blue-spotted salamander

(Ambystoma laterale)

Conservation Status
blue-spotted salamander
Photo by Dallas Barber
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

     
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

S5 - Secure

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Blue-spotted salamander is a medium-sized, very cold-tolerant, mole salamander. It occurs in the northern United States and southern Canada from Quebec and New Jersey in the east to Iowa and eastern Manitoba in the west. In Minnesota it is common in the northeast and there are scattered populations in remnant forests in the south. It is found in flat forested areas with permanent ponds. It is often discovered under logs. Adults are 3 to 5 (7.6 cm to 12.9 cm) long. Females are slightly larger than males.

The body is stout with four well-developed limbs that project sidewards. The trunk is cylindrical. The tail is broad and oval at the base, becoming cylindrical as it approaches the tip. It is long, comprising about 40% of the salamander’s total length. The skin is soft, moist, and dark brown, black, or bluish-black. There are numerous pale blue or bluish-white spots and flecks on the lower sides of the trunk and tail, fewer or absent on the upper (dorsal) surface. There are usually 12 or 13, sometimes 14, prominent vertical depressions (costal grooves) on each side between the forelimbs and the ventral area. The belly is usually lighter and flecked. The vent is black.

The head is moderately large, distinctly wider than the neck.

The legs are relatively short but the toes are relatively long (compared to other salamanders).

Juveniles are dark brown. They have yellowish blotches on the back and a yellow stripe on each side.

 
     
 

Voice

 
 

 

 
     
 

Size

 
 

3 to 5 (7.6 cm to 12.9 cm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forests and wetlands

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

The adult spends most of the year under a log or other cover. When threatened it holds its tail up and curved over the body. Small, granular glands, concentrated mostly on the tail, exude a milky, unpleasant tasting liquid in response to a predator.

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

Unknown

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Breeding occurs in April in small woodland ponds and ditches. The female lays eggs individually or in groups of 2 to 4, attaching them to leaves or other debris at the bottom of the pond. The eggs hatch in about a month.

Adults are not freeze tolerant. It is thought that they burrow below the frost line to overwinter.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

Insects, mosquito and other insect larvae, water fleas, copepods, and other small aquatic invertebrates.

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

Earthworms, beetles, spiders, centipedes, snails, slugs, and other invertebrates.

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

14, 24, 29, 30, 72, 76.

 
  9/15/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Amphibia (amphibians)  
  Superorder Batrachia (frogs and salamanders)  
  Order Caudata (salamanders)  
  Suborder Salamandroidea (advanced salamanders)  
 

Family

Ambystomatidae (mole salamanders)  
 

Genus

Ambystoma  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Ambystoma nothagenes

Ambystoma platineum

Ambystoma tremblayi

Amblystoma laterale

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

blue-spotted salamander

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Dallas Barber

 
    blue-spotted salamander   blue-spotted salamander  
           
    blue-spotted salamander      
           
 
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slideshow

       
 
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Other Videos
 
  Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystomatidae: Ambystoma laterale) on Sand
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Sep 9, 2010

Photographed at the Concordia Language Villages, Bemidji, Minnesota (07 September 2010).

 
  Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) 10/4/15 Wisconsin Dells
lyubakavideo
 
   
 
About

Published on Oct 4, 2015

Look who I met under my boat today a pair of Blue-spotted Salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) This is a relatively slender blue-black salamander with whitish or blue spots on its back. It has four toes on its front feet and five on its hind feet. The costal (rib) grooves are very pronounced along the body between the front and rear legs. A triploid variant of this species, consisting exclusively of females, is found in parts of northern Wisconsin. The variants tend to be longer and paler than the blue-spotted salamanders. Blue-spotted salamanders prefer both northern and southern hardwoods and coniferous forests. They are often abundant in lowland hardwood forests. They tolerate dryer conditions than most Wisconsin salamanders, often living in forests with sandy soils. Adults eat many types of invertebrates including earthworms and insects.

Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) 10/4/15 Wisconsin Dells Latest Reports FishVids.BlogSpot.com bit.ly/DellsFishing

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Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale) 10/4/15 Wisconsin Dells

 
  Blue-Spotted Salamander - Wild ID
American Wilderness
 
   
 
About

Published on May 27, 2016

We wanted to show you some of the cool blue-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) we found recently in Wisconsin.

In this series, we show you species that you could easily encounter in the outdoors, and how you can identify them.

Wild ID
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCW-W0c0NXwImwBKvnEZ3_XHzN0du8P6V

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Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Dallas Barber
8/31/2019

Location: Mower County

blue-spotted salamander  
           
 
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Created: 9/15/2019

Last Updated:

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