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Salamanders, Newts, Salamander and Newt Pictures

Pictures of salamanders and newts.

Animal:  Salamanders and Newts

Species:  Salamanders and newts are amphibians that resemble lizards, but are actually very different.  There are over 500 species of salamanders and newts. The photographs here are of Spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma.maculatum), Eastern Red Spotted Newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), and Eastern Red Backed Salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). 

Salamanders and newts have thin skin, which produces a slimy layer of mucus that covers their bodies.  Because of this, hey require a moist environment to survive, and some species live mostly in the water.  Others live in protected, damp areas, such as damp soil under rocks and logs, where they spend most of their time.  Wetlands also provide an ideal habitat.

Range:

All three species pictured here are native to North America.  Of the three, Spotted Salamanders have the largest range:  They can be found throughout the eastern United States, from southeast Canada to Georgia, and as far west
as Louisiana and the Great Lakes.  The Eastern Red-Backed Salamander's range overlaps with the northern portion of its spotted cousin, ranging only as far south as Maryland and parts of North Carolina.  Eastern Red Spotted Newts can also be found in southeastern Canada and the eastern United States, and their range extends south to North Carolina, but west only the western foothills of the Appalchian Range.

Size & Weight:

Of these species, the Eastern Red-Backed Salamander is the smallest, typically growing to about 10cm long.  Next in size is the Red Spotted Newt, which grows to about 13cm.  The largest of the three is the Spotted Salamander; adults of this species typically reach 20 cm or more.

Lifespan:

The lifespan of salamanders and newts varies widely depending on the species, with lifespans in captivity ranging from a few years for most to up to 50 years for some fire salamanders, not pictured here.  The lifespan of hese creatures in the wild is not known, and they have many natural predators.

Family Life:

Adult salamanders in captivity are content to live in small groups, and few at a time are sometimes found together in their protected hiding spots.  It's not known for certain if any species in particular are typically group or solitary dwellers.  Like all amphibians, Salamanders and newts lay eggs, which are usually fertilized internally.  The eggs are laid in water, or in other very moist locations.  Most species go through a larval stage after hatching and an adolescent, or "eft" phase before full adulthood.  The preferred habitat of a species (aquatic, terrestrial or both) may vary between life stages.

Diet:

Depending on the species, Salmanders and Newts typically eat worms, larva, slugs, snails, insects and other invertibrates.  Mostly-aquatic species often eat shrimps, water-dwelling snails, tadpoles, small molluscs and aquatic larva.