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Cortland Herpetology Connection

Jefferson/Bluespotted complex
(Ambystoma jeffersonianum/laterale)

The Jefferson salamander/blue-spotted salamander complex contains an interesting mixture of taxa. In New York State, Jefferson salamanders (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) live in more southern portions of the state except Long Island, while blue-spotted salamanders (Ambystoma laterale) live in the more northern portions and on Long Island. These two species contain both males and females.

Included in the complex are also a group a salamanders that were formed by past hybridization between A. jeffersonianum and A. laterale. These salamanders are polyploids (have multiple sets of chromosomes) and are all females.

Although adult Jefferson and blue-spotted salamanders differ consistently in external appearance, the polyploids are very difficult to distinguish on the basis of appearance alone. For all students participating in the Atlas, we recommend that you do not attempt to distinguish among the members of the complex and instead report all Jefferson salamanders, blue-spotted salamanders, and polyploids as "Ambystoma jeffersonianum complex".

Ambystoma laterale
Blue-spotted salamander

Ambystoma jeffersonianum/laterale
Jefferson/Bluespotted complex


Cortland
Herpetology
Connection

Dr. Peter Ducey, Project Director
Biology Department, SUNY Cortland
Email: duceyp@cortland.edu
Craig Cramer, Webmaster
Email: cdcramer@clarityconnect.com

Special thanks to all those who generously loaned images and other help. See our credits page for more information.

http://www.cortland.edu/herp/keys/salamand/ajefflat.htm