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Streamside salamander facts for kids

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Streamside salamander
Ambystoma barbouri.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification

The streamside salamander (Ambystoma barbouri) is a species of mole salamander from North America, occurring in several Midwestern states of the USA.


Adults of A. barbouri can be found underground and under rocks or leaves in deciduous forests at moderate elevations. Eggs are generally laid in small streams, less readily in ponds. Larva tend to hide among green algae to protect themselves from predators.

Streamside salamanders have been a subject of interest in showing the effects of gene flow on natural selection. Research shows that salamander larvae who live in the presence of green sunfish are more likely to survive if they are less active and hide more often, however larvae which are born in ephemeral pools are more fit to survive if they are more active, and feed enough to reach metamorphosis before their aquatic habitat dries up. Due to gene flow from the two opposing types of larvae, neither type is able to fully adapt to their environment, and salamanders have a lower overall fitness.


Total streamside salamander population is estimated at above 10,000 individuals, but precise data are lacking. The species is under pressure from habitat destruction (conversion of forests to pasture and residential areas).

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