How to Find Salamanders

Salamanders are a type of amphibian that resemble lizards, and breathe through mucous glands that are located on their mouths, throats, and skin. Since a salamander’s skin is required to be moist and slick to allow them to breathe, salamanders can generally be found living in moist, humid, and wet habitats.


  1. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 1
    Travel to a geographical region in which salamanders generally reside. One-third of all salamander species can be found in North America - specifically in the Appalachian Mountains region, while the other two-thirds of the salamander population reside throughout Central American, South America, Asia, and Europe.[1]
  2. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 2
    Set aside time during the spring season to search for salamanders. Most salamanders live underground, but will move out of dormancy during this time period to breed in vernal pools, which are shallow depressions in the ground that only contain water during the spring season.[2]
  3. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 3
    Make plans to search for salamanders at night, or when the weather is overcast and rainy. Salamanders are nocturnal and can usually be found at night, however, they may also venture out during daytime hours when it is cloudy or raining.[3]
  4. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 4
    Visit outdoor locations where the earth stays consistently damp. Examples of such locations are places near wetlands such as streams, rivers, ponds, marshes, and swamps.
  5. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 5
    Search for debris on the ground near wetlands and pools of water such as rocks, fallen logs, branches, and piles of leaves. Salamanders must keep their skin moist in order to breathe, and will hide under these types of objects to shelter themselves from direct sunlight.[4]
  6. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 6
    Slowly flip over pieces of ground debris to find salamanders. Slow, gentle movements may prevent salamanders from becoming alarmed and scurrying away quickly to find another hiding place.
  7. Image titled Find Salamanders Step 7
    Return ground debris to their original positions when you are finishing searching for salamanders. Any major disruption to rocks, logs, and other debris could alter the humidity levels and safety of a salamander’s habitat.


  • If you have plans to catch a salamander, make sure that your hands are free of lotion, bug spray, and other chemicals that could be harmful to a salamander’s health. Also, be sure to keep salamanders in a cool, damp environment and mist their skin with water as necessary.
  • If you do not live near a geographical region in which salamanders reside, you may be able to see salamanders at your local zoo. Most zoos will feature salamanders for view in a snake or reptile house in which they can thrive in a simulated humid and moist environment.
  • If you’ve caught salamanders in the past, try returning to the same location to find more salamanders. In most cases, salamanders will venture back to places they’re familiar with, especially to the locations at which they hatched from eggs.


  • Be sure to wash your hands immediately after coming into direct contact with a salamander. Some salamander species secrete poisonous chemicals that can cause skin irritation, salmonella poisoning, and in some cases, death.

Article Info

Categories: Newts and Salamanders