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Marbled Salamander - Ambystoma opacum



 Kingdom: Animalia
 Phylum: Chordata
 Class: Amphibia
 Order: Caudata  
 Family: Ambystomatidae 
 Genus:   Ambystoma
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least Concern Least Concern


Marbled SalamanderThe marbled salamander is 3-5 inches in length. It has a black body with white or silvery-gray markings. The female has gray markings and the male has white markings. It has 11-12 costal (vertical) grooves.


mapThe marbled salamander is found from southern New Hampshire to northern Florida, and west to southern Illinois, southeast Oklahoma, and east Texas. It is also found around Lake Erie and Lake Michigan and in southwest Missouri and along the northern border of Ohio and Indiana.


The marbled salamander lives in forests and woodlands. It is found in a variety of habitats, from moist sandy areas to dry hillsides. It spends most of its time in a burrow, in leaf litter, or under bark or a log.


Adult marbled salamanders eat invertebrates including earthworms, slugs, snails, centipedes, and a variety of insects. Larvae eat zooplankton. As they grow larger, they eat tadpoles, insects, and other salamander larvae.

Life Cycle

Marbled SalamanderThe marbled salamander breeds from September to October in the northern part of its range and from October to December in the southern part of its range. The marbled salamander mates and lays its eggs on land. The female lays 50-200 eggs, one at a time, in a depression under a log or in a clump of vegetation that fills with water when it rains.

The female usually curls her body around the eggs to keep them moist and waits for rain to fill the depression. The larvae hatch a few days after being covered by water. If there is not enough autumn and winter rain, the larvae may not hatch until spring! The larvae change into salamanders in about 3-6 months.


Except for during breeding season, marbled salamanders are solitary creatures.