It seems ironic that a “cold-blooded” species would breed during the coldest period of the year, but winter is breeding season for the mole salamanders. This group of salamanders are known for their robust body and subterranean lifestyle, which is how they received their name. They spend most of their life underground only to emerge for a few weeks to reproduce in vernal pools. In Virginia, the mole salamanders include Marbled Salamander, Jefferson Salamander, Mabee’s Salamander, Mole Salamander, Spotted Salamander and the state endangered Tiger Salamander. The Eastern Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum tigrinum) is the largest of the mole salamanders reaching a total length of about 8 inches and is only known to occur at a few locations around the state.