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29 Unique Salamanders in Florida

There are 29 salamanders in Florida that can be found in the wetlands, rivers, lakes, and near other freshwater sources. They are a sign of a clean environment and are essential in keeping the balance in the ecosystem. Not only do salamanders feed on a diverse lineup of invertebrates, but salamanders are also essential food sources for birds, snakes, and small mammals. 

The 29 salamanders you will find on this list all can be found in the wilds of Florida. Their appearance, behavior, and the location where a salamander is found can all be used to identify a species. Some salamanders may also be very similar, and can only be distinguished by minor differences.

Let’s take a look at the salamanders in Florida, and the interesting things you can learn about them. Florida is home to over 700 terrestrial animals and much more marine life. Salamanders can be found on land or in freshwater, and are essential animals in the ecosystem they live in. 

Table of Contents

Salamanders in Florida

1. Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander

Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) being held in hand
Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma bishopi) being held in hand – source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma bishopi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.59 to 5 inches (4.03 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Reticulated flatwoods salamanders live in Florida, and inhabit the western corner of the state. This species lives in longleaf pine flatwoods, and wetland-type habitats. In Florida, they are considered an endangered species and are most threatened by habitat loss.

Breeding for this salamander occurs from October, until January during the rainiest season. Small puddles, ponds, and other pools are water are used to lay eggs, which are attached to vegetation. Flatwood salamanders lay up to 35 eggs, which only take 2 days to hatch.

A small species, this salamander has a long, slender body. They have a rounded snout, and small heads. Their bodies have black, or dark brown coloring, and they are covered in gray blotches, and lines. The pattern on them looks similar to lichen, and their underside is black, with grey specklings on it.

Earthworms and spiders make up the majority of this salamander’s diet. As droughts and habitat destruction occur more often this species is at risk of becoming extinct.

2. Frosted Flatwoods Salamander

Frosted Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) walking through leaves in Florida, USA
Frosted Flatwoods Salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) walking through leaves in Florida, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma cingulatum
  • Other Names: Flatwoods salamander
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 5.3 inches (8.89 to 13.46 cm)
  • Lifespan: 4 to 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Frosted flatwoods salamanders are a threatened species in Florida. They live in flatwoods, and pine forests habitat. They breed in the fall to early spring and rely on the pine flatwoods-wiregrass in Florida to sustain themselves. They are found in Florida’s Franklin, Baker, Liberty, Jefferson, and Wakulla counties. 

The frosted flatwoods salamander has a long body and slender appearance. They are gray, or silver colored, and are covered in white spots. Frosted flatwoods salamanders have a mottled pattern of gray crossbands that cover their body. Their bellies are gray, with cream blotches on them. Their larvae are aquatic and have gills. 

This salamander spends most of its life underground, and its diet mainly consists of earthworms. The destruction of their habitat is the main reason for their population decline. Predators of this salamander include fish, snakes, and larger frogs. 

3. Marbled Salamander

Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum) on a rock with moss
Marbled Salamander (Ambystoma opacum) on a rock with moss
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma opacum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 4.25 inches (9 to 10 cm)
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

The marbled salamander lives in the northwestern region of Florida, and they are found in much of the eastern United States. Forests and moist woodland habitats are where they are seen commonly. They also inhabit moist sandy places or hillsides. The marbled salamander is a burrowing species, but comes out to breed.

In Florida, the breeding for the marbled salamander occurs from October to December. They are able to lay 50 to 200 eggs and place them in water pools attached to vegetation. The slime around this salamander is used to keep their eggs moist. When it rains heavily enough to cover the eggs in water that is when they hatch, which may not occur until spring.

Marbled salamanders have black or dark brown coloring. They are covered in white, or silver crossbands. Males of this species have white bands, while females have silver colored markings on them. You can find 11 to 12 vertical costal grooves on their body.

Slugs, snails, centipedes, and other small ground dwelling invertebrates are what the marbled salamander eats. Larvae feed on zooplankton, and as they grow they begin to feed on larger animals.

