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Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory.

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Contact information
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Rori Paloski
608-264-6040

Eastern red-backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

Eastern red-backed Salamander photo.
Photo © A.B. Sheldon
  • Family: Plethodontidae (Lungless salamanders)
  • Status: Common
  • Size: 3 to 4 inches

range map

Species range

Redback salamanders are the most abundant salamander within their range and can be readily distinguished by the dorsal stripe that is normally brick-red in color, although the stripe may sometimes be a dull brown. An occasional individual may appear unstriped. The sides and bottom of its very slender body are brown to gray and heavily flecked with white. The hind feet have five toes. Redbacks live in woodlands with moist soils and undisturbed ground cover. They are commonly found in or under moist downed logs. Redback salamanders, because of their high densities, are an extremely important component of Wisconsin's northern forest ecosystems. They subsist on arthropods, snails and annelids.

Photos


Eastern red-backed Salamander  [Photo #4479]

Red-backed salamander.

Photo by Drew Feldkirchner, WDNR.

Eastern red-backed Salamander  [Photo #13245]

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

Eastern red-backed Salamander  [Photo #13246]

Photo by  staff, WDNR.

Eastern red-backed Salamander  [Photo #1045]

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Last revised: Thursday, April 06, 2017