Four-toed Salamander
Hemidactylium scutatum

  • Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)
  • Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)0121
  • Four-toed Salamander Venter
Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)1 Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum)01212 Four-toed Salamander Venter3

 

Common Name:
Four-toed Salamander
Scientific Name:
Hemidactylium scutatum
Etymology:
Genus:
hemi is Greek for "half", daktylion is Greek and means "fusion of digits". Referring to the reduced number of digits on the hind feet.
 Species:
scutatum is Latin meaning "armed with a shield". Referring to the costal grooves which appeared to be covered with shield-like plates.
Average Length:
2 - 3.5 in. (5.1 - 9 cm)
Virginia Record Length: 
Record length:
4 in. (10.2 cm)

 

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is from 50-95 mm. The dorsum is brown and the venter white with conspicuous scattered black dots. The reddish tail is constructed at the base. There are four toes on each hind foot *1014*. The adult female is about 75 mm and the adult male about 65 mm. There are 13-14 costal grooves *3821*.

REPRODUCTION: The female lays 30-50 eggs under moss, and spawns in early March and the larvae hatch in May. The larvae mature at 1.5 years *1014*. Brooding is a solitary activity, and there is communal egg laying by up to 14 females *913*. The eggs are laid so that larvae fall or wriggle into shallow ponds, pools, or small, quiet streams *949,1008*.

BEHAVIOR: This species dwells in bogs and requires seepages or shallow ponds with moss-covered logs, roots, and grass clumps over quiet water *1014*. This species winters beneath surface materials or deeply buried *865*. They are limited to wooded areas with pools, bogs, or slow bog streams *3821*. This species occurs in various hardwood forests, less often in coniferous forests *3821*.

ORIGIN: The origin of this species is native *1014*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: Aquatic associations include: Rana clomitan melanota, Notophthalmus v. viridescens, Hyla crucifer, Sphagnum sp. and grasses *865,3820,3822*. Terrestrial associations include: N. v. viridescens, Thamnophis sirtalis, R. sylvatica, Ambystoma jeffersonianum, Plethodon cinerus, Pseudacris triseciata, Cornus stolonifera, Thalictrum polygamum, Clematis virginiana, Viburnum dentatum and Viola blanda *865,3820,3822*.

References for Life History

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Fairfax Co.
Fairfax Co.
Bedford Co.

 

Verified County/City Occurrence

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Verified in 57 Counties/Cities.


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