Wandering Salamander, Aneides vagrans
Wandering Salamander, Aneides vagrans, is usually found under loose bark or cracks in fallen logs on the forest floor, but in some areas it shelters under beach logs or in burrows of other animals. It is a nimble climber and in moist forests can occur high up in large trees under moss mats or bark crevices. It is a small but relatively robust salamander with total length up to 110 mm (adult body length 50 – 65 mm). The limbs and digits are long, and toe tips are square-shaped rather than rounded. The back and sides are distinctively mottled with grey and black, often overlain with a bronze tinge. Eggs are laid in a crevice within a decaying log or in other, sheltered moist sites on land. They are cream-coloured when newly laid, 5–6 mm in diameter, and occur in a grape-like cluster of 3 –28 eggs. The eggs are suspended from the roof of the nesting chamber by long, gelatinous strands that often twist together. Eggs are best identified by the presence of the female, often curled around the eggs. Terrestrial young occupy similar habitats as adults; there is no aquatic larval stage. Hatchlings are small (about 25 mm in total length) and slender. A lighter, bronze- or copper-coloured patch on the snout and base of each leg is diagnostic. The back may contain similar bright mottling. Older juveniles lose the bright patches and can be very dark with only a hint of mottling.