Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)

Common Name: Spotted Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: United States and Canada
US States Locations: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Max Size: 10 inches

While the Spotted Salamander is found throughout most of the eastern United States and Canada, it isn’t seen often because it spends most of it’s life under logs or the ground. Best time to spot them is after a heavy rain fall when they are traveling to ponds to breed. When they breed depends on where they are located, southern populations breed in December while northern populations breed in March and April.

Interestingly, the Spotted Salamander eggs have a symbiotic relationship with green alga. The alga produces oxygen for the egg while the egg produces carbon dioxide for the alga.


Meet Rayna – the African Bullfrog

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Rayna is one of my pet frogs. She is an African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus). African Bullfrogs are one of the largest species of frogs in the world, but it’s the males that grow the largest, so she won’t get to the 9 inches. She enjoys jazz music and hiding under her log. Her main diet is worms and crickets. Her exact age is unknown. African Bullfrogs are my favorite species of frogs so I had to get her.


NBA Teams but Frogs

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Chicago Bullfrogs


Philadelphia Spring Peepers

Plains Spadefoot by Stanley Trauth

San Antonio Spadefoots


Cleveland Cane Toads

Miami Reed (frogs)

Boston Coastal Tailed Frog

Atlanta Hairy Frogs

Fleischmann’s glass frog by Mauricio Rivera Correa

Golden State Glass Frogs

giant squaker

Los Angeles Squeckers


Rocket Frog by Wikiuser Froggydarb

Houston Rocket Frogs

Toronto Rain Frogs


Los Angeles Cricket (frogs)

Vietnamese mossy frog by Katie Chan

Minnesota Mossy Frogs

Brooklyn Natterjack Toads

Purple Frog

New Orleans Purple Frogs

Phoenix Suriname Toads

Detroit Parsley Frogs

Portland Poison Dart Frogs

Dallas Mountain Chickens


Washington Wood Frogs

Indiana Gopher Frogs


New York Clown Frogs


Oklahoma City Turtle Frog

Whites Tree Frog by LiquidGhoul

Utah Whites Tree Frogs

Sacramento Coquis

Denver Colorado River Toads

Budgett’s Frog by Ltshears

Milwaukee Budgett’s Frogs


Charlotte Horned Frogs

Orlando Mantellas



Hynobiidae – Asiatic Salamanders

Number of Genera: 9 – Batrachuperus, Hynobius, Liua, Pachyhynobius, Paradactylodon, Pseudohynobius, Ranodon, Salamandrella, and Onychodactylus
Number of Species: 67
Hynobiidae is a family of salamanders referred to as the Asiatic Salamanders because they are found dun dun dun… in Asia. They are closely related to the Giant Salamander family – Cryptobranchidae. The family is broken into 2 subfamilies, Hynobiinae and Onychodactylinae. Onychodactylus is the only genus in the subfamily Onychodactylinae

Batrachuperus is known as the Stream or Mountain Salamanders. They are found in China and Myanmar.

The genus Liua is found in only China.

Shangcheng Stout Salamander (Pachyhynobius shangchengensis) is the only member of the genus Pachyhynobius.

The genus Paradactylodon is known as the Middle Eastern Salamanders because they are found in Iran and Afghanistan.

The genus Pseudohynobius is only found in China.

Semirechensk Salamander (Ranodon sibiricus) is the only species in the genus Ranodon. It is found in China and Kazakhstan

The genus Salamandrella is called the Siberan Salamanders.

Onychodactylus is known as the Clawed Salamanders.


Seven Amphibians to get you into the Holiday Spirit

Nothing quiet get’s me into the holiday spirits like some amphibians

Sandhill Frog by B.Maryan

This one reminds me of some peppermint bark

Vietnamese mossy frog by Katie Chan

You could make a wreath out of these frogs

Red Salamander by Leif Van Laar

He has his santa suit on

Horned Frog

Red + Green = Christmas

Marbled Salamander by Brian Gratwicke

Like snow on the trees

Blue Spotted Salamander by Dr. John P. Clare

Like snowflakes in the sky

Anthony’s poison arrow frog by Tubifex

Like a candy cane


Taita African Caecilian

image by wikiuser Milvus

Common Name: Taita African Caecilian, Taita Hills Caecilian, and Taita Mountains Caecilian
Scientific Name: Boulengerula taitana
Family: Herpelidae
Location: Kenya
Size: 1.1 feet or 348 mm

Like most caecilians, the Taita African Caecilian spends most of its life underground. They do come to the surface to move easier when it’s raining but otherwise, they are down in the ground.

What makes this caecilian interesting is that the female caecilian lays 2-9 eggs (lowest of any caecilian) that later hatch into tiny caecilians skipping any larva phase. Then the baby caecilians chow down on mommy. The female develops a thick skin before the eggs hatch which the babies feed on.


Highlights of Cryptobranchid Week 2017

Last week on twitter, Cryptobranchid week was held. It was a week to honor the family Cryptobranchidae, a family of salamanders. Here are some of the highlights.


Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber)

by Leif Van Laar

Common Name: Red Salamander
Scientific Name: Pseudotriton ruber
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: United States of America: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia
Size: 7 inches or 180 mm

The Red Salamander is found in the eastern half of the United States. They are a member of the family Plethodontidae – the Lungless Salamanders, so they don’t have lungs. There are four subspecies of Ruber Salamanders: Northern Red Salamander (P. r. ruber), Blue Ridge Red Salamander (P. r. nitidus), Black-chinned Salamander (P. r. schencki), and Southern Red Salamander (P. r. vioscai).

The Red Salamander is not poisonous but the red color might be a form of mimicry. The Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) in it’s Eft phase (eft is a phase of the newt’s life where it’s not a mature adult but not a larva) is poisonous and found in the range. The Salamander hopes it’s predator confuses it with the newt. Other’s think that the coloration is a warning because the salamander tastes bad.



Chinese Giant Salamanders (Andrias davidianus)

by ZSL

Common Name: Chinese Giant Salamanders
Scientific Name: Andrias davidianus
Family: Cryptobranchidae
Location: China and introduced to Taiwan
Size: 5.9 feet or 180 cm

The Chinese Giant Salamander is the largest salamander and amphibian in the world. It is considered a living fossil and are critically endangered. They are know to live as long as 60 years but there are stories of them living over 200 years.

For breeding, the female Chinese Giant Salamander lays her eggs in an underwater cavity. The males fertilize the eggs then guard the eggs until they hatch. The new salamanders take around 5 to 6 years to mature.

The Chinese Giant Salamander is moving fast to becoming extinct. Most of their habitat has been destroyed and they are illegally taken for medicine and food. The Chinese Giant Salamander needs help!