There are not a lot of Salamanders in Utah, but the state is home to a total of 15 amphibians. Salamanders are not seen often because of their nocturnal lifestyle, and secretive habits.
While there is only one salamander species in Utah, it and the other amphibians are essential to the habitats they live in. Not only are salamanders a sign of a clean environment, they are a valuable food source for many animals like fish, small mammals, birds, and other amphibians.
Let’s take a look at the one salamander species that you may find in the wild within Utah. The state of Utah is famous for its mountains and canyon like landscape which houses a variety of North American animals. With only one salamander species it is important to preserve the salamanders within the state.
Table of Contents
Salamanders in Utah
1. Tiger Salamander
- 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 is the only salamander species that lives in Utah, and in the state they are classified as endangered. Sagebrush deserts, coniferous forests, ponds, and other waterways are the habitat this species is found in. Tiger salamanders are very secretive, and adults spend most of their lives underground in burrows.
Spring is when this species emerges, traveling to the waterways to breed. Tiger salamanders are active at night. They only have around a 50% chance of breeding more than once in their life, and their mating is aquatic. Females lay up to 100 eggs, which are attached to underwater vegetation.
When born tiger salamanders are aquatic, and have external gills. After metamorphosis the tiger salamander becomes terrestrial, but under the right conditions they may stay aquatic their entire lives. Adults are very large, and have robust bodies. They are covered in yellowish green spots, and have dark brown or black bodies.
Cannibalism for the tiger salamander is common, but they also feed on things like spiders, snails, slugs, frogs, worms, and small insects. They are opportunistic feeders, eating anything that fits into their mouths like small snakes, or lizards. Some of the predators tiger salamanders face include snakes, birds, and mammals. They are most affected by pollution, and urbanization of their habitats.
Where are tiger salamanders found in Utah?
The tiger salamander is the only species that lives in Utah, and they are mainly found along the eastern borders of the state. This species lives in habitats near water, and adults are not seen often since they live underground.
Are the salamanders in Utah dangerous?
Like other salamanders the species in Utah are poisonous, and use their secretions to defend themselves from predators. You should never touch a salamander unless necessary, and while most species are not deadly to humans their toxins may cause illness. Salamanders are not usually dangerous to humans, and you should always wash your hands before and after handling one.
In Utah are salamanders common?
Utah’s tiger salamanders are currently classified as an endangered species and is a controlled species in the state. They have experienced around a 40% population decline within the state in the last decade. Pollutions and toxins that get into their aquatic environments, and the destruction of their habitats are what has caused this species decline.
That’s it in regards to salamanders in Utah. The tiger salamander is Utah’s only salamander, and it has a widespread range across the state. While this species can make a good pet, it is important to never take any specimens from the wild since they are a part of a greater population. Amphibians of all kinds are at risk of depopulation since they are very susceptible to pollution, as they use water sources to breed and live in.
North America is abundant with a variety of salamander species, and learning about the different types can help preserve them. Salamanders are amazing creatures with a lot to learn about. Since there is only one species in Utah it is easy to identify the salamanders you come across, but learning about the habitats they live in, and how they look can make it easier to find them in the wild.
Other nearby states