Spotted Salamander | Forty Acre Rock (S.C.)

Ambystoma maculatum
• Widespread in the United States
• Stoutly built, 15.2 - 24.8 cm (6 - 9.75 inches)
• Black, blue-black, dark gray or dark brown above
• Two irregular rows of round, yellow or orange spots beginning on head and extending to tail tip
• Belly slate-gray
• Eggs laid in gelatinous masses, then covered with a little dirt
• Larva grows within eggs, enlarging the mass
• Each larva enclosed in a gelatinous envelope
• External gills, four legs at hatching
• Gills are frilly, fingerlike projections from the side of the neck
• Gills disappear after approximately a year
• Has an alga, Oophila, living inside
• Must breed in water
• Appears when temperature reaches 40 degrees Fahrenheit and there is rain
• Spends most time underground
• Adults rarely encountered
• Life expectancy to 20 years
• Habitats include hardwood forests and hillsides around pools and flooded depressions

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