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Comprehensive Description

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Description

The Flatwoods salamander (Ambystoma cingulatum) was first described by Cope in 1868 but has remained rare in museum collections to this day. This species is a small, slender species of Ambystoma with a light gray reticulate or frosted pattern on a dark gray or black dorsum (Petranka 1998), though gulf coast populations often have a brownish gray reticulate pattern on the dorsum. The venter is typically dark gray with a light gray flecking or spotting pattern present. Adults may reach lengths of 13.5cm in total length (TL) (Palis 1996) with an average of 15 costal grooves in a range of 13-16. Larvae develop a yellow - gold vertebral stripe along the length of the body shortly after hatching. Hatchlings are identified by their uniformly dark brown dorsal patterning and their pale brown venter. Hatchlings typically measure 7.5-11.5 mm SVL and 10-19 mm TL (Anderson and Williamson 1976; Palis 1995).

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