The spotted salamander was designated the official state amphibian of South Carolina in 1999, after a campaign by the third grade class at Woodlands Heights Elementary School in Spartanburg. The spotted salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) is the only amphibian indigenous to the entire state of South Carolina. The spotted salamander has also been adopted as a state symbol of Ohio.
150 to 249 millimeters in length (5 - 10 inches), the spotted salamander is a stout-bodied amphibian identified by bright yellow round spots in two irregular rows on a dark background. The salamander inhabits deciduous forests with semi-permanent pools about one meter deep; it avoids bottomlands that are subject to regular flooding and permanent ponds that contain fish.