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Jefferson salamander

Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) [state threatened]
Photo © Dr. Todd Pierson

Features and Behaviors

The Jefferson salamander averages about four to seven inches in length. It has long toes, a long snout and a slender body. The body may be brown or gray with a lighter belly. The limbs and lower body may have blue flecks.

The Jefferson salamander may be found in Edgar and Clark counties in east-central Illinois. This species lives in damp woodlands, near ponds. The Jefferson salamander spends much of the year underground, coming out for a few days to reproduce. The female may deposit up to 20 egg masses of 15 eggs each. Eggs are attached to underwater vegetation and hatch in 30 to 45 days. Transformation to a land animal occurs from July to September. The Jefferson salamander eats earthworms and other invertebrates.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Ambystomatidae

Illinois Status: threatened, native