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Spring Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 9 inches

Distribution: Three subspecies of Spring Salamander occur in Virginia; the Blue Ridge Spring Salamander (G. p. danielsi), Kentucky Spring Salamander (G. p. duryi), and Northern Spring Salamander (G. p. porphyriticus). All of which occur in the western half of Virginia with the Northern Spring Salamander being the most widespread. They inhabit springs, small streams, and seeps.

Identifying Characteristics

Spring Salamanders are large, stout-bodied salamanders. They are pink to orange with small black dots on the back. There is a white and a black line running from each eye to the snout.

Did You Know?

Spring Salamanders can produce noxious skin secretions to repel predators.

Role in the Web of Life

Although adults are found under cover in the water by day and emerge to hunt at night along stream banks, the larvae are more active during the day. They prey upon invertebrates and even smaller salamanders, including members of their own species. Breeding occurs in the fall and throughout winter. Females can produce as many as 100 eggs, which they attach to the underside of rocks in streams, usually in underground crevices. Larvae hatch in the late summer and may take 3–4 years to metamorphose, often reaching 6 inches in length.

Conservation

Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: February 22, 2021