Spotted Salamander

Spotted salamanders are part
of the mole salamander family due to the adult’s tendency to live underground.
They frequently burrow in loose soil, under a log or leaves or take up
residence in abandoned rodent burrows.

Since they are amphibians,the salamanders require a moist habitat and spend most of their lives within
300 feet of their home pond. As larvae, they have external gills and flattened
tails for swimming. After about four months they transform into their adult
form and lose the feather gills and develop their spotted appearance. The
bright spots are a warning to predators that they are toxic if eaten.

Spotted salamanders are being negatively affected by deforestation and the destruction of wetlands.
They are also susceptible to pH changes in their habitat due to acid rain. The
increased acidity of the pond water decreases the ability of the eggs and
larvae to survive, and often increases the number of predatory insects that
feed on the salamanders.
 
These salamanders are on exhibit in the Ghost of the Bayou exhibit.