Ambystoma: (New Latin) representing North American salamanders which are characterized by internal fertilization.

laterale: lateralis, the side (Latin), in reference to the blue spotting on the sides of this salamander.

Secretive salamander that mates with another species!

The common name refers to the blue spotted appearance of this species. The blue-spotted salamander has a secretive nature similar to the yellow-spotted salamander. However, the blue-spotted salamander hides under logs and rocks instead of occupying the mammal burrows frequented by the yellow-spotted salamander. This species has a distinctive stance it employs to warn off predators. The blue-spotted salamander is one of four species in the genus Ambystoma, which engage in interspecific hybridization. This is called the Jefferson's complex or Ambystoma laterale-jeffersonianum complex.