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Checklist of Amphibian Species and Identification Guide

Slimy Salamanders


Slimy Salamanders are a complex of 13 species that are genetically distinct in the laboratory, but display almost no differences in appearance. Previously they were all lumped together as Plethodon glutinosus, but this name is now reserved for the Northern Slimy Salamander (see range map below). Here we will refer to them all as simply Slimy Salamanders, the range map below shows the distribution and names of the different species of Slimy Salamanders.


Slimy Salamander Slimy Salamander
The Slimy Salamander gets its name from the secretions it emits from its skin glands when it is handled roughly or feels threatened. Many other species of amphibians show this behavior as well, but the Slimy Slamanders' secretions are among the stickiest and very hard to remove from one's hand.
Slimy Salamander
The general coloration of Slimy Salamanders is a black or dark blue background with white or silvery dots speckling the entire surface of the salamander. These spots are may be larger near the venter or belly of the salamander, which is usually lighter than the back. A medium to large sized salamander attaining lengths of 4-6 inches with some exceptional specimens as long as 8 inches. Slimy Salamanders have a very robust and round tail. They will use this tail to suspend and wave their hind legs during courtship rituals. Slimy Salamanders, like other members of the genus Plethodon have eggs that hatch directly into small salamanders, skipping the larval stage. Though they are dependent upon moisture, this enables them to occupy a wide range of habitats. Look for them under stones, logs and leaf litter in moist wooded areas.
Slimy Salamander Slimy Salamander
Slimy Salamander Range

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