Other Amphibian of the Week

Siberian Salamander (Salamandrella keyserlingii)

Siberian Salamander
photo by Henk Wallays

Common Name: Siberian Salamander, Dybowski’s Salamander, Manchurian Salamander, and Siberian Newt
Scientific Name: Salamandrella keyserlingii
Family: Hynobiidae – Asiatic Salamander family
Location: China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, and Russia
Size: 3.5 – 5 inches (9 -12.5 cm)

The Siberian Salamander might be the most cold adept amphibian around. It can survive temperatures of -45 °Celsius / -49° Fahrenheit. They are able to survive these conditions by replacing their blood with antifreeze chemicals. With this ability, they are the only salamander found in the Arctic circle. The Siberian Salamander can be frozen for years and be “revived” after it thaws out. They start to hibernate fall in October or September and lasts until spring in April or May. The salamanders hibernate under rotten logs, rocks, and in holes.

Once they are done hibernating, they will start to breed. Fertilization is believed to be external for the species. The females lay two egg sacs. These egg sacs each contain usually around 50- 90 eggs. The eggs hatch in under a month, with eggs in the north hatching later. The eggs hatch into larval aquatic salamanders.

Siberian Salamander
photo by Малафеева Елена

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Siberian Salamander as Least Concern with Extinction. They have a wide range, covering almost all of Russia. The salamanders are also believed to be abundant throughout their range.

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