24 Types of Salamanders in Alabama

Types of Salamanders in Alabama
Photo by Šárka Hyková

You probably think you know all the types of salamanders in Alabama there are, but you’re wrong! With 24 different species to choose from, you’ll find yourself with plenty of new additions to your pet or research collection.

For those of you who want to keep up with what’s native, here’s the definitive list of salamander types in Alabama; You may be surprised at what’s hiding in your backyard!

1. Eastern Newt

The eastern newt is a relatively large newt that is an easy salamander to identify. Like other newts, these types of salamanders in Alabama tend to be black or brown with yellow or orange markings. The belly may also have spots and scars on it. 

Eastern newts are an aquatic species, which means they do not venture very far from water and only rarely can be found away from shallow waters in winter (when ponds might freeze over).

If you’re interested, here’s our detailed guide to identifying all 24 types of salamanders in Alabama you didn’t know existed!

Newts aren’t poisonous, but their skin is rather toxic, so it’s not recommended that you touch them bare-handed if you come across one outside its normal habitat.

2. Spotted Salamander

The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is one of 24 types of salamanders in Alabama that inhabit Alabama.

They can be found across much of north Alabama, with a wide range throughout the eastern United States. 

Their brown or black spotted bodies and a yellow-and-black checkered tail make these salamanders distinctive; spotting them on a hike through an area like Monte Sano State Park should not be hard!

3. Eastern Tiger Salamander

The eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum, is a subspecies of tiger salamander that can be found throughout much of the eastern United States, ranging from southern New York State to Tennessee.

These types of salamanders in Alabama inhabit bodies of permanent water and are nocturnal animals that feed on insects, frogs, and fish. 

Males occasionally engage each other for territory or defending females during the breeding season. This species is typically grey to brown with a yellow belly, but there are also orange or striped variations.

4. Common Mudpuppy

If you’re looking for a type of salamander in Alabama that’s easy to spot, look no further than these little guys.

They’re often found near water sources, especially ponds and marshes, where they spend most of their time lounging in mud. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama are pretty hardy creatures, too; Mudpuppies have been known to survive temperatures as low as -5°F (-20°C) and as high as 100°F (38°C).

Common Mudpuppies are usually gray or brown, but they can also be black or green! And did you know that they’re among one of just four types of salamanders whose eyes aren’t red?

5. Four-Toed Salamander

These types of salamanders in Alabama are reddish-brown with four toes on their forefeet and five on their hind feet.

The Four-Toed Salamander is found only in several counties along Alabama’s Coastal Plain, where it inhabits cypress swamps, mixed hardwood forests, and floodplain forests. It can grow 3 to 4 inches long from snout to vent (snout to cloaca). 

Its diet consists primarily of spiders, insect larvae, termites, and ants. A nocturnal species, it spends much of its day buried under leaf litter and other debris near stream banks or logs. It uses a series of shrill chirps during the mating season to communicate with prospective mates.

6. Marbled Salamander

The Marbled Salamander is found near streams and springs throughout most of Alabama. Their coloring varies, but they are typically brown to black with yellow spots on their sides and irregularly-shaped yellow blotches along their backs.

This species doesn’t grow very large—no more than four inches—and will curl up into a ball if threatened, which is why they’re also called curled salamanders. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama typically eat bugs or worms; some have been known to eat small fish.

Unlike many other species, Marbled Salamanders don’t need much water to survive during dry spells; researchers believe they can survive months without water.

7. Small-Mouthed Salamander

The small-mouthed salamander, Ambystoma texanum, is a mole salamander found throughout much of Texas, southeastern Oklahoma, and northwestern Louisiana.

It was previously placed in Ambystoma barbouri but was determined to be distinct enough from other members of that species to warrant its name. 

As with all Ambystomatids, these types of salamanders in Alabama have a wide, flattened head and body adapted for burrowing underground.

In addition, the skin is highly textured, which helps camouflage it when underground. Like many other mole salamanders, it lays eggs under the surface of loose soil or mulch. Male small-mouthed salamanders are aggressive protectors of their mates and offspring.

8. Northern Dusky Salamander

This species can often be found in deep forests or near rock outcroppings. It’s slim and dark, with brown spots like freckles on their backs.

If you see one on its back, don’t worry—they do it all day to absorb heat from sunlight to regulate its body temperature. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama are also endangered, so if you come across one, leave it alone! (Find more info here .)

What Do I Need To Know About Salamanders? (Hint: Don’t Step On Them) Posted by Snail Trails Nature Center on Wednesday, February 22, 2018 (Find more info here .)

9. Spotted Dusky Salamander

The Spotted Dusky Salamander is classified as endangered by IUCN. This is because it’s nocturnal and spends most of its life underground; This means that it’s incredibly hard to study, which is why we know so little about it. 

