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Four-toed Salamander

Hemidactylium scutatum
  • A small 6-8 cm salamander.
  • The four-toed salamander is thin and reddish-brown in colour. The orange-coloured tail has a constriction, or groove, circling it just behind the rear legs.
  • It has an immaculate white belly dotted with black spots.
  • Look for four toes on each foot. All other terrestrial salamanders have five toes on each hind foot.
  • The four-toed salamander is found in moss in bogs or under rocks and logs in mossy seepage areas and marshy woodlands.
  • Males court females in the fall when wet weather in late September and October stimulates them to search for females.
  • Females retain the male's sperm over the winter and migrate towards woodland ponds the following April in search of suitable egg laying sites.
  • Each female lays about 25 eggs.
  • This species has a discontinuous distribution in Ontario because of its specialized need for moss-fringed ponds in rich, damp woodlands.