Spotted Salamander

(Ambystoma maculatum)

Reptiles Alive Name: ”Spot”

Hissstory: Spot was donated to us by a nature center.

RA Diet: Spot eats earthworms, crickets, and meal worms.

Natural Diet: Adults eat worms, slugs, millipedes, termites, and other insects. Larvae (tadpoles) eat aquatic insects including mosquito larva.

Range: Spotted salamanders are found in the eastern United States west to Texas and north to Canada. They are native to the Washington DC area.

Habitat: Spotted salamanders live in hardwood forests where vernal pools form each year.

Size: They can grow to 4-7.75 inches, record length is 9.75 inches.

Lifespan: Spotted salamanders can live to 20 years.

Reproduction: Spotted salamanders emerge from hibernation in late winter and early spring. They sometimes have to walk across snow to reach the vernal pools they breed in. After mating in the water, the female salamanders lay egg masses of consisting of around 100 eggs. The eggs hatch depending on the temperature in the water. Transformation (metamorphosis) takes places in 2 to 4 months.

Conservation: Acid rain can damage developing eggs, causing some populations to decline in certain areas. Many salamanders are killed each year as they migrate over roadways in search of the vernal pools they were born in. Spotted salamander populations in heavily urbanized areas have been mostly wiped out due to the destruction of the vernal pools they rely on for reproduction.

Cool Facts: Salamanders are an indicator species. Amphibians need a clean and healthy habitat in order to survive. Amphibians breathe through their skin, so toxins and pollution can easily kill them. When salamanders disappear, it means something is wrong with the habitat they live in! Salamanders can help scientists determine if an ecosystem is healthy or unhealthy.

“Rachel was wonderful and had the kids full attention. We’ll see you again next year for my next son’s birthday!!” – Stacee Bako, Mom, Arlington, VA



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We had a great experience with Reptiles Alive for my daughter’s 6th birthday party. Rachel arrived exactly on time, set up quickly, and immediately engaged the group of curious children. We had an impromptu dance party while waiting for last minute guests and Rachel was very accommodating. The children LOVED the show!! And my soon-to-be 11 year old wants them to come for his birthday! I highly recommend Reptiles Alive for your next event!read more

Kelly Maguire

Kelly Maguire

22:57 12 Mar 18

We just had Reptiles Alive come to our preschool and the kids loved it!! We had 4 shows over 2 days to accommodate all our children and everything went great! Caroline was very easy to work with and quick to respond to all my emails. She was our presenter too and was early each day and ready to go when the kids arrived. She really geared her show towards our audience (2-5yr olds) and had them laughing and answering her questions and touching the animals. It was perfect… we would definitely book them again!!read more

Lauren Dolinski

Lauren Dolinski

20:47 01 Mar 18

We booked Reptiles Alive for our son’s 7th birthday party. Miss Rachel put on an amazing show for the 20 kids we had over. The highlight was when my son and I had the chance to hold a long and surprisingly heavy boa constrictor named Sunflower. The show was both educational and fun for the kids, and it kept them captivated for a full hour – priceless!!read more

Rick Jandrain

Rick Jandrain

01:53 06 Feb 18

Rachel is an awesome instructor and very good with many kids. The reptiles were fascinating. This was a great birthday party for my daughter and her second grade more

Robert McKeon

Robert McKeon

23:26 26 Feb 18

We invited Reptiles Alive for our birthday party. Ms. Rachel did a wonderful job to educate the kids about the fun facts of Reptiles and also kept them entertained and focused. It’s not a easy job facing a bunch of 7-year-old boys and 3-year-old preschoolers. We highly recommend Reptiles Alive show. It’s fun and full of knowledge!read more

Tianchan Niu

Tianchan Niu

22:09 17 Dec 17