Ohio has its share of types of salamanders within the state, and some are more common than others. However, these creatures are easily identifiable by their features and habitats.
There’s the red-backed salamander, the northern dusky salamander, and the blue-spotted salamander, just to name a few.
Let’s take a look at 24 types of salamanders in Ohio.
1. Mountain Dusky Salamander
The first salamander on this list is the Mountain Dusky Salamander. One of the easiest ways to identify this species is by its dark brown, blotchy skin and black spots running down its back.
These salamanders in Ohio typically reach lengths from 3-4 inches, with males slightly smaller than females.
Unlike other salamanders on this list, these types of salamanders in Ohio don’t have any webbing between their toes.
Instead, they are completely terrestrial, meaning that they stay on land most of the time and only leave the water when mating season arrives salamanders can be found living near slow-moving streams and rivers with clear water in forested areas that are around 2,500 feet above sea level.
2. Spotted Salamander
One of the most common types of salamanders in Ohio is the Spotted Salamander. They can be found all over the state, from urban centers to rural areas, and can be found near water or land. Females are typically larger than males.
Females are usually 6 to 7 inches long, while males are about 4-5 inches long. They typically come out at night during their breeding season, from April through July.
Coffee colored with red spots or blotches on their sides; the head is darker than the rest of the body; no stripes.
These types of salamanders in Ohio habitats include wet woodland areas with rich soil and plenty of standing water, mainly oak woods. Eats vary, including worms, slugs, leeches, earthworms, and snails.
3. Blue-Spotted Salamander
The blue-spotted salamander is among the most common types of Salamanders in Ohio. Blue-spotted salamanders are small, only reaching up to two inches long. They have two rows of dark spots on their backs, with three to five spots per row.
These spots are usually light blue or silver and sometimes change colors depending on their environment. The blue-spotted salamander is commonly found near streams and ponds, where they feed on tiny organisms like worms and insects that live in water.
The Spotted Salamander is also a type of salamander native to Ohio, but this type of Salamanders in Ohio has a different coloring scheme than the blue-spotted variety.
4. Smallmouth Salamander
The smallmouth salamander is among the most common types of salamanders in Ohio. They live near ponds and streams and can be found throughout most of the state.
Their blackish-brown color characterizes them with patches on their back, yellow underside, and a light stripe that runs from the top of their head to their tail.
These types of salamanders in Ohio feed on insects, spiders, worms, snails, slugs, and tadpoles. The spotted salamander is the second most common type of salamander found in Ohio; it’s very rare to find one outside its breeding season.
The spotted salamander is characterized by its light brown or tan skin with black spots all over its body.
5. Marbled Salamander
The marbled salamander is one of the types of salamanders in Ohio found primarily on a hillside. They are typically 3-4 inches long, with a black or dark brown body and light gray patches that resemble marble stones.
They can be found from April to October, during and after rainstorms when it’s wet outside.
6. Eastern Tiger Salamander
The Eastern Tiger Salamander is one of the more common types of salamanders in Ohio that can be found in Ohio.
This species, sometimes called the Eastern Striped-tail, has a mostly black body with yellow or white stripes and a distinctive red stripe on its tail. They typically range between three to six inches long and live up to 15 years.
These salamanders are nocturnal animals that spend much of their time underground to avoid predators like birds, snakes, and raccoons.
Unlike many other amphibians, this species does not have lungs; instead, it breathes through its skin by absorbing oxygen from the environment through tiny holes all over its body.
7. Jefferson Salamander
The Jefferson salamander is a small woodland salamander with the ability their blackish-brown color that characterizes the minimal and often under rocks or logs during the day.
Unlike most other salamanders, these types of salamanders in Ohio do not have a bright-colored tail to warn predators that it is toxic and dangerous.
Instead, this salamander relies on camouflage to protect itself from predators. It can be found near streams or ponds but has also been spotted on dry land.
8. Northern Dusky Salamander
Northern Dusky Salamanders are one of the most common types of salamanders in Ohio. They usually have a dark brown or dark gray coloring on their dorsal side, with a light yellow or light brown coloring on their ventral side.
The underside is usually lighter than the rest of the body, which is why they’re dusky salamanders.
These types of salamanders in Ohio often have imperfections and bands that are darker than the background coloration.
