where they coat the surface with a sticky liquid. Finally, egg deposition takes place. The eggs range from 15-30 in number.

The eggs are guarded for three months and hatch in September. Salamander babies hatch fully formed from the eggs without any larval stage.

Once the eggs have hatched, the female drops her guard and is seen to not defend them when attacks occur at this stage. After hatching from eggs, the young leave the rock crevice in two months. The Aneides aeneus has one of the highest degrees of aggression seen in salamanders when it comes to protecting their eggs.

What is their conservation status?

As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the status of green salamanders is Near Threatened. Within the Indiana region specifically, they carry the status of an endangered species. Deforestation and wood harvesting has led to the loss of habitat.

Since green salamanders are habitat specialists, they find it difficult to adapt to newer surroundings and are highly susceptible to habitat loss. Most of the locations where they are found and remote and not immediately prone to human intervention.

Moreover, some places where their distribution is found occur under-protected parks and forests. The breeding rate of green salamanders is quite low. Overall, the population trend of the species Aneides aeneus is decreasing.

Green Salamander Fun Facts

What do green salamanders look like?

The green salamander has a small and flattened body that is wet and slimy. Being amphibians, they are lungless. They have small bent legs with square toe-tips featuring no nails, a unique feature along with large eyes placed on either side of their head.

Their ventral side or underbelly region is lighter yellow or grayish. The rest of their body is green in color, with black dots. The green salamander has specially adapted to living in rocky cliffs and deep crevices.

Green salamanders have a unique coloration.

How cute are they?

As far as salamanders go, green salamanders are quite cute, but not so much to touch! The Aneides aeneus species has large, beady eyes and bright-colored skin.

In the wild, one can see their heads peeping out from under a rock. However, being amphibians, their body is damp and slimy. Moreover, they are similar to lizards and tend to move while wriggling which lends a worm-like feel to their movements.

How do they communicate?

Generally, salamanders are not vocal. They communicate by touching (as seen in the case of courtship which is characterized by nudges and hugs) and by releasing chemicals. These chemicals are bad in taste and so help to avoid predators.

How big is a green salamander?

Green salamanders, when adult size, grow to an average length of 3.1-4.7 in (8-12cm) which is quite small, even among salamanders.

How fast can a green salamander move?

Salamanders are not a very fast species as they mainly dwell under rocks and do not move in open spaces. The exact movement speed of the green salamander has not been studied but it is known that the Andean salamander can run at a speed of 15 mph (34.1 kph).

How much does a green salamander weigh?

No specific data is backing the weight of green salamanders.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both males and females of the species are known as salamanders.

What would you call a baby green salamander?

Baby salamanders are known as salamander nymphs.

What do they eat?

The green salamander diet consists of other smaller insects, slugs, snails, arachnids like spiders, and other anthropods.

Are they poisonous?

All species of salamanders, including green salamanders, are poisonous. Living alone on rock faces of limestone and sandstone, they are shy and do not generally attack people.

However, touching them can be harmful to humans and animals as adult salamander skin emits toxins. Nymphs are much more poisonous than adults. Human touch is bad for them as they have absorbent skin.

Would they make a good pet?

The green salamander specifically from Central North America is not suitable to be kept as a pet. It is a nearly threatened species and as such, is protected. 

Did you know...

It is believed that the Aneides aeneus species hibernate during winter, after November, and emerge only again in May. During this time, they venture deep within the rock bed. Efforts were made to find the species during winter but not a single one was found.

The behavior of the green salamander

Unlike many salamander species, green salamanders do not occur near running water, though they prefer damp spaces. Males are territorial and strongly defend their crevices from invasion by other males. While they are generally found among rock beds, sometimes the species lives on trees as well.

Their square toes and bent legs have adapted to climbing trees and clinging tightly to bark, trees, and rock. Their toe tips are expanded for more surface area. The expanded toe tips can latch onto any surface.

Their known predators include adult-size snakes and larger salamanders species (for nymphs only). They are opportunistic feeders and mainly nocturnal. Nymphs are largely shy and when touched, become immobile.

Where can you find the green salamander in the U.S.?

With distribution found in Central North America, the green salamander species can be found on outcrops of limestone and sandstone where it remains in dark, damp crevices. Their habitat falls under places like the Alleghenies and Cumberland Plateau.

Some distribution is found around the Blue Ridge Escarpment that lies at the meeting point of Georgia and North and South Carolina.

The major distribution is on the Appalachian Ridge and Valley with some along the Bays Mountain and on rock faces. Kentucky has a high population of species along with its rock faces.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including these hellbender salamander facts, or fire salamander.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our green salamander coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Yashvee Patel

Bachelor of Business Management

Yashvee Patel picture

Yashvee PatelBachelor of Business Management

Yashvee has won awards for both her writing and badminton skills. She holds a business administration honors degree and has previously interned with social media clients and worked on content for an international student festival. Yashvee has excelled in academic competitions, ranking in the top 100 in the Unified International English Olympiad and placing second in an essay-writing competition. Additionally, she has won the inter-school singles badminton title for two consecutive years.

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