Pike County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs
The Spotted Salamander is a common resident of Pike County. Classified as a "mole salamander", it spends most of the year in underground burrows in deciduous forests. It may also be found in places where the soil is dark and moist such as organic gardens with lots of humus and in old mulch piles. The primary food of the Spotted is slugs and worms, but most any insect or spider they encounter will serve as an acceptable meal.
Named for the two distinctive rows of yellow to orange spots along their back which increase in number as it ages, the Spotted Salamander is jet black on the back and gray on the belly. The adult usually ranges from 4 to 7 inches long.
Each spring, the adults get the urge to mate. They will travel long distances to a vernal pool and proceed with the mating process. The female will lay up to 200 eggs before the adults separate and go about their way. Although they may each eventually wander a quarter mile or more in the course of the year, it is believed that they will return to the same pool each year to mate.
Hatching of the eggs depends upon the temperature with 45 days being about the average before the emergence of the tadpoles. Tadpole development also depends on the weather. In cold weather, a Spotted may remain a tadpole for up to 100 days before metamorphosing into an adult.
Like all salamanders, Spotted Salamanders absorb air and moisture through their skin. A big threat to the salamanders is the use of lawn fertilizers and other lawn chemicals. While relatively safe from these products in the forest, migrating salamanders may wander through yards at night absorbing lawn chemicals as they go --- often to die a few days later.
Salamander Eggs Adult
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