USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Coastal (Pacific) Giant Salamander, Dicamptodon tenebrosus


The Coastal (Pacific) Giant Salamander is the largest terrestrial salamander found in the United States and Canada. They can reach lengths near 7 inches snout to vent (SVL) and 13-14 inches total. The general coloration is a dark brown to black background with lighter tan, gold, or gray marbling of spots.
The Coastal (Pacific) Giant Salamander has smooth skin like many amphibians and the intercostal ridges are not prominent. They are often found in or near cold streams and mountain lakes in damp forests. They have been known to do some limited climbing in shrubs and small trees.
The larvae of the Coastal (Pacific) Giant Salamander are generally a dull brown or gray color as seen here, but mottling as in the adults is not uncommon. They have short gill structures and often take several seasons of growth before they will metamorphose to adults. Neoteny, when a salamander remains a larva but can nevertheless reproduce, is common in the Coastal (Pacific) Giant Salamander and these individuals will reach total lengths near 14 inches as well.

Coastal Giant Salamander Range


Notice:  All images contained hereafter are the property of the said photographer. They are not to be reproduced, copied, printed, stored, or distributed without written permission of the photographer.

Return to checklist:   family/species   species only
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/herps/amphibid/species/diteneb.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:02:10 EST
Sioux Falls, SD [sdww54]