Field Guide to Maryland's Salamanders and Newts  (Order Caudata)

Four-Toed Salamander

Family: Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)

Common Name:
Four-Toed Salamander

Scientific Name:
Hemidactylium scutatum

Adult Photo of Four-toed Salamander, courtesy of John White
Adult Photo and Foot Detail Photo of Four-toed Salamander courtesy of John White

Four-toed Salamander foot detail courtesy of John White
  • 2 - 3½ in. 
  • Record - 4 in.


Three distinct characteristics make identification easy:

  1. an enamel-white belly with small black spots (the only salamander with this),

  2. four toes on both front and hind feet (most salamanders have five toes on back feet), and

  3. a marked constriction at the base of the tail. A rusty brown back and gray sides.


Habitat photo for Four-toed Salamander courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Habitat Photo for Four-toed Salamander courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • Forests surrounding swamps, bogs, vernal pools, sluggish streams and other fish-free wetland habitats.
  • Typically found in association with sphagnum or other mosses, where females lay eggs in late winter and early spring along wetland margins.

How to Find:

Distribution in Maryland:
Maryland Distribution Map of Four-toed Salamander