4. Mole Salamander

Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) on degrading log
Mole Salamander (Ambystoma talpoideum) on degrading log
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma talpoideum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm)
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The mole salamander is found in most of the eastern, and central regions of the United States. In Florida, they live in the upper northern region of the state. Mole salamanders live in floodplain or broadleaf forests. Ponds and other water sources are common where they live.

The mole salamander lives on the forest floor, but in the breeding season, they travel to a pond. Their eggs are laid in the spring during periods of heavy rain. Some larvae may keep their gills and stay in the water, while others complete metamorphosis and go on land.

In Florida this salamander is common. They are not a threatened species and have a classification of least concern. Mole salamanders feed on insects like worms and snails. The night is when they typically come out as they are nocturnal, but it is also common to see them on rainy days. Not dangerous to humans, they are shy if spotted in the wild.

5. Tiger Salamander

Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) on a wooden log in Aiken County, South Carolina, USA
Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) on a wooden log in Aiken County, South Carolina, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma tigrinum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 13 inches (17.78 to 33 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The tiger salamander lives in woodlands with lots of deciduous trees, open grasslands, and other moist habitats. They are a burrowing species and prefer areas with loose soil. Tiger salamanders mainly live in the northern region of Florida and have a scattered range across the eastern United States.

Tiger salamanders are terrestrial but use water pools to breed. They will attempt to return to the pond where they were born, and find a mate in the breeding season. Tiger salamanders lay up to 25 to 30 eggs in mass, which is placed on twigs, or other vegetation. In around two weeks their eggs hatch.

Tiger salamanders are the largest terrestrial salamander species in Florida. They have dark brown, or black color, and are covered in yellow, or brownish-yellow blotches and spots. Tiger salamanders have thick bodies and short snouts.

Snails, frogs, worms, ticks, and other small animals they come across are what this species eats. Since they are nocturnal they may not be seen often, but they are not a threatened species.

6. Two-toed Amphiuma

Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) on white background
Two-toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma means) on white background
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Amphiumidae
  • Scientific Name: Amphiuma means
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 13.7 to 45.7 inches (34.7 to 116.07 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The two-toed amphiuma is found all across Florida. They are mainly found in the coastal states of the far east United States. Two-toed amphiuma is mainly aquatic and lives in coastal plains habitats. Streams, pools, sloughs, and temporary waters are where they are sometimes found. This species may sometimes come on land when it is rainy. They inhabit burrows made by crayfish and other similar animals.

Two-toed amphiumas have an elongated body, similar to an eel. They have four vestigial legs, which only have two toes. Black, gray, and dark brown are the most common colors they appear in. Moist in appearance, adults have one gill slit on the side of their heads to allow them to breathe in the water.

Two-toed amphiumas are found in littoral zones and may hide under vegetation, or debris. In Florida, their breeding season occurs in June and July. They lay up to 200 eggs in crevices, and females will incubate them by wrapping their bodies around them. Fish, tadpoles, crawfish, insects, and other small amphibians that go in the water like frogs are what their diet is made up of.

7. One-toed Amphiuma

One-Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma Pholeter) being held in a hand
One-Toed Amphiuma (Amphiuma Pholeter) being held in a hand
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Amphiumidae
  • Scientific Name: Amphiuma pholeter
  • Other Names: 15 to 20 years
  • Adult Size: 8.6 to 13 inches (20.32 to 33.02 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

The one-toed amphiuma is native to the southeastern United States. This species was discovered in the 1950s. In Florida, they are only known in the northern coastal region of the state. One-toed amphiuma lives in swampy floodland habitats. They may be found in water sources like streams, lakes, or ditches. This species is aquatic, but on rainy nights they may travel on land.

The color of this salamander ranges from black, to purplish. They have a light-colored underside. They have a head shaped like a cone, and four small legs on their elongated body. This species gets its name from the one toe found on its legs.

One-toed amphiumas are nocturnal, and at night feed on invertebrate prey they find. Crayfish, worms, and insect larvae are some of the things they eat. The one-toed amphiuma is common in muddy bottoms and will hide in burrows in the mud when not active.