This coloration helps them stay hidden from predators while moving around on land. If you see one laying still on its back, it’s not sick – it’s just trying to conserve energy since it does not have gills and needs air to breathe.
9. Red-Backed Salamander
The Red-backed Salamander is one of the most common types of salamanders in Ohio. It gets its name from the two red patches on its back, which range from bright orange to bright red.
These salamanders’ average lifespan varies between 10-14 years, making them a fairly long-living type.
This type lives and grows up in woodland environments with lots of small pools and still waters. During the warmer seasons, when the water levels are low, they will go into deeper holes below ground to wait out dry spells until water returns. I’ve never seen one!
10. Spring Salamander
The Spring salamander is a red-spotted newt native to the northeastern and north-central parts of Ohio.
These types of salamanders in Ohio are also called Red efts or mudpuppies, and this name comes from their ability to live for months underwater.
This species is found mostly near water, which includes streams, ponds, lakes, marshes, and wetlands.
The Spring salamander can be identified by its reddish body with small black spots. These types of salamanders in Ohio have a broad head that tapers down to a narrow tail.
Unlike other newts and salamanders, the Spring salamander lacks a large fold along the back that runs from head to tail. It also has four toes on each foot rather than five.
11. Streamside Salamander
The streamside salamander, also known as the redback salamander, lives near streams, lakes, and ponds. It can be found under logs or rocks and is usually less than two inches long.
Streamside salamanders are easy to identify because they have four toes on their hind feet and five on their front feet.
They eat invertebrates such as crickets, worms, and slugs. Occasionally they will feed on small amphibians, fish eggs, or even other types of salamanders in Ohio. Unfortunately, like other types of salamanders, it’s illegal to capture and keep them as pets.
12. Northern Red Salamander
The Northern Red Salamander is a small red salamander found all over Ohio. These types of salamanders in Ohio are called Red salamanders because they turn to shades of brown or grey during the winter months.
This salamander is well-adapted to living near humans and can often be found under logs, rocks, and leaves and in damp areas such as animal burrows, ponds, and garden mulch.
They spend most of their time hiding under these objects, so it’s usually hard to spot them. Their diet consists mostly of invertebrates such as worms, slugs, snails, spiders, and insects.
If you find one on your property, don’t try to pick it up with your bare hands – instead, use a net. If you accidentally touch one, please wash your hands with soap and water afterward!
13. Midland Mud Salamander
The Midland Mud Salamander is found in southern Ohio and has a distribution that extends from Tennessee to New York.
This salamander prefers moist woodland habitats and is often found near rivers or streams. Typical coloration ranges from brown to dark gray, with black mottling on the back.
The underside is lighter than the dorsal side. These types of salamanders in Ohio are about 2-3 inches long, but they can grow up to 4 inches.
They are nocturnal animals that spend most of their time hiding under logs and rocks during the day and come out at night when it’s cooler to hunt for food, such as earthworms and slugs.
14. Ravine Salamander
Ravine salamanders are one of the two types of salamanders in Ohio. They live primarily near rocky streams and vernal pools, which they call home.
Unfortunately, this type of salamander has been on the endangered species list since 1987 due to habitat loss and pollution.
Luckily, some efforts have been made to protect better their natural habitats which have helped increase their population numbers.
15. Long-Tailed Salamander
The Long-Tailed Salamander is one of the most common types of salamanders in Ohio. They can be commonly seen during the day or night on logs, rocks, and leaves. They are 1 to 2 inches long and have slender bodies with long, slender tails.
Their skin is usually black or dark brown, and their belly is lighter than their back. Males are often smaller than females, but both sexes have a rounded snout with a small mouth opening that does not extend to the jawline.
They will breed from April through June and lay eggs under logs, rocks, or leaves where there is moisture. The eggs will hatch in about two months, but they may take as long as three years to reach adulthood if they live at lower elevations.
16. Green Salamander
The green salamander is one of the most abundant amphibians in North America. They can be found all over Ohio but are typically found near ponds and streams. Green salamanders are a little more than 6 inches long and can live up to 20 years.
In Ohio, these types of salamanders in Ohio hibernate from October through March, when they’re usually found buried under logs and stones or under the bark on trees that have fallen into streams.
17. Northern Two-lined Salamander
The Northern Two-lined Salamander is a small amphibian that prefers areas with moist soil and leaf litter. These types of salamanders in Ohio can be found throughout the state but is most common in the eastern part of Ohio.
