Small-mouthed Salamander (Ambystoma texanum)
Description: As its name implies, this species has a small head and a short, blunt snout. The background color is black, gray, or brown, with an irregular pattern of grayish blotches and spots over the head, back, and tail. Breeding individuals in ponds are often paler in color than they will appear later in summer. Adults are 4.3 to 7 inches (11 to 17.8 cm) long. Note: Small mouthed Salamanders sometimes hybridize with Blue-spotted and related salamanders in the western Lake Erie basin.
Photo © Jim Harding
Habitat/Habits: In its limited southeastern Michigan range, this salamander prefers moist hardwood forest habitat; farther south the species is also found in fragmented woodlands, fields, and farming areas.
Breeding: Breeding habits are similar to those of the Blue spotted Salamander, described under "Salamander Reproduction" above. Small mouthed Salamanders sometimes breed in ponds, floodings, or ditches outside of wooded areas.
Conservation: The range of the Small mouthed Salamander barely enters Michigan in a few southeastern counties; it is listed as an Endangered Species by the Department of Natural Resources. Identifying existing colonies and protecting critical habits will be needed to ensure that it remains a viable part of Michigan's fauna.
Status: Endangered in Michigan.
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