Information and observations about species of salamanders (Order Caudata, Class Amphibia, Phylum Chordata, Kingdom Animalia)
that live on Mount Desert Island

compiled by the
Champlain Project - P. O Box 55 - Bass Harbor, Maine  04653
info@vfthomas.com

(updated 25 April 2009)


Order Caudata - salamanders
Etymology. Caudata, the scientific order of salamanders, is derived from cauda, the Latin noun (first declension, feminine) for tail. Species of Order Caudata possess tails as adults unlike the frogs and toads of Order Salienta, who have them only when larvae (tadpoles).

Mount Desert Island is home to 5 species in 5 genera in 3 families. Click on a link below or scroll down for more information.
   Ambystomatidae (1 genus, 1 species)
      Ambystoma maculatum - spotted salamander
   Salamandridae (1 genus, 1 species)
      Notophthalmus viridescens - eastern newt
   Plethodontidae (3 genera, 3 species)
      Eurycea bislineata - two-lined salamander
      Hemidactylium scutatum - four-toed salamander
      Plethodon cinereus - redback salamander






Ambystomatidae

Ambystoma maculatum (spotted salamander) is easily identifiable due to its relatively large size and prominent yellow spots.
   Recommended reading: pages 44–48 in Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Aram J. K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough. Orono, ME: The University of Maine Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-89101-096-3)
2008
   January 7 - Bar Harbor: crossing Schooner Head Road near wetland at southern end of road [BC].
2009
   April 3 - Tremont (Bass Harbor): crossing Birchwood Lane from north to south on a rainy evening [found by EMW and PKW, who later that evening took TFV to the site]. The photograph below was taken in Bowdoin, Maine, on 3 August 2007.

(click on image to enlarge)


Salamandridae

Notophthalmus viridescens (eastern newt) is more easily observed in its terrestrial red eft stage than in its two aquatic stages: larval and adult (photo below, taken on 25 April 2009 in Tremont at the pond along the south side of the western end of Seal Cove Road). Look closely for the small red dots on the side of the newt's back.
   Recommended reading: pages 49–52 in Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Aram J. K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough. Orono, ME: The University of Maine Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-89101-096-3)
2009
   April 25 - Tremont (Bass Harbor): in pond along north side of Big Moose Road [TFV].
   April 25 - Tremont: in pond along south side of the western end of Seal Cove Road [TFV].

(click on image to enlarge)


Plethodontidae

Eurycea bislineata (two-lined salamander):
   Recommended reading: pages 56–58 in Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Aram J. K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough. Orono, ME: The University of Maine Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-89101-096-3)

Hemidactylium scutatum (four-toed salamander):
   Recommended reading: pages 62–65 in Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Aram J. K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough. Orono, ME: The University of Maine Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-89101-096-3)

Plethodon cinereus (redback salamander):
   Recommended reading: pages 66–70 in Maine Amphibians and Reptiles, edited by Malcolm L. Hunter Jr., Aram J. K. Calhoun, and Mark McCollough. Orono, ME: The University of Maine Press, 1999 (ISBN 0-89101-096-3)
2009
   April 3 - Tremont (Bass Harbor): crossing Birchwood Lane from north to south on a rainy evening [found by EMW and PKW, who later that evening took TFV to the site].



Sources:
   Champlainers:
      BC = Bruce Connery
      TFV = Thomas F. Vining
      EMW = Emma Walsh
      PKW = Pam Walsh