This species is fairly tolerant of human environmental disturbance, persisting even in some agricultural and suburban areas. It is most abundant in lowland, floodplain woods, and forest edges. Shallow bodies of water are required for breeding, especially vernal ponds, but will also use run-off ponds, floodings, river backwaters, and ditches. Small-mouthed Salamanders usually remain hidden under rotting logs, rocks, and leaf litter. Like other ambystomids, they posses large concentration of granular glands on upper surface of tail. Secretions are probably toxic.
Reproduction and Growth
Like Blue-spotted Salamanders, they often migrate to their breeding ponds very early in the year. They remain close to breeding sites to minimize length of migration. Females produce between 300-700 eggs deposited in small, loose masses of 3-30 eggs each, typically attached to sticks, leaves, or plant stems.
Hatching occurs in 3-8 weeks depending on water temperatures. The larva transforms in 2-3 months. Sexually maturity is reached in the second year after transformation.
Due to wide habitat tolerances they can be abundant in some areas. However, they are endangered in Michigan, probably because we are at the northern edge of their range. Historic accounts list this species as being present within the City.
- Ephemeral wetlands.
- Permanent wetlands.
- Grasslands and savannas.