midland mud salamander

(Pseudotriton montanus diastictus)


This is one of the most colorful eastern salamanders. It is short-tailed and stout. The coloration is bright coral-pink to brilliant red with large, well-separated black or brown spots on the back. The underside is not marked except for a dark stripe on the edge of the lower jaw. It reaches a maximum length of about 4.7 inches (156 mm). Courtship is in the early fall, with spawning in December and hatching in February. The average clutch contains 127 eggs. This species reproduces every other year or every three years.


This salamander occurs in the far southwestern corner of Virginia. It inhabits the muddy and mucky margins of streams, swamps, bogs, and springs. It hides beneath logs and stones and burrows into streambanks. It also inhabits caves and woods.


There has been little research about food preferences. One study found that this species may prey on smaller salamanders.