WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE

The blue-spotted salamander is a small salamander. It is only about 100 to 120 mm long. The colour is shiny black with light blue spots on its sides. The belly is dark gray or black.

The size of a blue-spotted salamander .

Look-alikes: The blue-spotted salamander has no look-alikes in Manitoba. The tiger salamander is much larger, is light green or grey in colour and has big dark blotches on its sides.


NAME

This salamander gets its name from the light blue spots on its sides.


WHERE IT LIVES

Blue-spotted salamanders live in forests where the ground is damp. They live in eastern North America. In Manitoba, they are only found in the southeastern part of our province.

Where it lives in Manitoba.


HABITS

Blue-spotted salamanders are active at night. They hunt for food under the leaves on the forest floor. They spend winter underground in the holes left by animals that burrow into the earth.


FOOD WEB

These salamanders eat worms, slugs, small insects and other tiny animals. Here is a salamander eating a worm . Salamander young eat insects and other tiny water animals that live in the ponds with them.

Not many animals will eat blue-spotted salamanders because they taste bad. Snakes are probably their main enemies.


LIFE CYCLE

Blue-spotted salamanders breed in ponds that fill from melting snow or in small permanent ponds. They mate and lay eggs in April or May. Females lay about 500 eggs, one at a time or in small bunches on sticks or plants on the bottom of the pond. The eggs take about 30 days to hatch.

The young grow to be about 30 to 50 mm long by late July or early August. Then they lose their gills and change to their adult shape and colour. [In "Life Cycles " you can see more blue-spotted salamander pictures.]


NUMBERS

No one knows how many blue-spotted salamanders can be in each hectare of forest, or how many there are in Manitoba.


SPECIAL THINGS

Blue-spotted salamanders protect themselves by making a sticky bad-tasting liquid that squeezes out if they are attacked. They will also wiggle their tail to get the animal to bite the tail instead of its head or body. So the animal gets a mouthful of yucky liquid and drops the salamander. The salamander's head and body don't get hurt.


USE BY PEOPLE

Blue-spotted salamanders are very hard to find and most people have never seen one in the wild. So, they aren't used by people.