The Balton Springs Salamander
an endangered animal
A slender, long-limbed salamander, about 2.5 inches in total length, with a small narrow head and greatly reduced eyes. They vary in color, and can be dark gray, gray, purplishgray, gray-brown, or yellowish-brown. Most individuals have a dark "salt-and-pepper" mottling on their back. These salamanders have external gills which are red in color. The Barton Springs Salamander is entirely aquatic throughout its life.
Although relatively little is known about the biology of the Barton Springs Salamander, new information is rapidly becoming available. Recently hatched young have been found in November, March, and April, and females with well-developed eggs have been found in September through January. They are known to eat amphipods and other small, aquatic animals. Captive specimens feed on amphipods, earthworms, white worms, and brine shrimp
The Barton Springs Salamander occurs only at the spring outflows of Barton Springs. These are often found under rocks or in gravel in water several inches to 15 feet deep. They can also be found hiding in aquatic plants and algae. They rely on a clear, clean, continuous flow of spring water. The Barton Springs Salamander is clearly capable of living underground, but also inhabits surface environments. Although not known for certain, some scientists believe the salamander is primarily a surface-dweller that is adapted for life underground when surface conditions become unsuitable. salamanders