Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Common Names: Jefferson Salamander
Category: Amphibians
Sub-category: Salamanders

A mole salamander native to the northeastern United States, southern and central Ontario, and southwestern Quebec. It was named after Jefferson College in Pennsylvania.

It is typically dark gray, brown, or black on its dorsal surface, but a lighter shade on its anterior. Some individuals may also have silver or blue specks on their sides; the area around the vent is usually gray. These salamanders are slender, with a wide nose and distinctive long toes, and range in size from 11 to 18 cm.

The secretive adults tend to hide under stones or logs, or in leaf litter and other underbrush in deciduous forests during damp conditions. They are usually not found in conifer forests, likely due to the dryness and prickliness of some pine and spruce needles, which may injure amphibians with their thin skins. They are found burrowed underground for most of the year during dry or freezing conditions.

Edible Notes: Not known to be edible.
Warnings: Amphibians, like reptiles, can carry Salmonella, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. It is safer for you (and the amphibian) to not touch them or anything in the area where they live, but if you do: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.