The ’s "Blue-Spotted Salamander Search” took place in Montauk on Saturday.
The search for the Blue-spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale), is held specifically in Montauk because the pure form of this species has only been found there in New York State, according to the guides. In the early spring, these mole salamanders, which burrow underground, travel from their land habitat to vernal (temporary) ponds to breed. These ponds provide a safe haven for their eggs because vernal ponds cannot house fish which would eat the salamander’s eggs.
The search was led by SoFo board president Andrew Sabin, SoFo executive director Frank Quevedo, and SoFo nature educator Crystal Possehl. They were joined by 20 participants, who made their way through the woods of Montauk to the vernal pond.
Sabin, Quevedo, and Possehl entered the pond with very powerful spotlights and within five minutes, the first blue-spotted salamander was found. It was brought to the group on the edge of the pond to observe and admire.
A total of six salamanders and one American Bullfrog were found that night. After the participants learned about the blue salamanders, they were carefully released back into their breeding pond habitat.