Blue spotted salamander care?

Aron W

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
93
Hello. I found a blue spotted salamander outside today and was wondering what would be the best way to care for it. I watched the video on Clints Reptiles of the yellow spotted salamander and was wondering if it was the same salamander but a different color morph or whatever.
Any info helps.

Thanks, Aron.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,987
Not the same species, but it is in the same genus--yellow spotted salamander is Ambystoma maculatum, blue spotted is A. laterale. Care for ambystoma is pretty similar across the board. I disagree with Clint on several points, though they're sort of minor:
  • You don't really need to mist every day, but you do need to make sure that you have a deep-ish, damp substrate. They spend most of their time underground, and when they're not underground they'll be right on the surface of the substrate, so a damp substrate will supply the humidity they need.
  • You don't need a water bowl either; again, a deep, damp substrate supplies all the water they'll need. Having the bowl just presents a risk of drowning.
This caresheet is good and very thorough, though a bit intimidating: http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_opacum.shtml

Here's how I would set them up:
  1. Get a 15 or so gallon fishtank with a good lid and put about 1-2" of coconut fiber on the bottom. You could probably get away with peat moss, but it's quite acidic, so I avoided it for my fire salamanders.
  2. Pour a bunch of water into the substrate--not so much that it's flooded, but enough that it's noticeably damp.
  3. Put a few slabs of bark or flat rocks (preferably the former) on the bottom.
As Clint mentions, you can use a tub, but then it's likely you'll never see them. And as the caresheet mentions, you could use paper towels, but I wouldn't for a few reasons:
  • They're ugly
  • They need to be changed more often than a dirt-like substrate
  • You don't know what kinds of chemicals are in them (coconut fiber should be thoroughly washed with clean water before use, but you can't do that to a paper towel)
  • They don't hold moisture, and thus provide humidity, very well
Finally, a good forum for salamanders is caudata.org, though I sometimes found it fairly unresponsive.

These are very cool animals, and I'd love if you could post some pictures!
 

Aron W

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
93
Not the same species, but it is in the same genus--yellow spotted salamander is Ambystoma maculatum, blue spotted is A. laterale. Care for ambystoma is pretty similar across the board. I disagree with Clint on several points, though they're sort of minor:
  • You don't really need to mist every day, but you do need to make sure that you have a deep-ish, damp substrate. They spend most of their time underground, and when they're not underground they'll be right on the surface of the substrate, so a damp substrate will supply the humidity they need.
  • You don't need a water bowl either; again, a deep, damp substrate supplies all the water they'll need. Having the bowl just presents a risk of drowning.
This caresheet is good and very thorough, though a bit intimidating: http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_opacum.shtml

Here's how I would set them up:
  1. Get a 15 or so gallon fishtank with a good lid and put about 1-2" of coconut fiber on the bottom. You could probably get away with peat moss, but it's quite acidic, so I avoided it for my fire salamanders.
  2. Pour a bunch of water into the substrate--not so much that it's flooded, but enough that it's noticeably damp.
  3. Put a few slabs of bark or flat rocks (preferably the former) on the bottom.
As Clint mentions, you can use a tub, but then it's likely you'll never see them. And as the caresheet mentions, you could use paper towels, but I wouldn't for a few reasons:
  • They're ugly
  • They need to be changed more often than a dirt-like substrate
  • You don't know what kinds of chemicals are in them (coconut fiber should be thoroughly washed with clean water before use, but you can't do that to a paper towel)
  • They don't hold moisture, and thus provide humidity, very well
Finally, a good forum for salamanders is caudata.org, though I sometimes found it fairly unresponsive.

These are very cool animals, and I'd love if you could post some pictures!
I’ll post a pic when I can, I’ll need to completely redo the tank I set up (temporary until I could find out for sure what works) I’ve got most if not all the things you mentioned for the setup, other than a 15 gallon aquarium. Would a 10 gallon work just as well?
 

Aron W

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
93
Not the same species, but it is in the same genus--yellow spotted salamander is Ambystoma maculatum, blue spotted is A. laterale. Care for ambystoma is pretty similar across the board. I disagree with Clint on several points, though they're sort of minor:
  • You don't really need to mist every day, but you do need to make sure that you have a deep-ish, damp substrate. They spend most of their time underground, and when they're not underground they'll be right on the surface of the substrate, so a damp substrate will supply the humidity they need.
  • You don't need a water bowl either; again, a deep, damp substrate supplies all the water they'll need. Having the bowl just presents a risk of drowning.
This caresheet is good and very thorough, though a bit intimidating: http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_opacum.shtml

Here's how I would set them up:
  1. Get a 15 or so gallon fishtank with a good lid and put about 1-2" of coconut fiber on the bottom. You could probably get away with peat moss, but it's quite acidic, so I avoided it for my fire salamanders.
  2. Pour a bunch of water into the substrate--not so much that it's flooded, but enough that it's noticeably damp.
  3. Put a few slabs of bark or flat rocks (preferably the former) on the bottom.
As Clint mentions, you can use a tub, but then it's likely you'll never see them. And as the caresheet mentions, you could use paper towels, but I wouldn't for a few reasons:
  • They're ugly
  • They need to be changed more often than a dirt-like substrate
  • You don't know what kinds of chemicals are in them (coconut fiber should be thoroughly washed with clean water before use, but you can't do that to a paper towel)
  • They don't hold moisture, and thus provide humidity, very well
Finally, a good forum for salamanders is caudata.org, though I sometimes found it fairly unresponsive.

