I occasionally hear people say things like “I saw a salamander with a blue tail,” or “I regularly see salamanders and other lizards.” The difference between a lizard and a salamander can be confusing to many of us, as they both have 4 short legs, and are generally long and slender with a long tail. These similarities in appearance belie their evolutionary and ecological differences, as lizards are reptiles and salamanders are amphibians.
Did You Know? Science Facts with Julie - Lizards versus Salamanders By Julie Grialou, our Conservation Biologist
Lizards and other reptiles have scales on their skin and generally lay shelled eggs on land, while salamanders and other amphibians have moist, scaleless skin and lay eggs (that lack shells) in water or very moist terrestrial environments. The skink, a lizard that has a blue tail, seems to be the lizard that is most often confused for a salamander. Check out these photos, and maybe you will see one of these species this spring.