Kentucky spring salamander

(Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi)


This subspecies, at a maximum length of about 6 1/2 inches (165 mm), is smaller than the northern spring salamander, Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus. It is salmon-pink to brown-pink with a few small, dark spots on the back and sides, usually forming a row along the sides, but never extending below the level of the legs. The belly is tan and unmarked except for a few small dark dots on the margin of the lower jaw.


This is mainly a high elevation species, generally found in isolated seeps and springs in western Virginia. It is found beneath flakes of rock, pieces of wood, or other debris in damp situations in caverns. Outside of caves, it is found beneath stones, barks and logs in the vicinity of streams and springs; usually at fairly low elevations. Nest sites are beneath rocks in muddy banks, where the eggs are attached to the undersurface of submerged rocks.


This species forages on the edges of streams during rainy nights and on rocks within streams. It is primarily an aquatic predator.