Four-toed Salamander
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Online Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut

Four-toed Salamander - Hemidactylum scutatum


A small salamander 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) in length. The hind feet have only 4 toes, unlike other species of salamander in Connecticut, which have 5. The base of the tail has a constriction separating the body from the tail. Coloration of the belly is whitish gray with black speckles. The dorsal coloration is reddish brown.



As many as 3 dozen eggs are laid individually on sphagnum near water in the early spring. The female guards them until the larvae hatch. The larvae are aquatic and complete metamorphosis within a couple of months.



Sphagnum bogs.



Eats a variety of small invertebrates.



Found in most states east of the Mississippi River. In Connecticut its distribution is more sporadic; this species is mostly found in low-lying areas. Though known from all counties in the state, it is not known from every township (see Klemens 1993).



Not protected in Connecticut.



Behler, J.L. and F.W.King. 1979. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians. New York: Knopf. 719 pp.

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.

Klemens, M.W. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.



Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Animal featured in photographs on this page is from Connecticut.