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Canadian Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Network - Réseau Canadien de 
Conservation des Amphibiens et des Reptiles

Aneides vagrans
Wandering Salamander / Salamandre errant


Wandering Salamander

Description
The Wandering Salamander may be either uniformly dark brown on the back or brown with greenish-gray to coppery blotches. The belly is whitish to brownish with white flecking. The body shape is slim and long legged with squarish-tipped toes adapted for climbing. Total length may reach 13 cm, including the tail.

Confusing Species
Although the Coastal Giant Salamander is also brown with blotches on the back it is a much more robust looking animal than the Wandering Salamander. The Oregon Ensatina can be similar but it has a distinct constriction at the base of the tail and black flecking on the underside.

Distribution
The Canadian distribution is limited to Vancouver Island and adjacent islands. It is also found in coastal Oregon and California.

Habitat
This species is a specialist of coastal rainforests to elevations as high as 1,600 m. It is most commonly found at the edge of clearings.

Reproduction
Breeding occurs in late spring or early summer and 8-17 eggs are laid in cavities in a rotting log or under bark. Each egg is attached to the roof of the cavity on a short stalk. The eggs are tended by the female until they hatch in fall or early winter.

Natural History
Wandering salamanders are active all summer, even during dry periods, but disappear during the coldest months of winter. This species is unusual in that it climbs trees up to seven metres high.

Conservation Concerns
Wandering Salamander populations are considered secure.