Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois

Caudata      Ambystoma texanum -- Small-mouthed Salamander

All information found on this site falls under the INHS's Internet License Agreement.

photo of Ambystoma texanum

Purple shade indicates vouchered specimens. Light blue (cyan) shade indicates photographic records. Yellow shade indicates verified sighting. Slanted hatch indicates pre-1980 records only

NOTE: Not all specimens upon which these maps are based have been verified.

Key Characters: Small head; short, narrow snout; protruding lower jaw.

Similar Species: Blue-spotted salamander, mole salamander, Jefferson salamander, silvery salamander, slimy salamander.

Description: A medium-sized (up to 17 cm TL) salamander with lichenlike gray markings along sides. Costal grooves 14-16. Limbs and toes relatively short. Adpressed limbs usually separated by 2-4 costal folds. In contrast to single tooth rows in other Illinois Ambystoma, A. texanum has 2-3 maxillary tooth rows, one behind the other.

Habitat: Widespread in poorly drained woodlands, prairies, pastures, and even cultivated or urban areas where breeding ponds remain. Most prevalent under logs and occasionally in excavated crayfish burrows and drainage tiles. Adults are occasionally found on rocky hillsides.

Natural History: Adults are subterranean outside of breeding season and migrate to breeding ponds (fish-free ponds, drainage ditches, vernal woodland pools, low, flooded places in cultivated fields) from January to March (April in northern counties) during prolonged rain. Eggs have even been found in cisterns. Several hundred small eggs (2 mm diameter) are deposited in masses of 6-30, attached to sticks and vegetation in water. Depending on when eggs were laid, larvae transform May through July. Adults eat earthworms, slugs, and various arthropods.

Status: Greatest threat is loss of wet areas for breeding and larval development. Common and widespread.


Illinois Natural History Survey

1816 South Oak Street, MC 652
Champaign, IL 61820

Terms of use. Email the Web Administrator with questions or comments.

© 2012 University of Illinois Board of Trustees. All rights reserved.
For permissions information, contact the Illinois Natural History Survey.

Staff Intranet