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Black body with a bright red stripe down the middle of its back. They can also be black without the red stripe, but usually they have the stripe. Their bellies are black and white. This salamander was about 4 inches long.
I found it under a rotting log next to a stagnant pond at Roaring Brook Nature Center.
The red-backed salamander exhibits color polymorphism with two common color variations - the 'red-backed' variety has a red dorsal stripe that tapers towards the tail and the 'lead-backed' variety lacks most or all of the red pigmentation. The red-backed phase is not always red, but may actually be various other colors (yellow-backed, orange-backed, or white-backed)