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Red Back Salamander

Plethodon cinereus


This lungless salamander is also known in a different phase as the leadback salamander. It is long and slender. The redback is marked with a broad stripe that begins at the head and flows down the back and over the upper part of the tail, where the stripe shrinks in width. The stripe is usually red, although it sometimes may appear orange, yellow, pink or light gray. The sides are black, and this color extends upward to form a straight-edged border on each side of the stripe. The leadback color phase ranges from a light gray to almost black. The solid color is shaded uniformly and does not have the colorful stripe along the back. A third color phase is found only occasionally. Marked with an unusual redness, it is referred to as an erythristic phase. The entire body, except for the belly, is red. Regardless of the color phase the belly is always mottled in a distinctive pattern of black and white. Each side has 18 to 20 costal grooves.


Found under a log in a camp ground


Rescued from the clutches of a child determined to have it live out the rest of its days in a styrofoam cup with a twig and a leaf

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akussr 4 years ago

Well it tried to burrow into the space between my fingers. I think thats a salamander version of a hug :P

And thanks for the favorite

AshleyT 4 years ago

I'm sure it appreciated you saving it from that awful life it was about to get!

Spotted by

penna, USA

Lat: 41.39, Long: -74.97

Spotted on May 25, 2014
Submitted on Jan 3, 2015

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