Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum)


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkSH4RNR6rU
http://mb-faculty.mosesbrown.org/anewbold/ external image Yellow%20Spotted.gif

external image SPOTTEDSALAMANDER.JPG
http://www.marshall.edu/herp/Salamanders/spotted.htm http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbuePRCIS4o


Classification

Kingdom

Animal

Phylum

Chordate

Class

Amphibians

Oder

Caudata

Family

Ambystomidae

Genus

Ambystoma

Species

A. maculatum




Description:
The Spotted Salamander is about 15-25 centimeters long, baby Salamanders are about 1.27 centimeters long when born. Larvae are about 6.35 centimeters when leaving the water. Its main color is black, but can be a blueish black or a dark gray color also. There are two rows of yellowish orange spots that run from the top of head to the tip of the tail. The Spotted Salamander spots near the top of the head are more orange, while the spots on the rest of the body are more of a yellow color. Their bellies are slate gray.


Habitat:
Spotted Salamanders live in forests in eastern North America where there are pools of water in the Spring, or a pond nearby. Adult Spotted Salamanders spend most of their time underground. Larvae can be found in the water. When they leave the water as adults, young Salamanders will burrow under logs and rocks where they can keep their skin moist.



Predators and Prey:
Larvae eat insect larvae, water fleas, and other small animals living in the water. If there is not enough food, they will even eat each other. Eggs and larvae get eaten by fish, turtles, aquatic insects, birds, frogs, and crayfish. Adult Spotted Salamanders eat earthworms, snails, slugs, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, isotopic and insects. Some of the Spotted Salamanders predators are skunks, raccoon turtles, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums, and snakes.


Native or Invasive (if invasive (non-native), when and how did it get into or around the lake)
The Spotted Salamander is not an invasive species. It is founded in eastern North America and parts of Canada, making it native to Lake Champlain.


Form vs. Function:
Spotted Salamanders are very small in size making them harder to find when hiding under ground. Also Spotted Salamanders have poison glands in their skin that lets out a toxic white substance when they are bothered. The toxin is found on their backs and tails. If a predator gets a hold of them, the toxin quickly lets them know that it is not going to be a good meal.


Interesting Facts:
  • Female Salamanders lay a milky egg mass that is up to four inches across.
  • She connects it to underwater sticks or plant stems.
  • Larvae look a lot like tadpoles when they are first born, but instead they have feathery gills coming out from their heads.
  • In the wild life, the Spotted Salamander can live up to 20 years.
  • There are about 500 species of Salamanders in the wold.


Resources:

Moran, Mark. "Spotted Salamander." Spotted Salamander. Sudy of Northern Virginia Ecology Fairfax County Public Schools, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <__http://www.fcps.edu/islandcreekes/ecology/spotted_salamander.htm__>.

Richmond, Dr. Alan. "Spotted Salamander Facts." EHow. Demand Media, 29 Apr. 2009. Web. 25 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/video_4961556_spotted-salamander-facts.html>.

"Spotted Salamanders." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, n.d. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/salamander/>.

"Spotted Salamander." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Nov. 2012. Web. 26 Nov. 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spotted_Salamander>.