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Polka dots have always been a fashion statement, haven't they? Well, they might have set a trend among salamanders too!
The yellow-spotted salamander has not one but two straight rows of yellow dots running down their bodies. A commonly sighted amphibian in North America, these spotted salamanders are among the larger members of the family of mole salamanders. Mole salamanders are more advanced than the usual salamander clan, and are distinctive in feature due to the presence of ‘axolotls’.
They can be a little difficult to get a view of, as they prefer spending their time underground. Thus, you can undoubtedly find them in areas having soft or wet soil, to dig underground and make comfortable little burrows.
Despite being named as the ‘yellow’-spotted salamanders, some individuals under this species might sport a slight orange hue on their spots too! They are simply called 'spotted salamanders' as well.
If you like reading about the yellow-spotted salamander and want to know more about a yellow-spotted salamander life cycle, yellow-spotted salamander habitat, yellow-spotted salamander poison, yellow-spotted salamander care, and more yellow-spotted salamander facts, then read on! You might also enjoy reading about the salamander and the spotted salamander.
The yellow-spotted salamanders are a type of salamander.
The spotted salamander comes under the Amphibian class.
An estimate of over a million individuals of spotted salamanders living in North America has been made by the IUCN.
These salamanders prefer living in dense forests and wetlands.
These creatures usually prefer living incognito - they hide under logs, leaf litter, or large rocks. Their habitats are usually in deciduous forests, floodplains, or other areas with good moisture and vegetation. They prefer living near pools, lakes, and ponds, though they stay hidden underground for most of their day. They can also be sighted in coniferous regions on the forest floor as well.
Adult spotted salamanders actually prefer living by themselves, and only meet their fellow members during the breeding months.
These animals are known to live for about 20-30 years.
This species breeds mainly during the spring season and returns to the same breeding ponds. The males need to compete with others in order to mate. The alpha male then drops sperm droplets, which are taken in by the females to fertilize the eggs. Belonging to the amphibian class, their young breathe with the help of gills underwater. Hence, these salamanders lay their eggs underwater in ponds and pools. The female lays around 200-350 salamander eggs each time. The salamander larvae hatch after four to seven weeks.
The conservation status of these spotted salamanders has been listed as of Least Concern.
These stout, slender amphibians have dark brown, black, or slate gray bodies. Their body is adorned with two rows of yellow, or orange spots, trailing down from their head to their tail. These wide-snouted animals have pink or light gray undersides. They also have 12 vertical costal grooves. The salamander larvae have feather-like gills on their bodies to help them breathe underwater, as well as a broad, thick tail to help them slither in the water. They have a dull green hue on their bodies with very light spots. At this stage, their legs are weak. In their juvenile stage, they come out on land and join the adults. They are capable of breathing through their lungs and have strong legs with either four or five toes.
We find these little creatures really cute!
There is usually no vocal communication in these salamanders. These salamanders are known to communicate mainly with their senses. Vision, touch, and smell are mainly used for communication.
This species has a body length of about 5.8-10 in (14.75-25.4 cm), and a maximum height of 1 in (2.54 cm).
Unfortunately, we do not have any records on this right now.
The average weight of spotted salamanders is about 0.46 oz (13 g).
There are no separate names for the male and female spotted salamanders.
Young salamanders are generally referred to as efts.
These salamanders can catch prey with their sticky tongues and their diet includes spiders, insects, millipedes, slugs, and even worms.
The bodies of these animals secrete an extremely toxic and poisonous substance from the glands on their bodies near their tail. This toxin alerts dangerous predators such as raccoons, squirrels, fishes, snakes, turtles, and many more.
Absolutely! You can learn more about this below.
Salamander eggs are covered in a clear, jelly-like bubble and cling onto rocks or other surfaces, which helps in protecting the eggs against turtles, frogs, fish, and other predators.
The eggs of this species actually have a symbiotic understanding with green algae, which provides oxygen through photosynthesis to the eggs within the jelly covering. The carbon dioxide produced by the eggs is used by the algae.
There was an ancient myth about these salamanders. They were thought of as fire lovers who emerged from fires. However, the truth was that these little ones escaped from the fire after hiding under the logs once the fire was lit.
Spotting these creatures is actually very hard, as they are usually hidden under the soil.
The main predators of this species are turtles, snakes, newts, skunks, birds, and even raccoons.
Surprisingly, there are actually a few salamanders who remain unspotted in the same family.
Some salamanders who bear similar spotted designs on their bodies include Jefferson’s salamanders, as well as the blue-spotted salamanders.
Spotted salamanders have absolutely soft, moist, and delicate skin. Hence, handling these creatures needs to be done with absolute care and as little as possible. Yes, you can hold them, but you need to have clean, cold, and wet hands. Holding them with wet hands helps protect the mucous layer on their bodies, which fights harmful pathogens. They are not that poisonous to humans.
Submissive in nature. Easily manageable. Minimal food requirements. These salamanders are one of the best options if you are looking for an easy pet. These amphibians are not too expensive, however, you need to clarify with the laws where you live to confirm if it's legal to own this species. A pseudo-habitat can be prepared using pink bark, moss, leaf litter, or other soft substances which can retain moisture. Small soft-cornered items can also be kept which would not hurt their delicate skin.
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 the spring salamander and the fire salamander.
You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our yellow-spotted salamander coloring pages.
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