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Ringed Salamander Ambystoma annulatum


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Ringed Salamander
credit: Disnox/CCSA

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Family: Ambystomidae, Mole Salamanders view all from this family

Description Body slender with small head. Varied coloration from dark brown to nearly black, with yellow, buff or whitish rings. Rings quite variable, often incomplete, vertical light bars or elongated spots. Color may vary, even on one individual. Lower portions usually gray with lighter spotting or an irregular pattern.

Dimensions 5 1/2-9 1/4" (14-23.5 cm)

Breeding Mating and nesting after first heavy rains of autumn. 10-20 eggs attached to submerged plants and vegetation. Hatches in October, larvae transform in late May.

Habitat Damp forested areas, usually under leaves, rotting logs, or in abandoned ground holes of other organisms, near shallow ponds.

Range In and around the Ozark Plateau and Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri. Small populations have also been found in western Illinois and eastern Oklahoma.

Discussion Increasingly rare and perhaps endangered, likely a result of its restricted range and specific breeding habit needs. The world population is thought to be around 100,000 animals. Its conservation status is assessed as Lower Risk - Least Concern by the IUCN.