Discover Maryland's Herps

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

Spotted Salamander
(Ambystoma maculatum)

Photo of adult Spotted Salamander courtesy of John White
Adult Photo of Spotted Salamander courtesy of John White


  • 6 - 7 in. 

  • Record - 9 in.

  • Appearance

  • Back is black or grayish brown with two rows of distinct yellow or orange spots.

  • Some individuals have no spots.

  • Underside is pale gray with no spots.

  • Habitat photo courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
    Habitat Photo for Spotted Salamander
    courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers


  • In spring, spotted salamanders breed in vernal pools.

  • Terrestrial life stages can be found near pools under rocks, logs, or underground burrows.

  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map for Spotted Salamander

    Return to Field Guide to Maryland Salamanders

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

    For monthly newsletters of the Maryland Amphibian & Reptile Atlas Project click on Recent Newsletters and scroll down to the MARA Newsletters.

    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.