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

Step 2A

Key to Families of Caudata (Salamanders and Newts)

Choose the description that best fits the animal of interest. If none fit go back to step one.

  • A.     Aquatic salamander with feathery red gills, gray to rusty brown with dark spots, four toes on hind feet, if small there is a yellow stripe down the back in addition to the gills, 2 - 49 cm total length
  • Proteidae (Mudpuppy Family)
    one species in Canada: Necturus maculosus (Mudpuppy)


  • B.     Aquatic salamander with gills, not red, five toes on hind feet, no red spots, up to 40 cm total length
  • Ambystomatidae (Mole Salamander Family) - larvae

  • C.     Either terrestrial or aquatic without gills, costal grooves indistinct, may have rough-textured skin, spots small or not present, no larger than 18 cm total length
  • Salamandridae (Newt Family)

  • D.     Terrestrial or aquatic without gills, robust body, blunt head, no groove between lip and nostrils, costal grooves prominent, up to 40 cm total length
  • Ambystomatidae (Mole Salamander Family)

  • E.      Terrestrial or aquatic without gills, long and slender, or robust, small narrow slit between nostril and upper lip (may require magnifying glass to see in small individuals), costal grooves prominent, no larger than 22 cm total length
  • Plethodontidae (Lungless Salamander Family)