Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Wehrle’s Salamander

Fact File

Scientific Name: Plethodon wehrlei

Classification: Amphibian

Size: Up to 6.5 inches

Distribution: In Virginia, this species occurs from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Floyd County northward to Highland County. An isolated population also occurs in Tazewell County. Primarily inhabits forested hillsides and mountainous areas, but also occurs in moist rock outcrops and caves.

Identifying Characteristics

The body is dark brown to brownish black with small scattered white spots on the back. Sides have bluish white to yellow spots and blotches. Belly is uniformly gray, except for the throat and chest, which often have white or yellowish markings. Hind feet are more deeply webbed in comparison to most other woodland salamanders

Did You Know?

In 2019, the Blacksburg Salamander (P. jacksoni) of the Wehrle’s Salamander complex was proposed for species recognition. In Virginia, it is only known to occur in Montgomery County.

Role in the Web of Life

Active on the surface from March to October, except at higher elevations where the activity period doesn’t begin until May. Mating occurs in the fall and spring with females laying 7–24 eggs in March or April.

Conservation

Species appears to be secure in Virginia.

Last updated: February 22, 2021