Small-mouth Salamander, Ambystoma texanum

The Small-mouth salamander (Ambystoma texanum) is a mole salamander species and a member of the Ambystomatidae family. The species may also be referred to as the Texas salamander, the Porphyry salamander or the narrow-mouthed salamander.

The Small-mouthed salamander can be found in the central United States. The species ranges from Michigan to Nebraska, south to Texas and east to Tennessee. The Small-mouth salamander has also been found in Ontario, Canada.

The Small-mouth salamander inhabits moist areas that are relatively close to a water source. When on land, wet prairie, meadow, swamp and damp forest are all preferred habitats. A nocturnal species, the salamander remains hidden beneath logs, rock and leaf litter or in small mammal burrows.

The Small-mouth salamander commonly reaches lengths between 4.5 and 7 inches. Typical coloration is black or dark brown and its belly side is black. Light grey or silver spots or flecks are found on its dorsal (upper) side. Often male small-mouthed salamanders are smaller than females. As its common name implies, the species has a small snout that sits on its rather small head.

Typical breeding season is in the springtime. The Small-mouthed salamander’s eggs are laid in clumps of 30 and they attach to vegetation or rocks at the bottom of the pond. An adult female will lay up to 700 eggs each season.

Feeding for the Small-mouth salamander consists of various insects, slugs and worms.

Image Caption: Small-mouth salamander (Ambystoma texanum). Credit: Greg Schechter/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)