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Red Back Salamander

Plethodon cinereus


The red back salamander is a small (5.7 to 10.0 cm) It is one of the most numerous salamanders throughout its range.The red back salamander exhibits color polymorphism and two color variations are common: the nominate 'red back' variety has a red dorsal stripe that tapers towards the tail, and the darker variety, known as the 'lead back phase', lacks most or all of the red pigmentation. The red back phase is not always red, but may actually be various other colors (e.g., stripe colored yellow, orange, white, or a rare erythristic morph, in which the body is completely red). Both morphs have speckled black and white bellies. The skin of red back salamanders was found to contain Lysobacter gummosus, an epibiotic bacterium which produces the chemical 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol and inhibits the growth of certain pathogenic fungi


The Red Back Salamander lives in tree stumps, logs , under rocks and in trees. The Red Back Salamander needs its skin to be moisturize other wise the salamander would dry out and die.


The whole class found at least seven of them while hiking through the woods.

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Spotted by

New Maryland, New Brunswick, Canada

Lat: 45.89, Long: -66.68

Spotted on May 31, 2013
Submitted on Jun 5, 2013

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