A medium-sized salamander with a length of 5 inches (12.7 cm) (see Klemens 1993). The body is generally stocky with a tail usually barely the length of the body. Coloration is black with a white marbling pattern on adults. The pattern color contrast is greater in males than females. Contrast also increases with age.
From 50 to 200 eggs are laid one at a time in the fall. Eggs are scattered around the bottom of vernal pools, or in depressions in the ground that later fill with water Metamorphosis is generally completed in 4 to 6 months.
Juveniles tend to have less contrasting coloration than adults. Larval specimens are dark with some greenish or grayish mottling.
Generally found under rocks or logs in woodlands. It is often found in habitat that includes oaks. Most of the year it is buried underground, emerging in the late summer and fall to breed in vernal pools.
Feeds primarily on insects and other invertebrates.
Widespread throughout the eastern United States.
Neither threatened nor endangered. However, there is a possession limit for the species in Connecticut. Destruction of vernal pools may be a primary threat.
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. Animals featured in photographs on this page are from Connecticut.