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Shenandoah Mountain Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Plethodon virginia

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 5.4 inches

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.


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.

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: January 22, 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.