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Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center

Farm ponds as critical habitats for native amphibians
A Field Guide to Amphibian Larvae and Eggs of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa
Field guide contents

Blue–spotted Salamander Ambystoma laterale

Status: Wisconsin – Common
Minnesota – Common
Iowa – Endangered
Blue-spotted salamander
Size at hatching, 8 – 10 mm total length; at metamorphosis, ~34 mm snout-vent length


field mapThe Blue-spotted Salamander is one of four mole salamanders in our region. Other mole salamanders include the Spotted, Small-mouthed, and Tiger Salamanders. As adults, mole salamanders live under cover objects such as rotting logs or in burrows in the forest floor (Parmelee 1993). In early spring (March and April), adults migrate to temporary ponds to breed. Larvae develop during spring and summer and usually metamorphose in the fall.

The Blue-spotted Salamander is a woodland species of northern North America. The eggs are laid in small clumps (7–40 eggs) attached to vegetation or debris at the bottom of ponds. The larvae are similar to Spotted Salamanders but are more darkly colored with the fins mottled with black, and dark blotches on the dorsum. Blue-spotted Salamanders metamorphose at about the same size as Spotted Salamanders but are darker, sometimes with flecks of blue.

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URL: http://www.umesc.usgs.gov/terrestrial/amphibians/field_guide/blue-spotted salamander.html
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Page Last Modified: December 29, 2010