8. Many-lined Salamander

Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus) on a leafy moist surface in Georgia, USA
Many-lined Salamander (Stereochilus marginatus) on a leafy moist surface in Georgia, USA. – Source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Stereochilus marginatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.75 inches (6.4 to 9.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The many-lined salamander is a species native to the eastern coastal states of the U.S. In Florida, this salamander is extremely rare and is considered a species in need of  greatest conservation in the state. Many-lined salamanders in Florida have been reported in the Baker, Nassau, Union, and Columbia counties, only seen in the extreme northeastern regions, found in coastal plains habitats.

The many-lined salamander is small, and dark brown in color. They have dark stripes or blotch-like stripes that appear on their body. Their tails are long, and their limbs small. The many-lined salamander has a slender body, with a yellow belly covered in dark specks.

This species is aquatic and prefers to live in shallow water. They hide under decaying matter, and other moist vegetation. Many-lined salamanders breed in water pools, and also lay their eggs attached to underwater plant-life. The degradation, and pollution of wetlands, and other streams are the cause of their population decline in the wild.

9. Gulf Coast Mud Salamander

Gulf Coast Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus flavissimus) close up on snow with debree around
Gulf Coast Mud Salamander (Pseudotriton montanus flavissimus) close up on snow with debree around
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudotriton montanus flavissimus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5 inches
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Gulf coast mud salamanders are native to the eastern United States, and are found in most of Florida but the southern region. Gulf coast mud salamanders live in lowlands, and other muddy habitats. They are fossorial, and build tunnels, in wetlands, floodplains, near ponds, and other similar places.

Gulf coast mud salmanders are a subspecies of mud salamander (Pseudotriton montanus). They are listed as a secure species but may experience population loss. This salamander is reddish brown and covered in a mottled dot pattern. They are very similar to other subspecies of mud salamanders, and the red salamander.

Secretive in nature, gulf coast mud salamanders are nocturnal. They may feed on smaller salamanders, while their larvae eat aquatic insects. Mating for them occurs in the fall, and early winter. As many as 77 to 200 eggs are laid, and the hatchlings stay in their aquatic stage for 15 to 19 months.

The larvae of this species have gills and live in leaf litter until their gills are reduced and they become adults. Not seen often, this salamander’s rarity makes it difficult to study them in depth.

10. Rusty Mud Salamander

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudotriton montanus floridanus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5 inches (7.62 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The rusty mud salamander is found in Florida and other regions in the eastern United States. This species is a subspecies of salamander, found originally in northern Florida. The rusty mud salamander lives near creeks, swamps, springs, and other similar habitats. They are a burrowing species and are sometimes found in leaf litter, or near the edges of the water.

The rusty mud salamander has a dark brown or reddish coloring. They are covered in dark specks on their tail, and back. Rusty mud salamanders have slender bodies and a moist appearance. Their range in Florida is what can differentiate them from other species. They are also darker than other subspecies, and they are smaller.

Small invertebrates and other salamanders that they can come across are what this species eats. This salamander is preyed on by garter snakes and other larger snakes that live in Florida.

11. Southern Red Salamander

Southern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber vioscai) being held in hand
Southern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber vioscai) being held in hand – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudotriton ruber vioscai
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.33 to 7 in. (11 to 18 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $70

The southern red salamander is found in the eastern United States, including Florida. The southern red salamander lives in the coastal plains, and pine plains habitats. They are aquatic, and don’t have lungs, but breathe through their skin. Southern red salamanders are a subspecies of red salamanders found in Florida. They are found near streams and other clear water sources.

The southern red salamander is orange, or reddish brown. They are covered in black spots, with white flecks near their mouth, and necks. The underside of this species also has dark spots.

This salamander is threatened by habitat loss, and maintaining their homes also preserves the homes of tons of salamander species. Southern red salamanders eat worms, slugs, snails, and beetles. Their breeding occurs from summer to fall. Their eggs are laid under rocks and vegetation. As many as 130 eggs can be laid, and females will watch over them until they hatch.

