USGS - science for a changing world

Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

  Home About NPWRC Our Science Staff Employment Contacts Common Questions About the Site

Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Blue-spotted Salamander, Ambystoma laterale


Blue-spotted Salamander

The Blue-spotted Salamander attains a length as an adult between 4 and 5.5 inches. It is found in moist wooded areas under debris such as rotting logs, vegetation and loose soil. The spotting is generally light blue or white on a dark blue to black background, and the belly is also dark. The Jefferson Salamander is the only salamander that could be confused with the Blue-spotted by virtue of it also having blue spots, but the Jefferson Salamander's spots are generally small flecks. The Jefferson Salamander also has a paler background color and light colored belly versus the dark blue/black background color of the Blue-spotted. These two species hybridize in the parts of their ranges that overlap making identification in these areas difficult (compare distribution maps). Hybrids tend to reach larger sizes than the Blue-spotted Salamander and have a paler background closer to the Jefferson Salamander. Within hydrid zones check the vent - this is surrounded by black in the Blue-spotted and gray in the Jefferson.

Distribution map for the Blue-spotted Salamander

Notice:  All images contained hereafter are the property of the said photographer. They are not to be reproduced, copied, printed, stored, or distributed without written permission of the photographer.

Return to checklist:   family/species   species only
Return to Contents

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

Take Pride in America logo USA.gov logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
URL: http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/herps/amphibid/species/ambylat.htm
Page Contact Information: Webmaster
Page Last Modified: Saturday, 02-Feb-2013 05:01:35 EST
Menlo Park, CA [caww54]