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Northern Slimy Salamander

Northern Slimy Salamander
Northern Slimy Salamander

While out on the Conservation Trail last week, I came across a few Northern Slimy Salamanders under some logs. They are cute little salamanders but think twice before picking them up!! Their skin has a secretion that is very sticky and hard to wash off your hands!! Hello . . . that’s why they call them “slimy” salamanders!! They are identified out in the field bytheir shiny black coloring and white spots.

Northern Slimy Salamander

I did try to photograph 2 different Slimy’s but found they were camera shy! Whenever I tried using my flash, the little focus light would come out . . . . they would then scurry away! Uggg . . . . I then would roll the log back where I found it so the salamander could find its way back to its home. These are the pictures that I was able to get!

Northern Slimy Spots
Spots up close and personal.

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26 responses

  1. They do look slimy Mom@rch, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one before. I don’t usually look under logs, I’m more a look up at the sky kind of person. I guess you never know what you’ll find under a log. Interesting spots on the salamander.

    16 September 2007 at 9:55 pm

  2. Marg

    I like the white spots! I don’t usually look under logs either, though I know I probably should

    16 September 2007 at 10:07 pm

  3. Strange little creatures. Makes nature interesting.
    My first time seeing them also.

    16 September 2007 at 10:12 pm

  4. Great close-up of the skin!

    16 September 2007 at 10:21 pm

  5. Rick

    you always find the most interesting things to photograph

    16 September 2007 at 10:33 pm

  6. Toy makers need to make Slimy a stuffed animal character without the slime! Very cool photos. I’m going to start flipping over logs.

    16 September 2007 at 11:56 pm

  7. What a cool find Tom! Even though they were camera shy you got some good photos!

    17 September 2007 at 2:39 am

  8. I’m hoping to come across one some day but I don’t know about turning logs over. Usually you aren’t greeted with something good, like these guys. My luck I’d find a snake.

    17 September 2007 at 2:58 am

  9. Cool slimy creatures! Nice photos of their spots. :c)

    17 September 2007 at 6:30 am

  10. @ Barb – When I am looking up in the sky, I am over looking the herps, but when I am looking under the logs, I can be missing the birds! It’s a give or take!
    @ Marg – they are neat, thanks! Yes you should!
    @ Toni – You might not have the hills enough for these guys but thanks!
    @ Nick – thanks
    @ Rick – thanks
    @ Chicago – I think a slimy toy would be awesome! Maybe they need to do a cartoon of them next? Thanks
    @ Pam – you are up late!! Thanks
    @ Erie – Those snakes are what we are looking for also! LOL
    @ Jayne – thanks!

    17 September 2007 at 7:14 am

  11. If they are found in the hills, I’m out of luck locally – we’re in the middle of typical midwestern flat. (One of my friends says that if she wants to ride her bike up a hill, she has to find a highway overpass with an on-ramp.)

    Still, very cool, and inspiring me to venture a little out into our wetlands to explore. Maybe when the tall grass dies down a little more.

    17 September 2007 at 8:17 am

  12. Those are really unusual looking. I like the colors though. ~nita~

    17 September 2007 at 8:44 am

  13. Nice photos of a normally nocternal salamander whose species name, glutinosus, refers to the characteristic slime that no doubt helps protect it from the nasty short-tailed shrew, Blarina. Under old ,rotting logs make great places for all sorts animals and insects — and for that reason I always carefully return the log to its original position lest all the animals living there become homeless.

    17 September 2007 at 11:12 am

  14. Just a short correction to my note above : The species name “glutinosus” actually refers to the stickey, gluey condition produced by the slime, as described in the post, and not to the slime itself. Which makes me wonder — why isn’t this salamander covered with all sorts of debris sticking to it, instead of looking so clean ?? does anyone know ??

    17 September 2007 at 1:06 pm

  15. Really cool shots of this salamander – and a good warning (not that I get to see many salamanders any more).

    17 September 2007 at 4:03 pm

  16. Cool salamander pictures, Tom. I haven’t seen a salamander in many years…..we used to catch them in a neighbors basement window-well when we were little kids. Are their numbers declining or am I just not looking hard enough for them?

    17 September 2007 at 5:32 pm

  17. Moe

    Great shots! I love salamanders!

    17 September 2007 at 6:06 pm

  18. Looks like the little guy just got painted by a bunch of birds, I’m sorry I couldn’t resist, great shot Tom. My son loves salamanders.

    17 September 2007 at 7:08 pm

  19. @ Wren – around here they kind of are! LOL with the bike ride thing! Thanks
    @ Nita – they are great critters for sure!
    @ cestoady – thanks for the additional info and returning their log as found is very important! But do note, don’t roll the log back over onto the salamanders! Don’t want to crush them! I knew what you ment! I didn’t want to use the word glue but it’s kinda what it is! I think of it more as sticky! Wish I could answer your million dollar question!
    @ Marty – you should have some in your area or do you have lizards?
    @ Ruthie – thanks and not sure but maybe because many of our areas are being taken over by homes!
    @ Moe – Thanks
    @ Bernie – I agree and almost looks like it was spashed with some white paint! Thanks!

    17 September 2007 at 9:30 pm

  20. I wonder if the reason the salamanders are not covered with debris,dirt, etc ,sticking to them, is that the slime is a defence that is only exuded when the animal is disturbed ( as when handled) or attacked by a predator (shrew ,etc.). At all other times, when there is no threat, the salamander is not slimy and hence nothing sticks to it. Why be slimy All the time and have everything stick to you ?? Testing this possibility would make a good research project — but I would forget the payoff of the $1,000,000.

    17 September 2007 at 11:03 pm

  21. I LOVE SALAMANDERS. I don’t see them enough.
    (That might be because I am always looking up at birds, instead of down)

    18 September 2007 at 12:42 am

  22. Sort of a dalmation type…cool photos of SPOTS. I like salamanders, too, but now I know to be wary of picking them up. Thanks!

    18 September 2007 at 9:03 am

  23. @ cestoady – sounds very reasonable of an answer for sure !~ That would be a great project but I should do a literature search . . . . might have been done already!
    @ Susan – they seem to find me sometimes but I do have a few rarer ones around here that I really would love to see!
    @ Mary – Thanks and a good rule of thumb is never picking them up! I always use a leaf, etc. and try to never pick them up with my bare hands! Whatever chemicals you have on your hands get absorbed through their skin. Not good, thanks for bringing up that point!

    18 September 2007 at 4:54 pm

  24. OMG, what a fabulous little creature, I loooove the spots! Looks like someone just flicked white paint on it 🙂 I woulda freaked with joy (and maybe a dab of fear) if I had come upon that cute little fella… I’m from the South…never seen such a thing.

    18 September 2007 at 6:50 pm

  25. You come across some good stuff.-I’ve never seen one of those before -nice photos!

    20 September 2007 at 7:02 pm

  26. marci

    i just found two but are they poisinious ?

    18 September 2011 at 2:30 pm

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