Salamanders are smooth-skinned amphibians with no skin covering such as scales, hair, or feathers. They do not have claws. Adult salamanders can be distinguished from frogs and toads by the presence of a tail and by the nearly equal size of their front and hind limbs. Most salamanders are moist or slimy to the touch, which is a good way to distinguish them from lizards, which are dry. The waterdog, which is completely
aquatic (water living), can be recognized by its featherlike external gills.
Salamanders depend on water and moisture for their existence. Because they do not have a skin covering, they dehydrate rapidly in dry environments. The larvae spend the first part of their lives in water. After the larval form changes to the adult form, most salamanders leave the water and live in moist areas on land. They can usually be found under logs, under rocks, near streams, and in other areas where the ground is moist and shaded from the sun.
All salamanders are predators. They commonly eat insects, slugs, earthworms, and other invertebrates.
Some eat leeches, tiny mollusks, crustaceans, and frogs’ eggs. As aquatic larvae, they typically eat
aquatic invertebrates, but some may even be cannibalistic.see more at What do salamanders eat.
Salamanders generally are active when there is no sunshine—at night or on cloudy, rainy days. On sunny days they generally hide in moist areas, such as under stones and logs. Since salamanders are mostly nocturnal (active at night), they are seldom seen by people.