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Northwestern Salamander Ambystoma gracile


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Northwestern Salamander
credit: The high Fin Sperm Whale

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Family: Ambystomidae, Mole Salamanders view all from this family

Description Brown to gray, long and stout. Sometimes with light spots. Seemingly large swelling behind eyes. 12 coastal grooves. Proportionate limbs.

Dimensions 14-22cm. (5 5/8-8 5/8")

Warning When molested, adults secrete a sticky, white substance from glands on the head, body, and tail that can be mildly irritating to human skin.

Subspecies Two known subspecies.
Brown Salamander , is a brown uniform color, found in Vancouver Island & British Columbia.
British Columbia Salamander has many light flecks. Found from Alaska through to British Columbia.

Breeding Breeds January through July. 100-200 eggs in a clutch, laid in groups of up to 35, which are attached to debris in ponds and streams. Eggs hatch after 2-4 weeks. Transform after 2 years.

Habitat Open grassland and dense forests. Inhabits areas below ground, along banks.

Range Along the pacific coast from California to Alaska.

Discussion Rarely seen outside of breeding season or heavy rains. Populations within mountain ranges are often nektonic. They often reproduce whilst still having larval features since they fail to change into full adult forms.