12. Apalachicola Dusky Salamander

Apalachicola Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus Apalachicolae) being held in hand
Apalachicola Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus Apalachicolae) being held in hand – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus apalachicolae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 inches (10.16)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Apalachicola dusky salamander is a species that lives in Alaambma, Florida, and Georgia. Native to the United States, this salamander is only found in the northern region of the United States near the border sections of Alabama, and Georgia. They inhabit temperate forests, rivers, springs, and coastal plains habitats.

This salamander has a gray, or tan coloring, sometimes with orange, or tan mottled patterns on them. Their coloring and markings help them blend into surfaces like leaf litter, or sandy areas. In Florida little is known as they are difficult to study because of their secretive nature. Their population is considered imperiled in the state due to habitat loss.

13. Southern Dusky Salamander

Holbrook’s Southern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus) on wet grass in Florida, USA
Holbrook’s Southern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus auriculatus) on wet grass in Florida, USA. – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus auriculatus
  • Other Names: Holbrook’s southern dusky salamander
  • Adult Size: 3 to 6 inches (7.62 to 15.24 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The southern dusky salamander is found across the habitats of the coastal plain in the southeastern United States. In Florida, they are found in most of the state, but the far south, and eastern coastal regions. The southern dusky salamander may live in swamps, cypress ponds, stagnant streams, and other similar water sources. They are a common species and not protected.

Southern dusky salamanders are a medium-sized species, with dark brown, or black coloring. They may have a light patch running down their back, and they may have white or orangish spots on their sides and back. Their tail is long, and around half their length.

Southern dusky salamanders spend most of their time near water feeding on aquatic insects, and other invertebrates. They breed during the fall months and lay up to 20 eggs under rocks, or other vegetation. In spring they finish their metamorphosis, to become adults.

14. Spotted Dusky Salamander

Spotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) in shallow sandy creek
Spotted Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus conanti) in shallow sandy creek – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus conanti
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 5 inches (6.35 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The range of the spotted dusky salamander covers most of the eastern United States, but in Florida, they are only found in the far northwestern corner of the state. The spotted dusky salamander lives in lowlands, and streams habitats. This salamander is common in their range, and they are a secure species.

Spotted dusky salamanders have stout bodies, with tan to black coloring. They have gold or red spots that appear on their dorsal. On their body are around 14 costal grooves. They have a long tails with a keeled appearance, with some having a light dorsal stripe on them.

Earthworms, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, and other invertebrates are what this salamander eats. Birds, snakes, and larger amphibians are what feed on this species. Mature spotted duskies are nocturnal and are seen most often in their breeding season in the fall and spring. Females lay up to 40 eggs, and care for them. They reach maturity in around 2 or 3 years.

15. Seal Salamander

Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola) close up on wet bank in creek
Seal Salamander (Desmognathus monticola) close up on wet bank in creek
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus monticola
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.3 to 5 inches (8.3 to 12.7
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Seal salamanders live in Florida and other regions of the southeastern United States. Mountains, wetlands, springs, forest, and forested areas near freshwater is where this species lives. The seal salamander is often found in streams with well-aerated water and is listed as a species that is of least concern in its range.

Seal salamanders get their name from the alert stance it takes that looks similar to a seal. The seal salamander has light brown or gray coloring, and dark reticulated markings on them. Their stomach has black and white markings with a light color.

Seal salamanders are able to regenerate limbs like other salamanders, which helps when they are attacked. They are active mostly in the spring and fall to mate and lay their eggs under rocks in streams. This salamander has large feet which help them move around wet rocky regions. Seal salamanders feed on insects like beetles, flies, and aquatic bugs.

16. Three-lined Salamander

Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) walking on a bark surface at Congaree National Park, South Carolina, USA
Three-lined Salamander (Eurycea guttolineata) walking on a bark surface at Congaree National Park, South Carolina, USA. – source
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea guttolineata
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.93 to 6.25 inches (10 to 15.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: $15

The three-lined salamander is found in the eastern regions of the United States. They are found in the northwestern corner of Florida. Three-lined salamanders live in swamps, forests, and a variety of other habitats near water. They are found may be spotted under rocks, wood pieces, or leaf litter.