The northern two-lined salamander has a dark brown or black body and two lines on each side, running from its head to its tail.
It eats mostly invertebrates, such as worms, insects, spiders, and snails. This species usually lays eggs under rocks or logs with plenty of moisture and protection from predators.
These types of salamanders in Ohio are active at night during the spring when it’s warmer outside; they hibernate underground during the winter months when it gets cold out.
18. Southern Two-lined Salamander
Ohio is home to various salamanders. The Southern Two-lined Salamander is found only in Ohio and most commonly inhabits forests, specifically those that have shallow water and lots of ground cover such as mosses and lichens.
These types of salamanders in Ohio can be found on the forest floor under leaves or logs, but sometimes they are seen climbing on tree trunks or rocks.
Unfortunately, these types of salamanders are usually less than an inch long, making them hard to spot with the naked eye.
19. Four-toed Salamander
The four-toed salamander is a nocturnal, aquatic animal found throughout the eastern United States. These types of salamanders in Ohio can grow up to 5 inches long and prefer to live along the shoreline of ponds, streams, and other water sources.
The four-toed salamander is mostly brown with dark flecks on its back and has webbed toes on its front and hind feet. This species lays eggs that hatch into tadpoles rather than giving birth to live young.
20. Northern Slimy Salamander
The northern slimy salamander, or Plethodon glutinosus, is a large salamander found throughout the eastern United States.
This species can be identified by its long body and slender shape. Northern slimy salamanders are usually dark brown or black with light-colored spots scattered across their back.
These types of salamanders in Ohio are also characterized by their smooth and glossy skin.
Northern slimy salamanders have a wide distribution range that extends from the southern Appalachian Mountains to the Great Lakes region.
Still, they are most commonly found in moist forests, such as at higher elevations on the Appalachian Plateau.
21. Cave Salamander
The cave salamander is a type of aquatic salamander that can be found only in caves. The cave salamander has a broad head and a round body from two to four inches long. Females are longer than males, and females have an ovipositor near the tail.
This animal is dark brown or black on the back with lighter-colored sides and spots or stripes on its back. The markings are usually light tan or yellowish-brown, but they sometimes appear reddish because of the light reflecting them.
Cave salamanders spend most of their time under rocks and logs near streams, ponds, lakes, or seeps, where they eat insects, spiders, worms, crayfish, fish eggs, and tadpoles.
22. Eastern Red-Spotted Newt
The eastern red-spotted newt is a semi-aquatic salamander that lives in wetland habitats. These types of salamanders in Ohio are usually found near water and can often be seen with their heads poking out of the water, waiting for an insect to fly by and then snap it up.
These amphibians also tend to burrow into the ground during the winter, returning when it starts to warm. This species is only found east of Mississippi, making them a native Ohio species.
At about four inches long from nose to tail, these little guys are one of our smallest salamanders, but they make an interesting addition to your backyard wildlife habitat.
Mudpuppy populations thrive in wetlands and other water-rich environments. These types of salamanders in Ohio are usually 3-6 inches long but can grow to over two feet.
Mudpuppies are typically brown, dark gray, or black with a light underbelly and dark round spots on their backs.
Their elongated bodies make them excellent swimmers and mudskippers, which is why they spend most of their time underwater.
Mudpuppies have lungs that can function when out of water for up to 2 hours but must keep their gills wet at all times, or they will suffocate. Mudpuppies eat mostly aquatic invertebrates like crayfish, shrimp, and small fish.
24. Eastern Hellbender
Eastern Hellbenders are some of the largest salamanders in North America, and they can be found throughout Ohio.
The Eastern Hellbender is often confused with the Ambystoma maculatum, also known as the Spotted Salamander. Although both species are large and brown, they have a few key differences.
For example, Spotted Salamanders have irregular black spots on their backs that Eastern Hellbenders lack entirely. Eastern Hellbenders also have yellow spots near their heads that Spotted Salamanders do not possess.
Ohio is home to 24 different types of salamander species. The most common type in our state is redback salamanders, found throughout the Appalachian mountain range.
There are many more types of salamanders in Ohio than just these, though, and some are harder to find than others.
So, if you are interested in finding new animals to learn about, go on a hike and keep your eyes open for any of these little creatures!