Blue Ridge spring salamander

(Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi)


This is one of the four species of spring salamander occurring in the eastern U.S. This salamander is large and stout, light brown-orange to salmon colored, with scattered black flecks or spots on the back. It grows to lengths of 5-7 1/2 in. (12.5-19 cm.) and has a stout body and a broadly truncate snout. A light line, bordered below by a dark line, extends from eye to nostril, and the belly is flesh-colored. The throat may be flecked with black. It lays eggs in July or August, which are attached to the lower surface of a submerged rock. The eggs are attended by the female.


This species is found in the Blue Ridge region, and is known in Virginia only from Grayson and Smyth counties and the City of Galax. It is mainly a high elevation species, generally found at isolated seeps, springs, and cold mountain streams. It may also inhabit caves, and hides by day under stones near edge of streams. It may be found some distance from brooks in damp forests.


This salamander eats small invertebrates, both aquatic and terrestrial.