The dark lines that run down this species’ back are what gives them their name. This species is light tan to yellow in color. They have nimble legs and slender long bodies. Their stomachs have black and white marbling pattern on it. Their dark stripes are their most identifying trait which runs from their head to tail.

Three-lined salamanders are common in their range and are not a threatened species. They feed on insects and invertebrates and are mainly active at night. Moist nights are when this salamander is seen the most. Originally the three-lined salamander was considered a subspecies of the southern two-lined salamander but was differentiated due to genetic data.

17. Southern Two-lined Salamander

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea cirrigera
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 in. (6.35 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: $15

The southern two-lined salamander is native to the eastern United States, found in the northwestern region of Florida. Southern two-lined salamanders live near streams, shallow waters, and other wetlands. They inhabit  forests, foothills, and bottomlands. Southern two-lined salamanders are a common species and are not protected in the regions they inhabit.

Southern two-lined salamanders have tan or light yellow color. They have two stripes dunning down their back and dark blotches between them. Their bellies have a black and white pattern on them. Around 14 costal grooves are found on them.

Breeding for this salamander is aquatic and occurs in places like streams. They lay between 20 to 100 eggs, which are covered in white gel membranes. Under rocks, or in vegetation is where they lay them. Southern two-lined salamanders breed in the summer. Their larvae feed on aquatic insects, while adults feed on terrestrial naimals they come across.

18. Dwarf Salamander

Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata) on a wooden log walking out of green leaves in Florence County, South Carolina, USA
Dwarf Salamander (Eurycea quadridigitata) on a wooden log walking out of green leaves in Florence County, South Carolina, USA. – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea quadridigitata
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 in. (5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Dwarf salamanders are native to North America, with their range covering the southeastern United States. The dwarf salamander lives in bays, ponds, wetlands, and riparian-type habitats. They are common in wet-edged habitats, and in the spring or fall migrate to temporary water sources and bays to breed.

The dwarf salamander looks similar to the southern two-lined salamander but is smaller in size. They have tan coloring, with dark line markings that run down their sides. They are only around 2 inches or less when fully grown. The dwarf salamander is only in their larvae form for around 6 months. Males mature in around a year, while females take twice as long.

Dwarf salamanders feed on small invertebrates they find. They are terrestrial but their larvae are semi-aquatic. The dwarf salamander is found most often near places of seepage near ponds, and streams. Their small size makes them susceptible to animals like larger salamanders, frogs, snakes, fish, and birds.

19. Georgia Blind Salmander

Georgia Blind Salmander (Eurycea wallacei) on moss
Georgia Blind Salmander (Eurycea wallacei) on moss
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea wallacei
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1 to 2 in. (2.5 to 5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Georgia blind salamanders are found in the Jackson, Calhoun, and Washington counties in northern Florida. This salamander has a very small range and is only found in Florida and Georgia. In the wild, this salamander lives underground in pools, streams, and caves. They prefer darkness, and their secretive nature makes them rare. In the state, they are considered threatened, and are in need of conservation.

This salamander is small in size, and has a white body, with a yellowish or pink tint. They have red gills that stick out the side of their head. They have no eyes since dark habitats are where blind salamanders live. Blind salamanders are classified as aquatic trilobites, only living in underground aquatic habitats.

The main threat to this species is water pollution and the dumping of harmful pesticides and hazardous water. Contained caves and sinkholes limit the areas they are able to live. They eat aquatic invertebrates like small shrimps or amphipods they find.

20. Four-toed Salamander

Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) looking at camera perched on mossy foliage
Four-toed Salamander (Hemidactylium scutatum) looking at camera perched on mossy foliage – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Hemidactylium scutatum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The four-toed salamander is native to the eastern United States and has a scattered range across the region. In Florida, they are very rare, and not seen often due to their limited range in the north of the state. Moist woodlands and swamps are where this species lives. They hide under rocks, logs, and other debris near the edges of the water.

