Friday, February 12, 2010

The Northern Red Salamander

The Northern Red Salamander
Pseudotriton ruber
Appearance: The Northern Red Salamander is a short, bright red-orange salamander with small black spots. The lower sides and belly are light salmon or red, and the lower jaw can have dark spotting. Older Red Salamanders may become darker as they age and the spots may fuse together. Adult Northern Red Salamanders may become as large as eighteen point one centimeters in length.

Longevity: The Northern Red Salamander stays in the larval stage for as long as four years and these fascinating creatures have been known to live as long as twenty years!

Range: The Northern Red Salamander can be found from southern Massachusetts through Ohio to Alabama. The only exception is in the Appalachian Mountains here two subspecies of this creature live. The Northern Red Salamander can be found in the Midwest but that is a rarity, and is generally not included in the range description.

Migration: The Northern Red Salamander is not known to be a migratory species.

Diet: The Northern Red Salamander eats a varied carnivorous diet consisting of earthworms, insects and other salamanders.

Reproduction: The mating season of the Northern Red Salamander is from spring to early fall. The females are capable of laying up to 150 eggs at one time! The eggs hatch in early winter and the young remain in the larval stage for two to three years.

Environment: The Northern Red Salamander must remain in a moist environment at all times so they are generally found in wetlands, marshes, under rocks logs, and leaves.

Interesting Facts: Salamanders do not hibernate. Salamanders shed their skin from every few days to every few weeks depending on the species, except during cold weather when they do not shed at all. They are found in cool moist environments such as under rocks or logs. Their carnivorous diet consists mainly of worms, insects, and other salamanders.

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