Wisconsin status: common
Length: 3-5 inches
This colorful critter is one of three Wisconsin species of mole salamanders. The mole salamanders (blue-spotted, spotted and tiger salamanders) spend most of their time underground. They also give off a foul-tasting sticky secretion from glands near the tail base. The secretion serves as a defense against predators.
The blue-spotted salamander is slender with dark blue-black coloring. It has whitish or lighter blue spots on its back. It has four toes on its front feet and five on its back feet.
These salamanders like to live in both northern and southern hardwoods and coniferous forests. They can also live in dryer conditions than most Wisconsin salamanders. So, you will often find them living in forests with sandy soils.
The adult blue-spotted salamander eats many different types of invertebrates including earthworms and insects.