Spotted salamander spotted at Matthaei. Last week Tom O'Dell, Matthaei-Nichols collections and natural areas specialist, caught a glimpse of a blue-spotted salamander (Ambystoma laterale) and an eastern red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus) at Matthaei. He also found one of our most beautiful native wildflowers, the trout lily (Erythronium americanum). The red-backed salamander can drop all or part of its tail if attacked, though the tail will grow back. These are generally secretive creatures found under logs or in wetlands.