Shenandoah Mountain Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Plethodon virginia

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 5.4 inches

Distribution: In Virginia, this species is only known to occur in Rockingham County. Inhabits hardwood forests on mountain slopes and ravines with an abundance of flat rocks.

Identifying Characteristics

This is an elongated salamander with short legs and a tail longer than the body. Throat is white with a belly that is black with some white and brown mottling. The Shenandoah Mountain Salamander and the Valley and Ridge Salamander can only be distinguished by either genetics or geographic location.

Did You Know?

Studies into the ability of salamanders to regenerate limbs could offer insight into treating spinal and brain injuries in humans.

Role in the Web of Life

Surface activity occurs primarily on warm rainy nights from April through September. Mating occurs primarily in the spring with a secondary breeding event in the fall. Females deposit 3–8 eggs. Hatching occurs in August or September, but hatchlings do not emerge from underground retreats until the following spring. Adults eat a wide variety of small invertebrates.


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

Last updated: February 22, 2021