Species of the Week: Blue-Spotted Salamander

Screen Shot 2020-08-15 at 12.54.07 PMThis week we’re going to spend a year in the life of the Blue-spotted Salamander. In the early spring, Blue-spotted Salamanders emerge from their overwintering sites and begin their journey to breeding habitats such as vernal pools and wetlands. Once there, adult salamanders mate underwater and later lay up to 200 eggs. About a month later, the eggs hatch and larvae emerge. Larvae spend part of the summer in the water with gills and a tail eating aquatic insects and crustaceans. Once they have developed legs, the now juvenile salamanders leave the wetland and begin residing on the forest floor foraging for insects and worms at night and using logs, rocks, and leaf litter for protection. As they enter adulthood, Blue-spotted Salamanders darken to be almost black, develop more blue spots along their sides, and reach a length of up to 16cm. As winter approaches, salamanders must find a suitable place to spend the cold winter months — commonly using mammal burrows and root cavities.

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