Blue-spotted Salamander by Hank Wallays

Blue-spotted Salamander

(Ambystoma laterale)

NH Conservation Status: Wildlife Action Plan Species in Greatest Need of Conservation.

State Rank Status: Apparently secure.

Distribution: Throughout New Hampshire.

Description: A dark-bodied salamander measuring 3.5-5 inches and speckled with blue or white flecks and spots across the back, sides, and tail. 

Commonly Confused Species: The Jefferson salamander is larger, Jefferson/blue-spotted complex.

Habitat: Most commonly in moist hardwood forests but also in wooded swamps, marshes, and bogs. Spends most of time underground burrowing under logs, rocks, and mats of moss and vegetation.

Life History: Deposits small masses of eggs in vernal pools during spring. Hibernates underground during winter. Hybridizes with Jefferson salamanders.

Conservation Threats: Habitat loss and fragmentation, acid rain, road mortality during breeding periods; hybridizes with Jefferson salamander.

Distribution map: Click here for a map showing the towns where this species is reported to occur in NH

Blue-spotted Salamander
©NHFG / Eric Aldrich photo
Blue-spotted Salamander
Blue-spotted salamanders have numerous blue spots or flecks along their body. ©Hank Wallays photo
Blue-Jeff Salamander
Blue-spotted and Jefferson salamanders frequently hybridize making identification difficult. The location of the observation will indicate the likelihood of either a Jefferson (near Connecticut River NH) or blue-spotted salamander (distant from Connecticut River NH). However, genetic tests would be required to confirm whether a specimen was truly a blue-spotted or Jefferson salamander versus a blue-spotted/ Jefferson hybrid. ©Mike Marchand photo
blue-spotted salamander


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