Caudata

Field Guide to Maryland's Salamanders and Newts  (Order Caudata)


Valley and Ridge Salamander

Family: Valley and Ridge Salamander (Plethodon hoffmani)

Common Name:
Valley and Ridge Salamander

Scientific Name:
Plethodon hoffmani

Photo of adult Valley and Ridge Salamander, courtesy of John White
Photo of Adult Valley and Ridge Salamander, courtesy of John White


Size:
  • 3 – 4 ½ in.
  • Record – 5 ⅜ in.

Appearance:
  • Small and slender, with the tail comprising 50% or more of the total length. 
  • Deep brown with small scattered white spots and brassy flecks. 
  • The belly is dark with white mottling.
  • Can be confused with the eastern red-backed salamander (leadback type)

Habitat:

Habitat photo of Valley and Ridge Salamander courtesy of Matt Kline
Habitat Photo for Valley and Ridge Salamander courtesy of Matt Kline

  • Mature hardwood forests with well drained soils are optimal. 
  • Mountain slopes and ravines. 
  • Prefers drier conditions, compared to other closely related species.
  • Easiest to find on the ground in Spring and Fall.
  • Remains underground during hot and cold weather.

How to Find:

Distribution in Maryland:
Maryland Distribution Map of Valley and Ridge Salamander