Skip to Main Content

Cumberland Plateau Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Plethodon kentucki

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 6.5 inches

Identifying Characteristics

Very similar in appearance to the Northern Slimy Salamander. The body is black with small white spots on the back and larger white spots on the sides. The belly is uniformly slate gray. Chin and throat are light gray. Location is a huge help in identifying this species from the various slimy salamanders.


In Virginia, this species is only found in extreme southwestern Virginia. Primarily occupies cool, moist forests, but is occasionally found in rock crevices and outcrops.

Did You Know?

The genome (an organism’s complete set of DNA) of a salamander can be as much as ten times larger than a human’s.

Role in the Web of Life

Like other woodland salamanders, mating probably occurs primarily in the fall with females depositing 9 to 12 eggs the following summer. Hatchlings emerge approximately 2 months later. Males sexually mature in 3–4 years with females producing their first clutches of eggs at 4–5 years of age. Adults and juveniles feed on a wide variety of invertebrates.


Tier IV Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Last updated: January 22, 2024

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Species Profile Database serves as a repository of information for Virginia’s fish and wildlife species. The database is managed and curated by the Wildlife Information and Environmental Services (WIES) program. Species profile data, distribution information, and photography is generated by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, State and Federal agencies, Collection Permittees, and other trusted partners. This product is not suitable for legal, engineering, or surveying use. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources does not accept responsibility for any missing data, inaccuracies, or other errors which may exist. In accordance with the terms of service for this product, you agree to this disclaimer.