Blue-Spotted Salamander

Vickie Emms

Anola, MB., Canada

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Top 7 in a challenge and Featured in Amphibians – January 16, 2011

The Blue-spotted Salamander is a thin species that closely resembles the Jefferson Salamander. It is bluish-black in coloration and has blue and white flecks on the back and bluish-white spots on the sides of the body and tail. The toes are long, and the body is elongated, but it is somewhat stockier than that of the Jefferson Salamander. The belly may be paler than the body, but the vent (on the underside of the body, by the base of the tail) area is generally black. It has between 12-14 grooves on the side of the body (coastal grooves), and grows to lengths of 7.6-14 cm (3-5.5 in).

The Blue-spotted Salamander hybridizes with other salamanders, most notably the Jefferson Salamander.
The Blue-spotted Salamander is able to survive cooler temperatures and as such its distribution spans much of the northeast portion of the US, as well as southeast Canada. They and can be found from New England west through the Great Lakes basin, north through southeastern Manitoba and east across southern Ontario, Quebec and Newfoundland. Disjunct populations are found in Iowa, and in Manitoba and Newfoundland in Canada. Hybridization with the Jefferson Salamander occurs from Nova Scotia west to northern Wisconsin. The Blue-spotted Salamander survives in all of the Midwestern states except Missouri. It is listed as State Endangered in Ohio and Iowa, and as a Species of Concern in Indiana.

Found in a variety of habitats, the Blue-spotted Salamander prefers both deciduous and coniferous forests, where they can be found beneath logs, rocks, leaf litter, or in burrows of small woodland animals. Ponds that retain water into midsummer are vital for breeding, and the salamanders will migrate there to reproduce.

Logging operations, especially the clear cutting of woodlands, are one of the greatest threats to this forest floor inhabitant. The construction, and presence, of roads that intersect the migration route to breeding ponds also threaten the persistence of this species.

Photographed in my yard in Manitoba, Canada

Artwork Comments

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