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Four-toed Salamander

four toed salamander

Wisconsin status: special concern, rare
length: 3-4 inches

The four-toed salamander is called the four-toed salamander because it has four toes on its hind feet. (Makes sense, huh?) All the rest of Wisconsin's land dwelling salamanders have five. Its dark, slender, greenish-brown body is mottled with bronze and black. Its tail and limbs are a dull orange with gray markings. Its belly is bright white with black spotting.

This is the four toed salamander range map--range is in brown.

Four-toed salamanders prefer northern and southern hardwood forests and some live in conifer swamps. They are pretty picky about where they will breed. Females nest in dense mosses growing along the water's edge of woodland ponds and springs or in dense moss or fallen woody debris laying over the water. After laying eggs in moss overhanging the water, they guard them as the embryos develop. After hatching, the larvae fall into the water and develop like other aquatic salamander larvae until metamorphosis. The unique breeding requirements of this salamander may be what is making them uncommon.

Like many other salamanders, they eat insects and other arthropods.



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