Visually stunning, this stout salamander was bluish-black and had two rows of yellow spots extending from head to tail. It was about 15 cm long (6 in)! They secrete a milky white toxin when disturbed in order to dissuade predators. As soon as I lifted the rotting log that it was under, it started to secrete the toxin even though it still appeared to be hibernating.
**I found this salamander under a chunk of rotting wood in a mixed forest. I gently used a leaf to move it onto a piece of the wood so that I could take a couple pictures. Then, I moved it back to its original location.
The spotted salamander or yellow-spotted salamander is a mole salamander common in the eastern United States and Canada. The spotted salamander is the state amphibian of Ohio and South Carolina. This salamander ranges from Nova Scotia, to Lake Superior, to southern Georgia and Texas. Its embryos have been found to have symbiotic algae living inside them.