Fall Salamanders in Virginia

I had a meeting in Virginia, so I went a day early to go poke around for salamanders and see the beautiful fall colors that are lacking in Florida.

This is a Peaks of Otter Salamander (Plethodon hubrichti). Its entire range is limited to the small Peaks of Otter region of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There was a good deal of variation across individuals that I found, but they all had the nice brassy flecks on their dorsum (top).

This is one of the most common and widespread salamanders in the eastern US. The Redback Salamander (Plethodon cinereus) is aptly named, although some individuals lack any red coloration altogether.

This beauty is a Northern Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber ruber). It's the northern subspecies of the red salamander in the photo from my last post. The intensity of their coloration fades in older individuals, but they sure are striking at this age.

This is a Southern Two-lined Salamander (Eurycea cirrigera).

This is a Northern Dusky Salamander (Desmognathus fuscus).


Ditchdigger said...

I can't believe how easily you find all these animals. Any pointers for rookies?

Kelly said...

You might not be too impressed if you knew how many species I was unsuccessful in finding, or if you could see how many strange looks I elicit from "normal" people while I'm crouching in some bushes, flipping stones and digging in the mud. That said...range maps in field guides help me to know what can be found in a general area. The habitat descriptions help me to know specifically where to look within an area. There's no guarantee that I'll find something if I go out, but I'm guaranteed to find nothing if I don't.