These are very cool animals, and I'd love if you could post some pictures!
Here’s a picture of when I first found him
 

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Aron W

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
93
Not the same species, but it is in the same genus--yellow spotted salamander is Ambystoma maculatum, blue spotted is A. laterale. Care for ambystoma is pretty similar across the board. I disagree with Clint on several points, though they're sort of minor:
  • You don't really need to mist every day, but you do need to make sure that you have a deep-ish, damp substrate. They spend most of their time underground, and when they're not underground they'll be right on the surface of the substrate, so a damp substrate will supply the humidity they need.
  • You don't need a water bowl either; again, a deep, damp substrate supplies all the water they'll need. Having the bowl just presents a risk of drowning.
This caresheet is good and very thorough, though a bit intimidating: http://www.caudata.org/cc/species/Ambystoma/A_opacum.shtml

Here's how I would set them up:
  1. Get a 15 or so gallon fishtank with a good lid and put about 1-2" of coconut fiber on the bottom. You could probably get away with peat moss, but it's quite acidic, so I avoided it for my fire salamanders.
  2. Pour a bunch of water into the substrate--not so much that it's flooded, but enough that it's noticeably damp.
  3. Put a few slabs of bark or flat rocks (preferably the former) on the bottom.
As Clint mentions, you can use a tub, but then it's likely you'll never see them. And as the caresheet mentions, you could use paper towels, but I wouldn't for a few reasons:
  • They're ugly
  • They need to be changed more often than a dirt-like substrate
  • You don't know what kinds of chemicals are in them (coconut fiber should be thoroughly washed with clean water before use, but you can't do that to a paper towel)
  • They don't hold moisture, and thus provide humidity, very well
Finally, a good forum for salamanders is caudata.org, though I sometimes found it fairly unresponsive.

These are very cool animals, and I'd love if you could post some pictures!
(Idk why it sent 2 pics)
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,987
I’ll post a pic when I can, I’ll need to completely redo the tank I set up (temporary until I could find out for sure what works) I’ve got most if not all the things you mentioned for the setup, other than a 15 gallon aquarium. Would a 10 gallon work just as well?
10 gallon should be fine IMO, these guys aren't that big and salamanders don't move around too much.
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,987
Oh, and--beautiful animal. Did you find it after rain or similar?
 

Aron W

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jun 4, 2019
Messages
93
Oh, and--beautiful animal. Did you find it after rain or similar?
Today is the first time it has rained in my town for several days, strangely enough I found him far from the water. There is this flat piece of plywood laying in our backyard that we occasionally use for target practice, and I just happened to look underneath it to see what was there, and sure enough there was a salamander. I’ve only ever seen 4 on our whole property and this is the biggest.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,732
Hello. I found a blue spotted salamander outside today and was wondering what would be the best way to care for it. I watched the video on Clints Reptiles of the yellow spotted salamander and was wondering if it was the same salamander but a different color morph or whatever.
Any info helps.

Thanks, Aron.
Different species, I’ve only ever found its cousin. The blue is nocturnal and often pretty rare to come by. Some specimens are incredibly gorgeous. GREAT FIND
 

schmiggle

Arachnoprince
Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
1,987
Different species, I’ve only ever found its cousin. The blue is nocturnal and often pretty rare to come by. Some specimens are incredibly gorgeous. GREAT FIND
Yeah, I've found several maculatum at vernal pools but never seen laterale. My impression was that laterale is rare as far south and east as I am (not sure where you're located) and that they're more common in colder places, but I also know they were involved in a discussion of radio towers in my hometown, so *shrug*
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,732
Yeah, I've found several maculatum at vernal pools but never seen laterale. My impression was that laterale is rare as far south and east as I am (not sure where you're located) and that they're more common in colder places, but I also know they were involved in a discussion of radio towers in my hometown, so *shrug*
A friend of mine lives on East coast, said they are rare too
 

XxSpiderQueenxX

Arachnoknight
Active Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
245
Wait, you can't? Fill me in on this please!
yes i am 99.9 percent sure all ambytoma are illegal to posses in CA. Not sure why, but it’s like how axolotls are illegal. if u look up california illegal species, you should find a page from the official people with a pdf on the illegal species to posses :)
 

orchidloveXTM

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
129
yes i am 99.9 percent sure all ambytoma are illegal to posses in CA. Not sure why, but it’s like how axolotls are illegal. if u look up california illegal species, you should find a page from the official people with a pdf on the illegal species to posses :)
Strange, it seems I saw them everywhere in reptile expos here a while back.. is this recent?
 

orchidloveXTM

Arachnosquire
Active Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
129
pretty certain it is, i think they ban tiger salamanders and axololts (which make up ambystoma)
maybe they changed the laws, idk :)
Just found the document you were referencing, thanks for letting me know. I had no clue axolotls were illegal until now either.
 
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