The spotted dusky salamander usually feeds on small invertebrates like worms and mollusks but has also been known to eat insects, spiders, and even small frogs!

This species can live under logs and rocks in temperate forests around South Central United States. While they are listed as vulnerable by IUCN, they still inhabit a large area.

10. Two-toed Amphiuma

Also known as bog and cave salamanders, these salamanders can be found in slow-moving streams that contain muddy bottoms or sinkholes. Known to grow up to 28 inches, they spend most of their lives underwater and can only survive on land for several days at a time.

These types of salamanders in Alabama have small eyes and paddle-like bodies, with toes that are either webbed or not. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama can easily go weeks without food (in fact, many don’t even know how to hunt) but eat whole fish and crayfish once they find them.

The Two-toed Amphiuma is on Alabama’s endangered species list. It is also illegal to own one as a pet in Alabama.

11. Lesser Siren

The lesser siren is a mysterious amphibian found only in Alabama’s Black Belt region. It measures anywhere from 4 to 5 inches and has been spotted under rocks, logs, and leaf litter at night, where it spends its time hunting for insects.

Its pattern can be described as a cross between a yellow-bellied salamander and an eastern tiger salamander. 

The adult lesser siren is poisonous—one bite contains enough toxins to kill most small mammals. However, didn’t make it particularly dangerous for humans unless you plan on eating one…so don’t try that at home!

Also, don’t try to pick one up with your bare hands because they have sharp teeth that can easily break the skin.

12. Three-lined Salamander

The three-lined salamander has yellow, orange, and black vertical stripes that run across its body. It is about 5-7 centimeters long and has a thin tail for swimming.

It can be found in parts of Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee, as well as certain areas of Alabama, such as Cullman County. 

The three-lined salamander is only seen during summer when it comes out to mate or after heavy rains. These salamanders usually live under rocks or logs on land or in aquatic habitats. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama eat insects and worms. The three-lined salamander is home around swampy forests near lakes and rivers, while other species are found in rocky areas along mountain streams and springs.

13. Southern Two-Lined Salamander

The southern two-lined salamander is a small species and can reach lengths of up to 4.5 inches. It has spots on its back that look like two lines, hence its name.

The southern two-lined salamander is light brown with yellow or cream-colored spots and speckles. Its habitat ranges from Georgia to Illinois and Indiana, though it’s most common in North Carolina.

Although it primarily lives along creeks, it comes out at night to hunt for food, mainly consisting of other amphibians (namely frogs), insects, spiders, and worms.

The southern two-lined salamander spends most of its time hiding under rocks and logs during daylight hours.

14. Hellbender

The largest salamander species by length, hellbenders can grow up to two feet long. Found throughout much of Appalachia and parts of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee, these salamanders have been listed as vulnerable by IUCN due to habitat loss.

These types of salamanders in Alabama are often confused with alligators because they look similar. 

One way to tell them apart is that they are usually black with yellow-gold spots down their back; it’s also important not to pick them up or try keeping them as pets since doing so could threaten their survival.

Hellbenders reproduce between late April and early May when male hellbenders release pheromones into nearby water sources to attract females for mating.

15. Red Salamander

The red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) is typically between 6.5 and 8 inches long, with males reaching slightly larger sizes than females.

This reddish-colored salamander has dark and light blotches running down its body and is sometimes confused with another similar species, the Northern Red Salamander.

Despite their similarities, red salamanders are usually found only below 6000 feet, while northern reds can be found at elevations above 8000 feet. 

These types of salamanders in Alabama thrive in mature forests, where they feed on ants and termites, as well as earthworms and snails. The reproductive cycle of red salamanders varies depending on their environment.

16. Three-toed Amphiuma

Also known as trunkfish, these salamanders have flat, wormlike bodies and are often covered with tiny hairs.

These types of salamanders in Alabama can grow up to 14 inches (36 cm) long, although 6 inches (15 cm) is more typical.

Unlike most amphibians, these animals spend their lives submerged in water and only come out on land to breed or lay eggs. 

They breathe through their skin and remain underwater even after they die. Three-toed Amphiumas live exclusively in southeastern U.S. swamps and lakes. The largest population of three-toed amphiumas lives in Lake Jackson near Tallahassee, Florida.

17. Greater Siren

The greater siren is a large species of aquatic salamander, reaching lengths up to 20 inches as adults. These salamanders in Alabama are larger than most other salamanders in Alabama and have highly developed lungs, which allow them to stay underwater indefinitely.

The greater siren is mostly black with yellow markings on their backs and sides. 

These salamanders in Alabama are fairly well-adapted for living in water and have a wonderful smell that helps them hunt prey underwater.

This species is home to slow-moving bodies of water like swamps, ponds, ditches, lakes, and river banks. They typically live under rocks or mud at the bottom of shallow waters near shorelines, where they lay their eggs during springtime to protect them from predators until they hatch several months later.

