Salamander Eggs: Guide To Identifying Reptile Reproduction

Supriya Jain
Sep 01, 2023 By Supriya Jain
Originally Published on Nov 15, 2021
Edited by Sarah Nyamekye
Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit
Speleomantes strinatii (strinati's cave salamander) female with eggs

Salamanders are a type of amphibian species that belong to the Caudata order.

There are three orders in the amphibian class, Caudata being one of them, along with Anura (frogs and toads) and Gymnophiona (caecilians), which have no legs and look like large worms. There are different types of salamanders, but all of them are members of the Caudata order.

Caudata is derived from 'cuda', which means 'tail' in Latin. Many people mistake salamanders for lizards because of their long tails and lean bodies. However, the two are quite different.

A lizard is a reptile; a salamander, however, is an amphibian, like a frog or a toad. Reptiles and amphibians are grouped under the herpetofauna. They lack the ability to regulate their internal temperature, which means they do not have warm blood.

This is why they are called cold-blooded. Salamanders typically remain wet, and many species of salamanders breathe through their moist skin.

Despite their differences in appearance, salamanders and a frog share a close relationship. There are currently about 655 known species. The diversity, biology, and behavior of salamanders are intriguing.

Salamanders usually inhabit damp habitats near or in water. A salamander's habitat is determined by the type of salamander it is.

Due to the newt's tendency to spend the majority of its time on land, its skin tends to be dry and bumpy. Water is where sirens spend most of their time and they have lungs as well as gills.

Salamander populations, regardless of species, require a nearby source of water to keep their skin moist and to produce offspring according to their breeding habitat. This habitat must be required to fulfill all their needs within a small range.

There are certain salamanders that live in caves, such as the olm, which is a blind, cave-dwelling salamander, often called the 'human fish', due to its whitish pale, pale pink skin. Because it has lived in caves for so long, it is mostly blind.

Instead of hunting, it uses various supersenses, such as a sense of electricity. Salamanders are generally active in the cooler hours of the day and are nocturnal animals.

These nocturnal animals often rest under rocks or in some vegetation during the day so as not to get too hot. As the sun sets, they come out to feed at night.

After reading about and watching the photos of salamanders, also check out painted turtle eggs and bearded dragon eggs.

Salamander Eggs Vs Frog Eggs

It is possible to mistake a salamander egg for a frog's egg and vice versa if you do not understand the differences between salamander eggs and frog eggs. The eggs are difficult to distinguish from those of other amphibian species, such as frogs unless you have a close eye to watch for the differences.

Frog eggs and salamander eggs are clearly distinguished from one another.

The eggs laid by frogs have a clear yolk, and their embryos can be seen in each egg. Unlike frogs, the outer edges of salamander egg masses are solely made up of eggs. Salamanders have a second outer layer of jelly-like material protecting their egg masses. A frog's egg mass does not have the outer jelly-like layer protecting it.

Eggs of salamanders have a protective shell membrane and other distinguishing features. By having this extra layer of protection, salamander eggs are protected from predators. Eggs laid by salamanders are clear and jelly-like, similar to those laid by frogs.

Salamander babies resemble frog babies. The eggs are laid in water. In the beginning, they are born without legs, looking like tadpoles, and as they grow older, they develop legs.

When do salamanders lay eggs?

The salamander is an amphibian, which means it spends some time in water and some time on land.

While salamanders are born in water, not all of them live there. Salamanders can be classified into three types: terrestrial, aquatic, and semiaquatic.

Despite living on land, terrestrial salamanders congregate in water to breed. The aquatic salamander lives its entire life in water and hence you may find salamander eggs in water(such as ponds and pools) and won’t find mole salamander eggs on land.

The semi-aquatic salamander spends part of its adolescence on land before returning to the water for reproduction. A body of water brings the male and female salamanders together.

Reproduction takes place in rivers, streams, swamps, pools, ponds, and lakes, depending on the species and geographic location of the organism. The timing of mating often coincides with the early spring thawing.

Beginning at five years of age, all salamander females lay eggs approximately every two years in the spring season around March, April, and June. Winter is when the females mate with males, while spring is when they lay their eggs.

The females nurture their embryos from the summer months till the spring. The exact time and place depend on the species of salamander, but they usually lay eggs in spring around March, April, or winter.

Salamander Egg Development Stages

The salamanders' life cycle is classified as - egg, larvae, juvenile, and adult. Adult salamander males place spermatophores packets on debris or on the ground in order to reproduce. Using these spermatophores from adult males, adult females fertilize their eggs by inserting them into their cloaca, which they attach to leaves, sticks, or rocks.

Females watch over their eggs until they hatch so that predators are not able to eat them. It is well known that salamanders' early lives are spent in the water, especially males and they gradually transition to land in their life cycle.

A salamander undergoes several stages of metamorphosis in order to transition from a tadpole to an adult salamander.

