University of Maryland Extension



Salamanders are small lizard-like amphibians that are frequently found in the home landscape. Salamanders are smooth-skinned and live in moist places such as under rocks, logs and mulch. Being an amphibian, they are dependent on water in which to lay their eggs in the early spring. The young have feathery gills and live in the water for a few months to a year until they change into adults to live on land. There are several species of salamanders found in Maryland. The most common species that might be found in suburban areas are the spotted salamander, (5 to 7 inches - see photo), the slimy salamander, (2 to 3 inches); the red-back salamander, (2 to 3 inches); and the red salamander (4-6 inches). Salamanders feed on worms and small insects found in the soil.

Salamanders are completely harmless to people and plants. Occasionally, they wander and become trapped in basements and basement window wells. They can be picked up and released outdoors. Caulk all openings around basement doors and windows to prevent them from getting indoors.
red salamander
Red salamander

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