In life, the dorsal color of adults ranges from dark gray to blackish brown, with contrasting white to yellowish bands. Ventrally, the color varies from light gray to yellowish, peppered with light-colored spots. There is typically a short, light colored bar between the eyes that may continue below the eyes to point diagonally posterior. Recently metamorphosed juveniles have a drab green to dark gray dorsal surface, and a row of dorsolateral yellowish spots extending from the front limbs to the tip of the tail. Laterally, a broad band runs from the gills two-thirds of the way down the tail, which lacks pigmentation. Bellies are grayish-yellow. Juveniles develop the blotches or rings that characterize this species approximately two months after metamorphosis (Hutcherson et al. 1998). The sexes are monomorphic and it is unknown whether there is any geographic or seasonal variation (Bishop 1962; Johnson 1977; Petranka 1998).
The specific epithet annulatum means "ringed" (Beltz 2002).
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- Bishop, S.C. (1962). Handbook of Salamanders. Hafner, New York, NY.
- Hutcherson, J. E., Peterson, C. L. and Wilkinson, R. F. (1989). ''Reproductive and larval biology of Ambystoma annulatum.'' Journal of Herpetology, 23, 181-183.
- Johnson, T.R. (1977). The Amphibians of Missouri. University of Kansas Publications, Lawrence, KS.
- Mathis, A., Murray, K. L., and Hickman, C. R. (2003). ''Do experience and body size play a role in responses of larval ringed salamanders, Ambystoma annulatum, to predator kairomones? Laboratory and field assays .'' Ethology, 109, 159-170.
- McAllister, C. T., Trauth, S. E., and Cochran, B. G. (1995). ''Endoparasites of the ringed salamander, Ambystoma annulatum (Caudata: Ambystomatidae), from Arkansas.'' The Southwestern Naturalist, 40, 327-330.
- Noble, G. K., and Marshall, B. C. (1929). ''The breeding habits of two salamanders.'' American Museum Novitates, 347, 1-12.
- Nyman, S., Wilkinson, R. F., and Hutcherson, J. E. (1993). ''Cannibalism and size relations in a cohort of larval ringed salamanders (Ambystoma annulatum).'' Journal of Herpetology, 27, 78-84.
- Petranka, J. W. (1998). Salamanders of the United States and Canada. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington and London.
- Spotila, J. R., and Beumer, R. J. (1970). ''The breeding habits of the ringed salamander, Ambystoma annulatum (Cope), in northwestern Arkansas.'' American Midlands Naturalist, 84, 77-89.
- Trapp, M. M. (1956). ''Range and natural history of the ringed salamander Ambystoma annulatum, Cope (Ambystomatidae), .'' Southwestern Naturalist, 1, 78-82.
- Trapp, M. M. (1959). Studies on the Life History of Ambystoma annulatum Cope. Master's Thesis. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.
- Wilson, T. J. (1993). ''.'' Predation of Ringed Salamander Larvae, Ambystoma annulatum. Southwest Missouri State University, M.S. Thesis, Springfield.