Spotted Salamanders

📸: Nina Harfmann

We posted a fun photo to Instagram last week (follow us there, too! your_wild_ohio) and we heard from people who didn’t know we had salamanders in Ohio… and we’re here to tell you– boy oh boy we do!

Spotted Salamanders are found throughout Ohio in low-lying moist woodlands adjacent to swamps, ponds, and creeks. Because of their secretive nature and their love for tunneling underground, they are seldom seen except in early spring. This explains why so many of the wildlife lovers who follow us had never seen one in person.

Each spring, they migrate in large numbers to breeding ponds. Even then, they are active only at night. Often the only evidence of their presence is a fist-sized egg mass containing less than 100 eggs which is attached to a submerged stick or plant.

How does a six-inch salamander pass a fist-sized egg mass? The eggs are not that large when laid, but the jelly-like substance that covers them swells when the eggs come in contact with the water.

This large, chunky salamander has two irregular rows of yellow or greenish-yellow spots. Occasionally, the spots on the back of the head are orange.

Looking to learn more? We have an amphibian of Ohio field guide ( with more details on the often hidden world of amphibians in our great state.

Are you an educator and want a physical copy of this guide, or to see the other guides and resources we offer? Find more details here:

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