Barred Tiger Salamander
Barred Tiger Salamander. Photo Credit: Michael Ray
The barred tiger salamander was named the State Amphibian of Kansas after being nominated by the second grade class at OK Elementary School in Wichita. It is the largest salamander in Kansas growing to almost a foot in length. Its dorsal surface can be a grey, dark brown or black that is interrupted by yellow spots and stripes. They are nocturnal so don’t expect to find them easily. They eat insects, slugs and worms. Adults are terrestrial but the juvenile larvae are entirely aquatic with six external gills on both sides of the neck. The eggs are laid in temporary water pools to avoid predation by fish that use larger bodies of water. Swamps & marshes are ideal but even spring-time pools that form in shallow ditches or in the concave surface of large rocks may be suitable.