Blue isn’t a very popular color in the animal kingdom. When we think of blue animals, a few birds usually come to mind: blue jays, great blue herons, indigo buntings. One less familiar animal that sports blue is the blue-spotted salamander.
Salamanders are amphibians, like frogs and toads. They have short legs, and long bodies and tails. Eight different kinds of salamanders live in Illinois. Blue-spotted salamanders are mostly black or blackish-blue in color, but they are covered in bluish-white spots.
Have you ever been lucky enough to see a blue-spotted salamander? Most people have never seen one, because they try to remain out of sight. They usually only come out from under their cover when it’s very damp or raining or at night.
Here’s more information about these shy creatures.
Many people think salamanders are lizards, but they are not. Although they look like a lizard, salamanders are amphibians. Lizards are a kind of reptile.
These salamanders usually grow to be between 3 inches and 5 inches long. The females are a little bigger than the males.
Salamanders can’t hear, and they don’t make any sounds either.
Blue-spotted salamanders are carnivores, which means they eat other animals. They mainly eat insects, spiders and other small invertebrates. Because they live on land and in water, they eat both land-based insects like slugs and mosquitoes, and aquatic creatures like water fleas and insect larvae laid in water.
Blue-spotted salamanders live in forested areas that are usually near water. Some salamanders mostly stay underground. Blue-spotted salamanders live above ground, but they are usually under fallen logs or leaves.
These salamanders can protect themselves from predators with a toxin they produce in glands near their tails. When attacked, they can shoot the toxin at the animal.
Some salamanders lay eggs, and some give birth to live babies. Blue-spotted salamanders lay eggs in water. The eggs hatch about one month later. The young salamanders grow and develop into their adult form over a few months. Once they reach their adult form, they move onto land.
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