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Flatwoods Salamander Ambystoma cingulatum


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Flatwoods Salamander
credit: Svdmolen

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Family: Ambystomidae, Mole Salamanders view all from this family

Description Small head & limbs. Blackish-brown in color with gray to silvery-white net like markings or spotting. Small legs & an indistinct tail. Larvae have longitudinal brown and yellow stripes. 13-16 coastal grooves.

Dimensions Length: 3 1/2-5" (8-13cm)

Endangered Status The Flatwoods Salamander is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as threatened throughout its range in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Like many species that live in small, isolated populations, it has suffered from industrial, residential, and agricultural development in its habitat, which consists of pine flatwoods and seasonal breeding ponds. Additionally, too much or too little rainfall can hamper breeding success, making this species even more vulnerable. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge is one place where this species receives protection.

Breeding Breeds October through November in dry pond sites and ditches. 160 eggs laid in soil or under debris. Larvae hatch after 3-5 weeks. 1/2" (13mm) in length. Blackish in color with light stripes. Change color in March/April at 2 3/4" (70mm)

Habitat Small shallow ephemeral ponds, with wire grass.

Range S. Carolina through Georgia & Florida to Mississippi.

Discussion Adults mostly underground. From September to December migrates upwards to swamplands. Courtship occurs in shallow water and dry pond basins. Eggs hatch in response to rising water levels. Males mature at 1-2 years, females at 2-3 years.