Adult Spotted Salamaners
Ambystoma maculatum
During The Breeding Season

Spotted Salamander Male on white background.

Photographs of adult spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) from Livingston County, Michigan. Adult spotted salamanders spend most of their time living underground in forests, and it is rare to see them on the surface. However, during the early spring rains, often when there is still snow on the ground and ice in the water, the adult salamanders leave their underground homes and migrate to vernal pools to breed. In Michigan, spotted salamanders will often breed at the same time as Wood Frogs, Spring Peepers, Chorus Frogs, Tiger Salamanders, and Blue-Spotted Salamanders.

Two spotted salamanders approach each other during the breeding season.

Two spotted salamanders approach each other during the breeding season.

During breeding, the adult salamanders engage in dance-like behaviors called "liebesspiel". The male will then lay down a spermatophore, which is a small packet of sperm. The female salamander will pick up the sperm, and use it to fertilize her eggs. The female spotted salamander's eggs are then laid on some substrate like leaves or sticks.

Portrait of an adult spotted salamander.

All text and photographs Michael F. Benard
For information on using this photograph, contact me via email at:
mfbenard -{at}- gmail dot com

Some more pages on herps and natural history:
Pacific Chorus Frog Natural History Snake Image Gallery Buy a salamander mug.
Leech eats frog eggs Salamander Image Gallery Frog Calling Video Button
frog mating with salamander Redback Salamander Mother with Eggs Water bug with limpet snails