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Species Description

Flatwoods Salamander

Ambystoma cingulatum


Species Image

Classification

Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Ambystomatidae

Description

Dark, almost black with gray markings on its back. The markings may look like fine lines, a net, or circles. Its belly is black with gray specks. 9 - 13 cm (3.5 - 5 in) This is a small Mole Salamander, not as robust as other members of this genus. The head is not quite as blunt as in other Ambystoma species. It has 15 costal grooves.

Life Cycle

Breeding occurs in the late fall. Fertilization is internal. The female lays small clumps of eggs on damp ground near water. Hatching occurs when winter rains flood the area where the eggs have been laid, usually 20 to 40 days later. Transformation to adult form occurs in the spring, three to four months later. Members of the Mole Salamander Family (Ambystomatidae) are aptly named because they spend most of their time underground. This salamander burrows near water or moves about under debris on the forest floor. It is nocturnal and most likely to be seen during the fall courtship and breeding period. The Flatwoods Salamander is found in flatwoods dominated by longleaf or slash pines, and is very closely associated with the pine/wiregrass habitat. It is carnivorous, and is an opportunistic feeder, primarily eating earthworms and arthropods. It needs shallow winter ponds to breed and does not do well in ponds that contain fish.

Range

Flatwoods Salamander Region Map The Flatwoods Salamander is found in the pine woodlands and cypress swamps of the Coastal Plain.

Conservation Status

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