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Mole Salamander Ambystoma talpoideum


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Mole Salamander
credit: Camazine

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Family: Ambystomidae, Mole Salamanders view all from this family

Description Long, with a thick body and short tail. Limbs & head seem too large for the body. Dark brown to back with whitish flecks. Gray belly with light flecks. 11 coastal grooves. Prominent protrudent eyes.

Dimensions 8-12cm. (3 1/4-4 3/4"

Breeding Breeds December through February after heavy rainfall when temperatures drop. 20-350 eggs in a clutch, laid in group of up to 40. Eggs hatch late spring/early summer.

Habitat Burrows under debris and leaves near floodplains.

Range Widespread throughout North America from S. Caroline through to N. Florida, west towards Texas.

Discussion Gets its name from its mole-like burrowing behaviour. Shares its sites with other species such as the Tiger, marbled and spotted Salamander. This leads to hybridisation. These hybrids are mostly female, 2% are male and are sterile. Females reproduce with other males such as the Tiger, spotted or marbled Salamander. This only fertilises the egg, does not contribute genetic material.