northern red salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS: This salamander is large, stout, and red to red-

dish-orange with irregular, rounded black spots on the back. Adults grow

to lengths of 4-6 in. (10-15.2 cm.). Females in the southern Blue Ridge
region are an average of 10% larger than the males. The iris is yellow.
The underside of the legs and tail are usually immaculate. There are
no whitish flecks around the snout and on the head in adults. The edge
of the chin is flecked with black. Courtship is in the summer, spawning
in October and hatching in early December. The average clutch is 70
eggs. The clutch size increases with female body size. Egg-laying may
be initiated by falling temperatures.

 

DISTRIBUTION: This salamander is found in and about clear, cold

springs and small streams of wooded ravines, swamps, open fields, and

meadows throughout most of Virginia, with the exception of the south-

eastern corner and the three southwestern counties where the Blue Ridge

red salamander subspecies (Pseudotriton ruber ruber) occurs. The adult

is often terrestrial during the summer months and may be found hiding
beneath logs, bark, and stones, some distance from the water. The larvae

are found in small, rocky streams. This species inhabits leaf masses in

spring-fed brooks and in crevices and burrows in loose, moist soil nearby,

and under ground cover. The adults dig deep beneath the bed of a stream

or spring in the winter.

 

FOODS: This species feeds on adult and immature terrestrial insects,
other terrestrial arthropods, terrestrial worms, and other terrestrial
invertebrates.

 

 

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