Four-toed salamanders have reddish-brown skin and a dry appearance. Their bellies are black and white, with a speckled pattern. As their name suggests they have four toes on their legs and are a terrestrial species.

The fall and spring are when they are active most, breeding during this season. Females lay between 18 to 41 eggs, after hatching their aquatic stages last for around 6 weeks. Four-toed salamanders mature in around 2 to 3 years. Snails, ants, worms, and other terrestrial invertebrates are what their diet is made of. If attacked they are able to detach their tail and use it as a distraction to escape.

21. Western water dog

Western water dog (Necturus beyeri) being held in hand
Western water dog (Necturus beyeri) being held in hand – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Proteidae
  • Scientific Name: Necturus beyeri
  • Other Names: Gulf coast water dog
  • Adult Size: 6.25 to 8.75 in (15.87 to 22.22 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

The gulf coast water dog is an aquatic salamander found in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippis, Texas, and Georgia. They live in freshwater habitats such as wetlands, streams, and swamps. The western water dog is mainly found in the northwestern region of Florida.

Brown to light tan in color, they are covered in a black speckled mottled pattern. They have external red gills on the sides of their head. They have an elongated body, and thin tails to help them swim. Their small legs help them navigate the freshwater floor.

The gulf coast water dog is listed as least concern, but is not seen often because they live in the water. They retain their gills from larvae to adulthood. Slow-moving waters are where they prefer to live, feeding on things like mayflies, isopods, and midges. Their predators include water snakes, fish, and larger crustaceans. The gulf coast water dogs may be affected by pollution of their habitats.

22. Striped Newt

Striped Newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus) in glass container being held
Striped Newt (Notophthalmus perstriatus) in glass container being held – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Scientific Name: Notophthalmus perstriatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.12 to 4.12 inches (5.4 to 10.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The striped newt is a near threatened species in Florida. They live in southern Georgia, and the northern region of Florida. Sandhills, flatwoods, and other hardwood habitats near wetlands are where they live. Striped newts are most affected by habitat loss caused by the creation of residential areas and fires. 

Striped newts when young are orange or red and have a stripe that runs down the side of their body. They have a greyish-speckled pattern covering them, and a vibrant appearance. Striped newts adults are terrestrial, while their young are aquatic. Adults have olive or greenish skin, and two dark tripes running down their backs.

Striped newts come out most on rainy nights, and use this time to breed. Ponds are used for breeding. They feed on small frogs, insects, and aquatic animals like shrimp. Like other amphibians, disease is also a cause for their population to decline in the wild.

23. Eastern Newt

Close up of an Eastern Red Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) on green vegetation
Close up of an Eastern Red Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) on green vegetation
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens
  • Other Names: Central Newt
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 in. (6.4 to 10 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

Eastern newts are native to the eastern United States and are found all across Florida. Forests, near freshwaters like streams, lakes, swamps, and marshes are where they live. Eastern newts are active in rainy periods. In warm weather, they hide under moist debris or leaf litter.

Eastern newts have yellow, greenish, coloring. They are covered in red spots that have a black border around them. Their stomachs are yellow and also have black spots covering them. This species has three stages of its life. Their larvae stage is aquatic, and they have green skin with external gills. Their eft stage is when they develop lungs and gain an orange appearance.

Eastern newts use pheromones to attract mates, and winter and spring are the seasons when active breeding. Females lay up to 400 eggs and may take up to 4 years to mature after hatching. From the start of their life newts are carnivores, and feed on invertebrates like bugs they find.

24. Peninsula Newt

Peninsula Newt (Notopthalmus viridescens piaropicola) on rocks
Peninsula Newt (Notopthalmus viridescens piaropicola) on rocks – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Scientific Name: Notopthalmus viridescens piaropicola
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.75 to 4.88 in.  (7 to 12.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 3 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $50

The peninsular newt is a subspecies of the eastern newt. They have a restricted range inFlorida in  the peninsular of the state in the south of Alachua county. They live in freshwater habitats near forests, with fast-moving fresh water.

