Maryland's Salamanders and Newts (Order Caudata)
Eastern Red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)
Photo of Eastern Red-backed Salamander Lead-backed
and Red-backed morphs courtesy of Mark Tegges
2¼ - 4 in; Record - 5 in.
Two color variants occur in Maryland.
- The “redback” has a straight-edged reddish stripe (sometimes orange, yellow or dark grey) running the length of its back from the base of the head to tail, with dark sides.
- The “leadback” is uniformly dark gray to black.
- Both have mottled bellies of black and white or “salt and pepper”, and both can be found under the same log.
Habitat photo for Eastern Red-backed Salamander courtesy of Rebecca Chalmers
- Any forested area, where they are typically found during the daytime under rocks, logs and other coarse woody debris, where they lay their eggs.
- This is the most common terrestrial salamander in Maryland.
Distribution in Maryland: