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Mud Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Pseudotriton montanus

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 8 inches

Distribution: Two subspecies of Mud Salamander occur in Virginia; the Midland Mud Salamander (P. m. diastictus) and the Eastern Mud Salamander (P. m. montanus). The former occurs in southwest Virginia, while the latter occurs throughout much of the Coastal Plain. They inhabit a variety of wetlands with mucky or muddy bottoms.

Identifying Characteristics

A large, stout body that varies in color. Young adults are bright red or orange with dark spots. In older adults the background color becomes suffused with brown, which gives them a muddy red appearance. Belly is light orange to pinkish orange and adults may or may not have spots. Eyes are brown.

Did You Know?

Mud Salamanders have an average clutch size of 129 eggs, which is one of the largest clutch sizes of any North American woodland salamander.

Role in the Web of Life

Adults and juveniles typically live within just a few feet of a wetland feature in burrows, which they use as pathways to the surrounding watercourses. Females deposit eggs in the fall or early winter in aquatic habitats. Larvae have distinct bushy gills and may take almost 1.5 years to metamorphose.

Conservation

Tier IV Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Last updated: February 22, 2021