The peninsular newt looks similar to the eastern newt but has a dark appearance, and they also lack the spot red spots that appear on the eastern newt. This species has greenish or brown coloring, sometimes appearing all black. They also may have black speckles on them. Their bellies are orange, or yellowish. This salamander’s range and appearance help identify them from other similar species.

These salamanders feed on a variety of animals like mollusks, mites, insects, and young amphibians. They use the toxin that emits from their skin to protect themselves from being eaten by predators, and their bright colors serve as a warning sign to other animals. A common trait in salamanders, they are also able to regenerate their limgs if attacked.

25. Northern Slimy Salamander

Close up of a Northern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus complex)
Close up of a Northern Slimy Salamander (Plethodon glutinosus complex)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon glutinosus
  • Other Names: grey-spotted salamander, slippery salamander
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 8 inches (11.43 to 20.32 inches)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

The northern slimy salamander lives in the eastern United States. They are found in most of Florida except in the southern region of the state. Slimy salamanders live in burrows, and only come out on moist nights. Slimy salamanders hide under stones, leaves, and other debris also. Common in their range, they are listed as a species that is of least concern.

Slimy salamanders have black coloring. They are covered in gold, or silver spots on their sides and back. Their bodies have around 15 to 17 costal grooves on them. Males and females look similar but females are larger, and males have a gland under their chin used to breed.

Breeding for the slimy salamander occurs in the summer or fall. Up to 36 eggs are laid by females, and placed under debris under water. Their young are aquatic, and mature in around 3 years. Slimy salamanders smite a white toxin from their body used to make themselves less edible to predators.

26. Narrow-striped Dwarf Siren

Narrow-striped Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus axanthus axanthus) in a container with water
Narrow-striped Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus axanthus axanthus) in a container with water – source
  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Sirenidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudobranchus axanthus axanthus
  • Other Names: southern dwarf siren
  • Adult Size: 3.9 to 8.7 inches (10 to 22 cm)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The narrow striped dwarf siren is one of the many siren salamanders that live in Florida. They live in eastern and northern Florida. Ponds, ditches, sloughs, and other similar aquatic habitats are where they live. This species is aquatic, and uses aquatic vegetation to place its eggs. The fall to spring is when they are active most.

Narrow-striped dwarf salamanders have a body shape similar to an eel. They have brow, black, or gray coloring. Yellow or tannish stripes run down their body. On them are small legs that have three toes. They are smaller than other sirens.

Since their mouths are small they are only able to eat the smallert of invertebrates. In the times of high heat they aestivate l, and they are also not active in the cold.

27. Broad-striped Dwarf Siren

Broad-striped Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus striatus striatus)
Broad-striped Dwarf Siren (Pseudobranchus striatus striatus) – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Sirenidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudobranchus striatus striatus
  • Other Names: northern dwarf siren
  • Adult Size: 4 to 9.9 inches (10 to 25 cm)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The broad-striped dwarf siren is found in the southeastern United States mainly in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. This species is found throughout Florida at the bottom of shallow bodies of water.

Weedy ponds, marshes, ditches, and cypress swamps are the most common places to find the broad-striped dwarf siren. They are more active at night when they hunt for food but can also be seen in the daytime during their breeding season in spring.

This small species of siren reaches less than a foot in length when they are fully grown. They have very small front limbs with three toes and completely lack hind legs. Like most sirens, the broad-striped dwarf siren is most commonly seen with dark brown, gray, or olive green skin. They usually have small pale yellow, orange, or pinkish stripes going from head to tail on the side of their bodies.

The diet of the broad-striped dwarf siren is made up of aquatic insects and invertebrates like earthworms, amphipods, chironomids, and ostracods. They are nocturnal hunters so they are most active at night when searching for a meal. Predators of the broad-striped dwarf siren include water snakes, birds, alligators, and turtles.

