Juvenile (Red eft), all red-orange, red spots down the back, up to 5 cm long. This salamander is a harmless creature. It has no poison sting or biting teeth. Its permanent smile and delicate little toes will win your heart, once you take that first curious look. When people meet up with their first salamander they often call it a lizard, because salamanders have tails. But salamanders are amphibians, like frogs and toads. Their skin is smooth and moist. They cannot bite. Lizards have dry, scaly skin like their relatives, the turtles and snakes. There are no lizards in the Maritime Provinces where this little one was spotted. Salamanders eat a variety of insects, worms, snails, spiders and slugs. They use sight and smell to find prey. NS salamanders make no sounds and cannot hear, although they do feel vibrations in the ground with their forelegs and lower jaw. Salamanders can regrow their legs or tail if these are bitten off by a predator.
Lives in woods, lake-shores, grassy areas surrounding ponds and deciduous or mixed forests rich with mosses. Nova Scotia has five species, while 336 species are known in the world. But because of their secretive way of life, most of us notice salamanders only in spring, when they wake up from winter hibernation and migrate to breeding ponds.
We did not have a tape measure handy so we laid the pen for optical accuracy.