Idaho Giant Salamander


Varying between brown, purple, tan, grey, and a copperish color, Idaho giant salamanders are large and robust predators. Tiger Salamanders and Idaho Giant Salamanders have superficial resemblance pertaining to size and shape, but the costal grooves and foot tubercles are significantly different between the two species. With a defining thick head and body along with a fourth toe on the hind foot with only three segments; this species of salamander has its own unique features. They are found usually between 7 and 11.75 inches long, but can be observed around 13 inches. Small external gills adapted for small stream living can be found on their larvae. Their larvae are usually tan with yellow blotches over their dermis. They can undergo paedomorphosis, but most become mature adults.


This species of salamander are found in forested watersheds from Coeur d’Alene to salmon river, and in two locations in Montana aroumd mineral county.


Larvae are predators but tend to sit and wait for their food to come to them. Usually they feed on small invertebrates and some small vertebrates. This can include tadpoles, fish, and other salamanders. Adults usually feed on terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates. They will eat things as large as shrews, mice, and small snakes, along with other salamanders. They will eat anything that they can catch.

Fish, weasels, water shrews, and garter snakes are a few of their predators. To help defend against these predators they have a few strong defense mechanisms to help them survive. They use toxic secretion from their skin, warning postures, verbal queues, and they will bite. An Idaho Giant salamanders bite can easily break the skin of a human.


Kingdom Animalia (animals)
Eumetazoa (metazoans)
 Bilateria (bilaterally symmetrical animals)
  Deuterostomia (deuterostomes)
   Phylum Chordata (chordates)
    Craniata (craniates)
     Subphylum Vertebrata (vertebrates)
      Superclass Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates)
       Euteleostomi (bony vertebrates)
        Class Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fishes and terrestrial vertebrates)
         Tetrapoda (tetrapods)
          Class Amphibia (amphibians)
           Subclass Lissamphibia (amphibians)
            Order Caudata (salamanders)
             Family Dicamptodontidae (Pacific giant salamanders)
              Genus Dicamptodon (Pacific giant salamander)
               Species Dicamptodon aterrimus (Idaho giant salamander)



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