(see family information on Tree of Life site)
4 species in 1 genus

Giant Salamanders

Medium to large terrestrial salamanders, distributed in the western United States. Largest living terrestrial salamanders, with Dicamptodon reaching up to 351 mm. The aquatic larvae require 2 to 4.5 years to reach metamorphosis. Members of this family are restricted to wooded areas that have clear, permanent streams in which their larvae can metamorphose. Tending to be nocturnal, they can also be found in dark, heavy canopied forest (usually redwood or Douglas fir) during the day. Large metamorphosed individuals can be aggressive and may cause you to bleed if bitten. They are also known to eat small mammals. Adults can produce a "barking" noise. Some morphological characters are: 1) vomerine teeth in "M" shape; 2) lacrimal present; 3) very large terrestrial salamanders with marbled dorsal patterns.

Dicamptodon ensatus
Photo by Harry Greene
Read more about this species.

Genus Dicamptodon (4 species)
Dicamptodon aterrimus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Dicamptodon copei AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video
Dicamptodon ensatus AmphibiaWeb account photos sound/video
Dicamptodon tenebrosus AmphibiaWeb account photos no sound/video

Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available: (Accessed:

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.