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Cow Knob salamander (Plethodon punctatus)

Distribution Map

Distribution Map

Characteristics

This is a medium-sized salamander with a length of 100-157 mm. It is slender with relatively thin legs. The snout is rounded to slightly blunt. The body is dark gray or brownish with a row of white or yellow spots along the sides. There is a tendency to have numerous white or yellowish-white spots on the back. The belly is uniformly gray and the underside of the throat is pinkish.

Distribution

This species is found only on the Shenandoah, North and Great North Mountains of Virginia and West Virginia between 2400 and 4300 feet (above 735 meters). It is known from Augusta, Rockingham, and Shenandoah counties in Virginia. This species is terrestrial and lives under rocks, logs, and other surface debris, where it is moist and cool. It retreats underground with hot or dry weather. This species occurs in mixed hardwood stands, hardwood mixed with Eastern Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), and hemlock stands on Shenandoah mountain.

Foods

This species is carnivorous, consuming virtually anything it can capture. It has been known to eat a variety of insects, insect larvae, and centipedes.

More Information

For more information, please visit the Virginia Fish & Wildlife Information Service (direct link to species booklet).