South-central and southeastern Canada; north-central and northeastern United States.
Typically inhabit marshes, swamps, and adjacent upland areas. Spend most time hidden under rocks and logs or in mammal burrows. During the winter, usually spend all of their time underground. Diet includes small invertebrates like earthworms, snails, spiders, and beetles.
Total length can reach 14 cm. Dorsum varies from black to gray and contains small blue blotches mainly on sides. Venter is similar in color. Typically have 12 to 15 grooves between ribs. Larvae display gills on front and back of legs and behind head; also possess a tail fin. Juveniles exhibit brown to light gray coloring and more scattered, diminished spots. Females lay as many as 500 eggs in globules of up to 12 eggs; attaches them to floating vegetation.
Learn more with Schechter Natural History's Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians