Pacific Giant Salamander

Dicamptodon tenebrosus

Pacific Giant Salamander

Appearance

Pacific giant salamanders grow to 34 centimetres long. They are large and dark with tan or copper markings. They have shiny skin with long tails, big heads and webbed toes.

Range & Habitat

In B.C. they are found only in the Chilliwack Valley near small cool streams. They are found in the Coast and Mountains ecoprovince.

Diet & Behaviour

Their larvae depend on constant water supplies to survive and they can absorb and drink water through their skin! They eat snails, slugs, beetles, shrews and other amphibians. These salamander make barking noises when disturbed (only adult salamanders can do this!).

Lifecycle & Threats

Females lay 135 to 200 eggs under stones or logs and the larvae hatch after six months after which they enter nearb streams. The larvae have gills and they go through a change called metamorphosis, going through several different stages before they reach the adult stage without gills. Some of these salamanders can reproduce while they are still larvae; this is called neoteny. The largest threats to the Pacific giant salamander are logging and building houses near their streams.

Status

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

More Information

www.animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu

Photo: The Wandering Herpetologist