Arcata Community Forest
The normal-sized aquatic larva of the soon-to-be massive terrestrial salamander, in Humboldt State University's Jolly Giant Creek. 8/18/10
Captive specimens at the Vasco da Gama Aquarium, Lisbon, Portugal.
Underneath selected logs in the forest near Githens Middle School, these 4.5 inch marbled salamanders were found. Their color is gray and black with silvery or gray cross bands. These salamanders reside in many parts of North Carolina.
The marbled salamander is a boldly banded salamander. The bands of females tend to be gray, while those of males are more white. Like most of the mole salamanders, it is secretive, spending most of its life under logs or in burrows. It is most frequently encountered when moving towards breeding ponds in the autumn.
The mole salamanders (genus Ambystoma) are a group of salamanders endemic to North America, the only genus in the family Ambystomatidae. The group has become famous due to the presence of the axolotl (A. mexicanum), widely used in research, and the tiger salamander (A. tigrinum, A. mavortium) which is the official amphibian of many states, and often sold as a pet.