Blue Ridge red salamander

(Pseudotriton ruber nitidus)


This subspecies of the northern red salamander, Pseudotriton ruber ruber, is small, reaching a maximum length of 4 5/8 in. 912 cm.). It is similar to the northern red salamander in its red to red-orange color with many irregular, small black spots, except that it lacks the black spots on the tip half of the tail and on chin, and older adults retain their vivid colors. Older specimens of the northern red salamander become a purplish-brown color. The iris of the eye is usually yellow. Clutch size averages 70 eggs; these are attached to the underside of large rocks that are well embedded in the soils of seeps and streams.


This salamander is found in and about clear, cold springs and small streams of wooded ravines, swamps, open fields, and meadows at elevations as high as 5000 ft (1500 m), north and east of French Broad Run in Floyd County. Adults live in leaf accumulations in spring fed brooks and nearby crevices and burrows. They also live under logs, boards, stones, and leaves in more terrestrial habitats.


There is no information about the food preference of this species but it probably eats small invertebrates.