Salamander larvae normally reach maturity within two to four months, although they may remain larvae for two to three years before metamorphosing. There are several ways in which salamander eggs develop, depending on the species.

The eggs may occasionally be abandoned after laying. Other times, they cling to moist surfaces near bodies of water where they will eventually hatch.

All salamanders hatch aquatic larvae and grow into terrestrial adults. There are many places where female salamanders lay their eggs, including under rocks or logs and near streams, pools, and ponds.

A female salamander usually lays between 100 and 1,000 eggs at a time near ponds.

Upon hatching, salamander larvae are characterized by a lack of eyelids, teeth on upper and lower jaws, feathery gills, a flattened body, and a tail with dorsal and ventral fins.

The forelimbs of some species that live in pools and ponds may be partially developed and their hindlimbs may be primitive, but species that reproduce in moving water may have more developed forelimbs and hindlimbs.

Larvae of the pond type have two rod-like structures on either side of their heads which act as a balancer and prevent sediment from clogging the gills.

How To Care For Salamander Eggs

Salamanders make great pets for your home. Salamanders are very friendly and interesting to have as pets. Keeping eggs in an aquarium or in an open container is possible. In your aquarium, make sure that you have some live aquatic plants.

Breeding and egg-laying may be encouraged in this way. During the laying of their eggs after breeding, newts often wrap leaves around each egg as they are laid.

In addition to making it easier to remove the eggs from the tank, laying them on live plants may also make it harder for the adults to locate and eat their own eggs. It is not necessary to filter the water.

An aquarium needs to have adequate air circulation without causing strong currents if the eggs are to be kept there.

You should be careful not to put the eggs too close to the airstone, or else they will roll around and get battered by the bubbles. A salamander, or newt, is an amphibian that lives in a variety of habitats, including the tropics and the arctic, some even in caves.

The majority of salamanders live their entire lives underwater, while others live on land and only go back to the water to breed. Upon hatching, salamander eggs become larvae that resemble tadpoles.

If you don't know the slight differences between them, you might mistake their eggs for those of other amphibian species. A salamander typically lays eggs between spring and winter, but the exact date and location vary according to the species.

Salamander eggs display certain distinctive characteristics, including a protective shell membrane. There is a second layer of jelly surrounding salamander egg masses. These tend to be deposited alone or in small groups.

Spotted Salamanders are the most common, and salamander egg masses are smooth and firm. Approximately 50 to 250 eggs can be found in a single egg mass.

They are very dense and firm and can be as large as a grapefruit. In most cases, they are laid in ponds, vernal pools, and marsh edges with no or little fish, but sometimes they can be found in ponds that have fish as well.

You can often pick up the egg mass of Spotted Salamanders and it will retain its shape.

The majority of the time, eggs are found attached to plants, sticks, or branches below the surface of the water. An extra layer of gel coats the entire salamander egg mass, as it does with other salamander egg masses.

It is difficult to distinguish between spotted and blue-spotted or Jefferson salamanders. Approximately 1-30 eggs are present in a blue-spotted salamander egg mass, and they are extremely loose; if you were to pick up one of them, the egg would slip right through your fingers.

Jefferson salamanders lay 10-60 eggs in an egg mass, and these eggs are enclosed in vegetation and have rough outer surfaces, with long egg masses.

Unlike eggs of spotted salamanders, Jefferson salamander eggs and blue-spotted salamander eggs have two membranes that are very close together. Blue-spotted salamanders lay individual eggs.

Did you know how to identify a salamander egg?

Look closely at these eggs to observe the double protective coating. It's easy to tell if anything is a frog, toad, or a salamander egg mass because of the double layer! Due to algae growing inside the egg, the egg mass often turns green as it develops.

Masses are frequently submerged. The egg masses (larval development) of Spotted Salamanders are made up of roughly 50-250 eggs and can be as large as a grapefruit.

They are dense and firm. They are usually placed in ponds, vernal pools, and marsh margins where fish are few or nonexistent, although they can sometimes be found in ponds containing fish. The egg masses of a Jefferson salamander are usually smaller and fewer in number than those of spotted salamanders.

Pearl-like, whitish, sterile embryos are common in hybrid egg masses. Out of the water, Jefferson salamander eggs appear loose or 'drippy.' They are frequently deposited along the length of branches in cylindrical 'tubes.'

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for salamander eggs then why not take a look at eathworm eggs, or salamander facts.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Supriya Jain

Bachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Supriya Jain picture

Supriya JainBachelor of Commerce, Master of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Nishtha Dixit

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha Dixit picture

Nishtha DixitBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Nishtha is an experienced SEO writer and editor, with a passion for writing and self-expression. She is currently pursuing an undergraduate major in Literature and Communication and a minor in Political Science from the University of Delhi. Nishtha has completed a certificate master course in English from the British Council and has been appointed as the editor for the bi-monthly magazine of the University of Delhi.

Read full bio >