Adult spotted salamanders are mostly nocturnal, residing mostly underground, and can live over 20 years. They grow up to nine inches long and are blackish with yellow spots in patterns unique to each individual. They eat earthworms, slugs, and small insects. After spending the cold months underground, they emerge in late winter to migrate to their aquatic breeding sites, most likely the very site where they were born.
During the majority of the year, Spotted Salamanders live in the shelter of leaves or burrows in deciduous forests. However, when the temperature rises and there is a higher moisture level, the salamanders make their abrupt migration towards their annual breeding pond. In just one night, hundreds to thousands of salamanders may make the trip to their ponds for mating. Mates usually breed in ponds when it's raining in the spring. Females usually lay about 100 eggs that cling to the underwater plants. The eggs are round, clear, jelly-like clumps that are usually 2.5–4 inches (6.3–10 cm) long. Adults only stay in the water for a few days, then the eggs hatch in 1 to 2 months.
The spotted salamander usually makes its home around hardwood forest areas. They must have a pond as that is the only place they can lay eggs. A spotted salamander spends most of its time beneath ground level. It hides in moist areas under moss-covered logs or stones. These salamanders are secretive and will only exit their underground home on warm rainy nights in Spring, to breed and hunt. However, during the winter, they hibernate underneath ground level. Their defenses from predators include hiding in leaf litter or logs and a poison, which is not harmful to humans. In ponds or wetlands they hide near the muddy bottoms or hide underneath leaves at the bottom. They have the ability to drop their tails, to distract predators.. The spotted salamander, like other salamanders show great regenerative abilities, even being able to regenerate limbs and parts of organs. They have large poison glands around the back and neck, which release a toxic white liquid.
IT IS INEVITABLE THAT THEIR NATURAL FOREST HABITAT AND THE BREEDING PONDS ARE ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE ROAD .... SO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR THE SPOTTED SALAMANDER ON THE FIRST WARM RAINY DAY IN THE SPRING
IN QUEENS COUNTY.
You Tube salamander migration