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Rori Paloski

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

Eastern red-backed 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. Easterm red-backed salamanders, because of their high densities, are an extremely important component of Wisconsin's northern forest ecosystems. They subsist on arthropods, snails and annelids.


Eastern Red-backed Salamander  Photo

Red-backed salamander.

Photo by Drew Feldkirchner, WDNR.

Eastern Red-backed Salamander  Photo

Photo © A.B. Sheldon.

Last revised: Tuesday, December 22, 2020