Recognizing individual salamanders by their belly spots

One of the questions we are investigating in my herpetology lab is whether we can recognize individual salamanders based on the pattern of spots on their bellies. We have been studying a population of smallmouth salamanders (Ambystoma texanum) and unisexual Ambystoma salamanders. These salamanders have very distinct patterns of pale blue spots on dark gray to black bellies.

The photo below shows how these belly patterns can be used to identify individuals. Can you guess which of the photos with letters A through D matches the salamander at the top?

Individual Pattern Recognition

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