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Green Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Aneides aeneus

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 5.5 inches

Distribution: This species is restricted to the Northern Cumberland Mountain and Northern Ridge and Valley ecoregions of southwest Virginia. They are closely associated with moist crevices in rocky outcrops. Although they are occasionally found in trees, their arboreal behavior is poorly understood.

Identifying Characteristics

The body and head are flattened with numerous green to yellowish green markings that resemble lichens. No other salamander in Virginia has green markings. The legs are long with splayed feet and squared toes, which are useful for climbing rocks and tree trunks.

Did You Know?

This salamander has been observed active in all months of the year and at temperatures as low as 31°F.

Role in the Web of Life

Green Salamanders typically hunt insects on cool, rainy nights. Mating occurs in May and June. Females deposit 10–27 eggs attaching them to the roof of damp, horizontal rock crevices. Hatchlings emerge 3–5 weeks later. When handled, it’s not uncommon for them to drop part of their tail as a defensive response.

Conservation

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

Last updated: February 22, 2021