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blue-spotted salamander

blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
Photo © Mary Kay Rubey

blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale)
Photo © Dr. Todd Pierson

Features and Behaviors

The blue-spotted salamander averages about four to five and one-half inches in length. It is dark brown, black or blue-black with pale blue specks on the belly and sides. Its head is wider than its neck.

The blue-spotted salamander lives in wooded, swampy areas with sandy soil. This salamander may be found in the northeastern and north central Illinois border counties. It spends much of the year underground, coming out for a few days to reproduce in March or April. Eggs are laid singly or in small clusters and attached to vegetation in water. Eggs hatch in about one month. Transformation to a land animal occurs in late June through mid-August. This salamander eats arthropods (spiders, insects, mites and others) and annelids (earthworms, leeches).

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Caudata
Family: Ambystomatidae

Illinois Status: common, native