18. Northern Slimy Salamander

The slimy salamander is a species that is home in wet forests, bogs, and some suburban areas. The coloration for both male and female slimy salamanders is about an olive-grey tone with spots of yellow on their bellies.

These types of salamanders in Alabama grow to be anywhere from 2-4 inches long, making them one of Alabama’s smaller salamanders. 

Slimy salamanders tend to stay close to bodies of water, but they can occasionally be found roaming through forested areas.

These salamanders in Alabama are carnivorous animals that feed on insects and even small invertebrates like earthworms. While hunting, their favorite method is waiting motionless near prey before striking without warning!

19. Mud Salamander

One of Alabama’s smallest salamanders. These aquatic salamanders are only about three inches long and live near waterways, lakes, ponds, or other bodies of water with mud bottoms.

These types of salamanders in Alabama are sometimes found under rocks or logs around water. The most distinguishable characteristic is their large eye pupils, which look like dots in their eyes.

Another interesting fact is that they give birth to up to 20 baby salamanders at a time and can carry them inside their mouth for weeks before they hatch!

Another interesting fact is that they give birth to up to 20 baby salamanders at a time and can carry them inside their mouth for weeks before they hatch!

20. Dwarf Salamander

The dwarf salamander is a relatively small species, reaching a maximum size of fewer than 3.5 inches long. These types of salamanders in Alabama have broad heads, large eyes, and upturned mouths.

Though they prefer shady conditions, they can be seen in more open habitats during rainy periods when the ground is moist. 

They are called dwarf because their adult body length is only about 1/4 that of other fully grown salamanders, such as Jefferson or Tiger salamander species found elsewhere in North America. 22. Ensatina: The Ensatina (Ensatina eschscholtzii) is a member of family Plethodontidae, genus Ensatina.

21. Holbrook’s Southern Dusky Salamander

While its name is a mouthful, it’s worth remembering if you plan on seeing one. The Holbrook’s southern dusky salamander is found in and around Georgia.

The first segment of its body is green, while its last four segments are brown or black, with a yellow line running down their backs. 

While most salamanders spend their time under logs or rocks, these guys usually prefer damp woody debris and holes, especially those containing rotting wood.

But they may also venture into moist leaf litter around ponds and streams. These little amphibians feed on springtails, small mites, ants, and termites, making them both predator and prey to many other animals like bats or snakes that hunt under logs and stones for food.

22. Mole Salamander

The Mole salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) gets its name from its close resemblance to a mole. Growing to 4 inches, it lives entirely underground and has been spotted at altitudes between 150 and 800 feet above sea level. It can be found primarily in south-central Tennessee, North Carolina, and Virginia. 

These salamanders in Alabama are also commonly found throughout most of Tennessee, southern Indiana, Ohio, and parts of northern Georgia.

However, little is known about their habitat requirements due to their elusive nature. Adult males have blue throat pouches with black staining, while females have yellow throats.

These types of salamanders in Alabama are omnivores that feed on small invertebrates such as worms, insects, and arachnids.

23. Long-tailed Salamander

The eastern long-tailed salamander (Eurycea longicaudata) is a species of salamander in the family Plethodontidae.

These types of salamanders in Alabama are found from Pennsylvania to Missouri, south to Georgia and Louisiana, with disjunct populations in western North Carolina, eastern Tennessee, and northern Alabama. These types of salamanders in Alabama are also found on Cumberland Island off Georgia. 

Eastern Long-Tailed salamanders live close to water, as they require it for reproduction as well as breathing. These salamanders in Alabama can be found under rocks and logs along streams or lakeshores, where they hunt for insects like water striders and ants at night.

The average size is four inches long, including their tail which extends an additional two inches behind them; males are typically smaller than females.

24. Spring Salamander

Ensatina eschscholtzii spring is a rare subspecies of eastern red-spotted newt found exclusively in central Tennessee and northwestern Alabama.

These types of salamanders in Alabama have a very limited range, mostly inhabiting seepage slopes surrounded by mixed conifer forests.

The range overlaps with that of another subspecies (Ensatina eschscholtzii eschscholtzii), but it’s unclear how much interbreeding occurs between them. 

Spring salamanders live beneath logs, rocks, and decaying vegetation on steep hillsides. Their population status is unknown; habitat loss threatens their survival and a collection for the international pet trade.

Conclusion

This state is home to an impressive number of salamanders. In total, there are 24 types of salamanders in Alabama that call Alabama home.

For example, you might have heard about Red Salamanders and Eastern Narrowmouths, two species of land-dwelling salamander, but there are more that also fit into these categories. 

If you’re interested in seeing all these incredible animals, stop by a nearby stream or pond. Just remember: when visiting freshwater areas, you should always check local regulations beforehand. Some streams aren’t safe for humans without a permit!

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