• Family: Plethodontidae (Lungless salamanders)
• Length: 4-6 inches
• Brood size: 50-90 eggs
• Typical Foods: insects
• Ohio Status: Endangered
This slender salamander has a color ranging from orange to red. Irregular black spots pepper the body and tail. Unlike the closely related long-tailed salamander, the spots do not form bars on the tail. The tail is long, making up 60-65 percent of the total body length. The head and body have a somewhat flattened appearance.
Habitat and Habits
These salamanders are found in and around caves, seeps, springs, springhouses, and small forested limestone creeks associated with groundwater. Cave salamanders live in rock crevices or under rocks, logs, or other debris.
Reproduction and Care of the Young
Courtship probably occurs in the autumn. In the winter, eggs are attached singly to rocks in underground springs or in small streams and probably hatch the following spring. The aquatic larvae go through metamorphosis the following summer. Although their lifespan is unknown, they do not reach breeding age for another two to three years. In their larval and adult lives, they feed on invertebrates.