Eastern Mud Salamander
Pseudotriton montanus montanus

Common Name:

Eastern Mud Salamander

Scientific Name:

Pseudotriton montanus montanus

Etymology:

Genus:

pseudes is Greek for "false" and triton is the Greek sea god.

Species:

montanus is Latin meaning "belonging to a mountain".

Subspecies:

montanus is Latin meaning "belonging to a mountain".

Average Length:

3 - 6.5 in. (7.5 - 16.5 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

8.1 in. (20.7 cm)

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery. Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. Long-term planning is necessary to stabilize or increase populations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The ground color above is dull, light to dark chocolate brown. The dorsal and lateral dark spots are usually distinct, sometimes obscure in old individuals, and when present extend well onto the lower sides. The venter has at least a few, often many, small, brown, widely separated dots. The iris of the eye is dark brown. They have a length up to 178 mm *1009*.

REPRODUCTION: Courtship is in the early fall, spawning in December and they hatch in February. The clutch size is 66-192 and this species lays eggs every other year. The males mature in 3 years and the females in 4 years *1014*.

BEHAVIOR: The adults live in leaf accumulation in spring-fed brooks and nearby crevices and burrows. They also live under logs, boards, stones, and leaves in more terrestial habitats *1014*. They often live in and about muddy springs and frequently occur in low wet grounds bordering streams *1009*. They are found in decaying vegetation or along stream banks in burrows often leading to water-filled chambers *3815*. They may inhabit crayfish burrows *883*. The adults are found in December and January buried deep in mud at the bottom of a pool *3814*. The eggs are laid in water-filled channels within the banks of streams and ponds *3811*. The larvae require aquatic situations *3812*. The transformed individuals rest beneath stones and logs, decaying vegetation or along stream banks in burrows *3815*. They are restricted to muddy areas near springs, sluggish brooks, and swampy areas *3815*. They inhabited springs and surrounding watercourses and surrounding terrestrial environment *3811*, also muddy streams, sluggish flood-plain, brooky and swampy forested areas along streams *883*.

ORIGIN: The origin of this species is native *3813,3816*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is associated with Eurycea bislineatas and Desmognathus fuscus *3811,3815*.

References for Life History

  • 883 - Conant, R., 1975, A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, 429 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA
  • 1008 - Barbour, R.W., 1971, Amphibians and reptiles of Kentucky, 334 pgs., Univ. of Kentucky Press, Lexington, KY
  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 3811 - Bruce, R.C., 1974, Larval development of the salamanders Pseudotriton montanus and P. ruber, Amer. Midland Naturalist, Vol. 92, pg. 173-190
  • 3814 - Fowler, J.A., 1946, The eggs of Pseudotriton montanus montanus, Copeia, Vol. 1946, pg. 105
  • 3815 - Martof, B.S., 1975, Pseudotriton montanus, Cat. Amer. Amph. Rept., pg. 166-1-166

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.


Verified County/City Occurrence

Alexandria City
Amelia County
Augusta County
Caroline County
Charles City County
Fairfax County
Floyd County
Franklin County
Gloucester County
Goochland County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Hopewell City
James City County
King and Queen County
King George County
King William County
Lancaster County
Mecklenburg County
Middlesex County
New Kent County
Newport News City
Nottoway County
Pittsylvania County
Prince William County
Richmond County
Stafford County
Suffolk City
Surry County
Westmoreland County
York County
Verified in 31 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.