The Spotted Salamander is the largest of Vermont’s three mole salamanders. It grows up to 9 inches long. It is a black salamander with bright yellow spots. Spotteds have strong legs and a broad flat head.
They spend most of the year underground in shrew, mole, or mouse tunnels, hence the term mole salamander. They move to deeper tunnels to overwinter below the frost line.
Spotted Salamanders feed and overwinter in upland hardwood and mixed forests. They breed in vernal pools, beaver ponds, or old farm ponds. The Spotted Salamander is found statewide.
This species has a state natural heritage rank of S5 (common). The Spotted Salamander also has been designated a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (medium priority) in Vermont’s Wildlife Action Plan. Please report all sightings of this species in Vermont. Take photos (or videos!) if possible. Even historic sighting information is useful.
Species summary written by Kaile Burgess.
He writes, "About 200 spotted salamanders were in my backyard pond in Salisbury, Vermont on April 9, 2002. It was a rainy evening, but the rain had stopped so the salamanders could be seen well in the water."