Scientific Name: Desmognathus marmoratus
- Species of Greatest Conservation Need-Tier 3a on the Virginia Wildlife Action Plan
Size: Up to 5.75 inches
The body is dark brown, gray, or nearly black with two rows of dark brown, gray, olive, or yellowish faintly outlined spots. The belly is gray and is either uniform or has dark mottling. The head is flattened and wedge-shaped like a shovel. The tail is flattened side-side with a sharp upper keel. Larvae have two rows of light spots on a gray back.
Did You Know?
On rainy nights is not uncommon for them to emerge from their home stream and move into the surrounding forest remaining hidden during the day under leaf litter.
Role in the Web of Life
Shovel-nosed Salamanders are active in streams year-round, even below the ice in running water. Females lay 20–65 eggs in clusters of 2–4 on the underside of rocks. Larvae may remain in that stage for up to three years before reaching metamorphosis.
Tier III Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan.
Last updated: May 31, 2023
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