28. Lesser Siren

Western Lesser Siren (siren intermedia nettingi) close up in hand
Western Lesser Siren (siren intermedia nettingi) close up in hand – source
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Sirenidae
  • Scientific Name: Siren intermedia nettingi
  • Other Names: Eastern lesser siren
  • Adult Size: 7 to 27 inches (17 to 69 cm)
  • Lifespan: Siren intermedia nettingi
  • Average Price Range: $30 to $80

Found within the still bodies of water throughout Florida is the lesser siren. Lesser sirens get their names from their size in comparison to greater sirens who can reach over 3 feet in length; they typically grow to less than 2 feet.

They are found in shallow bodies of water like ditches, ponds, and streams. While they are almost completely aquatic animals they can breathe air through their skin, but they do not go onto land unless absolutely necessary.

Like most species of siren the lesser siren is most commonly muddy brown, gray, or dark green. Adults have feathery gills on either side of their head and a small dorsal fin running from their head to the tip of their tail. Like other siren species the lesser siren has small front legs and no hind legs.

Being aquatic salamanders, this species mainly eats aquatic insects and invertebrates. They are most commonly seen during their breeding season in spring. Due to their secretive nature, the lesser siren is not often seen so scientists are still unsure of how exactly they breed.

29. Greater Siren

Greater Siren (Siren lacertina) on white background close up
Greater Siren (Siren lacertina) on white background close up
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Siren
  • Scientific Name: Siren Lacertina
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 38 inches (18 to 97 cm)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

Found in the southeastern corner of the United States, mostly in the state of Florida, is the greater siren. This species of salamander are aquatic and live on the bottom of ponds, marshes, lakes, and streams. They prefer to live in still bodies of water with thick aquatic vegetation.

While greater sirens do have feathery gills they are able to withstand long periods of drought. They do this by burying themselves into the mud and making a cocoon out of dead cells to protect them from the dry conditions. They are able to stay in this state for years.

These salamanders are the largest species of siren with most adults reaching close to 3 feet when fully grown. Greater sirens are typically olive green, brown, or gray with small yellow speckles on either side of the abdomen. They have two small front arms but have no hind legs or pelvis.

The greater siren is mostly aquatic so their diet consists mainly of invertebrates and aquatic insects. They are typically observed during their breeding season which takes place during February and March.

The best way to differentiate this species from the lesser siren is by the amount of costal grooves between their armpits and their cloaca. Greater sirens have between 36 and 40 while lesser sirens have 31 to 35.

FAQ

Are the salamanders in Florida Poisonous?

Salamanders produce a toxin from their skin, which harms animals or humans that ingest it. This toxin is used to protect themselves from predators but is potentially harmful to humans that touch their eyes and mouths after handling them.

Salamanders are not very dangerous to humans, and the toxins they produce are not usually strong enough to cause major illnesses.

Where do salamanders live in Florida?

The swamps, lakes, rivers,  ditches, and lowland habitats in Florida are a perfect home for salamanders, and where they are usually found. Some species may only inhabit water, while others are terrestrial, and live in burrows, or other leaf litter.

Each species of salamander has its own preference for the habitat they live in, but most tend to inhabit moist, and forested areas.

What kinds of salamanders live in Florida?

Species like the dusky salamander, mole salamander, marbled salamander, two-toed amphiuma, and the greater siren are common species in the state. Many Florida salamanders are endangered, and very rare to find in the wild.
Habitat destruction and pollution are the main reasons for the mass amphibian decline across North America.

Wrapping up

There are over 29 species of salamanders that live in Florida, and some may be extremely rare to spot in the wild because of their secretive nature, and low population. While tons of salamander species make great pets for the knowledgeable, and caring owner, you should never take a salamander from the wild to keep. Some species may be endangered, and may quickly die out of their specific habitats.

Handling a salamander is also not recommended. Like other amphibians, salamanders have permeable skin that takes in toxins from your hands and skin easily if you touch them.

The eastern region of North America has the most salamander species than anywhere else in the world. You can find salamanders in Florida when in the correct habitat and the weather is right. Salamanders are just one important aspect of the diverse ecosystem Florida is home to.

Other nearby states

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