Copyright © 2001 L.I. Reptiles
Four-toed Salamander
Hemidactylium scutatum
Hemidactylium = half (hemi) fused digits (dactylium) which refers to the reduced number of toes on the rear legs (4 instead of 5)
scutatum = armed with a shield (refers to the caostal grooves that overlap like little shields)
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Plethodonidae
Woodland salamander - mostly found around closed-canopy, red maple swamps, spagnum tussocks and deciduous forests rich in mosses.
Size = Long Island's smallest salamander, 2 to 3.5 inches, males smaller than females
Lifespan = 9+ years
Fun Facts; Plethodonidae salamanders do not have lungs or gills; they "breath" (take in oxygen) through their skin and this is why they need to be moist all the time; four-toed salamanders have a constriction at the base of the tail that facilitates voluntary tail release to avoid predation.