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Department of Natural Resources


Anatomy | Conservation | Salamander Facts | Defense | Life History | Species List | Gallery | Glossary | Bibliography | Agency Resources

Twenty species of salamanders occur in Illinois. Because of their secretive and mainly nocturnal habits, they are observed less often than our state's other amphibians, the frogs and toads. Terrestrial salamanders live in forests in underground burrows, in or under rotting logs, under rocks and leaves, and around springs and streams. They venture out of these places only at night or following heavy rainfall. Larvae and aquatic adults live in rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, swamps, and ditches. Salamanders are predators of earthworms, snails, and invertebrates. A few salamanders also eat small vertebrates, including other salamanders. In turn, they are consumed by a variety of fishes, small mammals, birds, snakes, and invertebrates. Terrestrial salamanders use their thin skin for respiration, which requires that they live in moist surroundings. The chief conservation concerns for Illinois salamanders are habitat fragmentation and habitat loss.

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