FEATURES & FACTS:
- Mudpuppies (Proteidae), Sirens (Sirenidae),
Salamanders (Ambystomatidae), Newts (Salamandridae), and
Lungless Salamanders (Plethodontidae) all belong to the Order Caudata.
- Some species maintain larva features into
their adulthood. Adult Mudpuppies and Sirens have gills.
- The Red-Backed Salamander
spends its larval period inside its egg and hatches out in its adult form.
- Spotted Salamander egg masses
appear green due to algae that grows in the egg membranes. It is believed
that this algae is beneficial to the eggs by providing them with additional
- In many salamander species, the female will
stay with her eggs for at part of the incubation period.
- All salamanders can take in oxygen through
their skin. The Red-Backed Salamander does not have
lungs, therefore it obtains its entire oxygen supply through its skin.
- Salamanders absorb water through their skin.
- Salamanders have poison glands in their skin,
usually concentrated around the tail and head, for use as a defence.
woodlands; deciduous hardwood forests; swamps;
ponds; underneath forest debris
= March to early April; larvae leave the water in 2 to 3 months,
but they do not reach breeding age for 2 years.
NEWT (red spotted & central)
Notophthalmus viridescens (viridescens & louisianensis)
spotted = southeastern lower peninsula; central newt = throughout
marshes; shallow lakes; areas of aquatic plant life;
throughout the year - no hibernation; the 2 subspecies
are found to interbreed; breeding = March to June; 3 life
stages = aquatic larval, intermediate terrestrial eft, and aquatic
adult (an adult can live on land if the aquatic habitat dries)
the lower peninsula = southern area, northern central area;
in upper peninsula = Alger County
fields; marshes; farms; suburbs; near breeding
ponds; in burrows
March to April; metamorphosis = 2 to 3 months
woodlands; ponds; in areas of tamarack, moss, and sphagnum;
swamps; in forest debris
laying = spring; metamorphosis = 2.5 months; breeding
age is 3 years
Van Buren, Allegan Counties
woodlands; in burrows; under rocks or forest debris
= fall; metamorphosis = the following late spring - early
lakes; bays; shallow waters under debris
throughout the year - no hibernation; nocturnal; mating
= October to November; egg laying = spring.
woodlands; in forest debris
= fall; egg laying = June; hatching = August; no
aquatic larval stage
area of the lower peninsula
hardwood forest; vernal ponds; in burrows; underneath
= late winter - early spring; metamorphosis = 2 to 3 months
woodlands; vernal ponds; adults = underground except
= March to early April; individuals tend to always use the same
pond for breeding each year; metamorphosis = 2 to 4 months
County & Van Buren County (may have been introduced by humans)
waters; near aquatic plant life; ponds; lakes;
ditches; streams; underneath debris at the bottom of the
eggs are laid in the spring; makes clicking, whistling, and