Saturday, March 17, 2012

Creature Feature: Northern Red Salamander

Adult Northern Red Salamander

The Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) is native to many areas along the east coast of the United States and is present in many aquatic habitats in a majority of the Appalachian mountains. This salamander tends to prefer slow moving streams containing few fish, mountain seeps, and can sometimes even be found in upland habitats near water.

The juvenile red salamander is exclusively aquatic and has external gills.  As the salamander grows the gills slowly shrink away and the brown juvenile attains a red color.  When the juvenile first turns red the color is usually very bright but tends to fade a bit with age.  The tail in the juvenile is also paddle-like to aid in aquatic locomotion where the adults tail is much more cylindrical in shape
Juvenile Red Salamander-Gills still present

Lesser Known Fact: The juvenile red salamander doesn't reach the adult stage until it is almost three years old!

1 comment:

  1. As much as I love hiking and all, I don't think I'd be thrilled to meet a real slimy creature. Very informative and interesting post, though :)