Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Shenandoah Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Plethodon shenandoah

Classification: Amphibian

Conservation Status:

Size: Up to 4 inches

Distribution: This is a high-elevation species that only occurs on three mountain tops in Shenandoah National Park. Primarily inhabits north and north-west facing, rocky talus slopes and hardwood forests above elevations of 2,870 feet.

Identifying Characteristics

The body is black to dark brown with a narrow reddish or yellowish stripe that extends from the base of the head to the tail. However, the stripe may not always be present. Belly is uniformly black. Easily confused for an Eastern Red-backed Salamander, which has a salt-and-pepper pattern on the belly.

Did You Know?

This is one of the most range restricted tetrapod (four feet) vertebrates in the world only occupying a maximum potential range of 800 acres.

Role in the Web of Life

It is believed they reach sexual maturity at approximately three years of age. Females produce an average clutch size of 13 eggs every other year in late spring or early summer. Adults and juveniles prey on a wide variety of invertebrates.

Conservation

Federally and State Endangered. Tier I Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.

Last updated: February 22, 2021