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Mabee’s Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Amybstoma mabeei

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 4.5 inches

Identifying Characteristics

Adult Mabee’s Salamanders are dark gray to black with a highly variable number of silver specks that are confined to the sides of adults. In juveniles, they occur in patches over the entire body. The belly is gray.


This species occurs only in the Coastal Plain from South Carolina to southeastern Virginia. They occupy mixed hardwood forests and use ephemeral wetlands for breeding.

Did You Know?

This species was not known to occur in Virginia until 1979.

Role in the Web of Life

Adults emerge from underground retreats in winter months. Males arrive first, then court females and deposit spermatophores on leaves in the bottom of the pool. Females arrive later and pick up the sperm packets in their cloacae for internal fertilization. They lay a single egg or in strings of 2–6 eggs attached to leaves or sticks in the pool. Adult and larval prey consists of a variety of insects and their larvae, worms, and other small invertebrates. Predaceous larvae of aquatic insects and sirens are predators in breeding pools.


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

Last updated: January 19, 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.