Blue-spotted Salamander
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Online Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut

Blue-spotted Salamander - Ambystoma laterale

Description

A medium-sized salamander (8 inches; 20.3 cm) that is generally stocky in overall body shape. The background color is black with blue or metallic blue flecking. The degree of flecking varies widely. This, coupled with the amount of hybridization that occurs between this and other species throughout its range, can make it difficult to identify readily in the field.

 

Reproduction

Lays 10 to 20 egg masses of 15 eggs each in vernal pools in the spring. Eggs hatch 30 to 45 days later and larvae usually complete metamorphosis by September.

 

Habitat

Spends most of its life underground, but surfaces to breed. During the breeding season it can be found under logs and rocks in woodland habitat, or at woodland edges near vernal pools.

 

Food

Feeds on a variety of invertebrates, including earthworms and insects.

 

Range

A band ranging from Indiana east to central Massachusetts; from the southern coast of Lake Erie south to Virginia. In Connecticut the range is spotty and complicated by the fact that this species hybridizes with others in its range.

 

Status

Diploid populations are threatened in Connecticut, while hybrid “complex” populations are of special concern.

 

References

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern/Central North America. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 450 pp.



Klemens, MW. 1993. Amphibians and Reptiles of Connecticut and Adjacent Regions. Hartford, CT: State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut Bulletin 112. 318 pp.

 

Credits

Text by Gregory J. Watkins-Colwell.
Photographs © Twan Leenders. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Animals featured in photographs on this page are from Canada and New York.