Field Guide to Maryland's Salamanders and Newts  (Order Caudata)

Jefferson Salamander

Family: (Ambystoma jeffersonianum)

Common Name:
Jefferson Salamander

Scientific Name:
Ambystoma jeffersonianum

Adult Photo of Jefferson Salamander
Adult Photo of Jefferson Salamander courtesy of John White

  • 4¼ - 7 in. 
  • Record: 8¼ in.

  • Moderately large salamander with distinctively long toes and snout and a slender build. 
  • It has a broad flattened head and a dark gray, brownish gray or brownish black body with small bluish or silvery flecks on the sides of the head, limbs, tail and body (though these may be absent on older adults).
  • The dorsal surface may have no flecks or they are less numerous than on the sides.
  • The belly is pale. 
  • The tail is about as long as the body and is vertically compressed, though nearly oval in cross section.


Habitat Photo of Jefferson Salamander courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
Habitat photo for Jefferson Salamander
courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers

  • Deciduous and mixed forests adjacent to vernal pools, permanent small ponds and river terrace pools. 
  • Most pools and ponds used for breeding are fishless. 
  • Jeffersons live underground in rodent burrows or other subsurface retreats within the forest most of the year.

How to Find:

Distribution in Maryland:
Maryland Distribution Map of Jefferson Salamander