How to Identify Salamander Eggs

By John Smith

Salamanders represent hundreds of species of amphibians in the Caudata order that have tails when full grown. Their eggs are easily confused with other amphibian species such as frogs unless you know the slight variations between the two. Salamanders usually plant eggs in the spring or winter months, but the time and location differ depending on the exact species. All salamander eggs have a particular protective shell membrane and other distinguishing characteristics.

Look for a jelly shell covering a large amount of dark dots, as this is a clear sign of amphibian eggs. The jelly is a toxic membrane that protects the eggs as they grow to full size. The eggs start off as small sacs of cells and grow into fully formed tadpoles over time. Depending on the development stage, you might see only indistinguishable dark sacs, or you might be able to see the eggs in more developed form.

Determine if each egg is surrounded by its own jelly shell and grouped together with other eggs, or if all the eggs are within one larger shell. Frog eggs differ in this regard as they are individually covered in the jelly and then grouped together. Salamander eggs do not have multiple bubbles, but instead have a uniform jelly shell.

Count the number of eggs within the mass. Frog eggs can have up to 500 eggs per single mass, compared with a salamander's typical 50 to 75.