This is the only green salamander in eastern North America. The adult measures 3 to 5 inches. The back is dark (black to gray-brown) with large light green to metallic yellow-green mottling. The belly is bluish-gray to cream yellow and may be flecked with yellow. The toes are squarish on the ends. Their annual cycle is divided into four parts: (1) breeding in May to late September, (2) dispersal and aggregation in late September to November, (3) hibernation from November through late April, and (4) post-hibernation aggregation and dispersal in late April and May.
This salamander is found primarily in the Cumberland Plateau and portions of the Ridge and Valley Province with sandstone outcrops south and west of the New River. It prefers sandstone cliffs that are moist but not wet, and it hides in crevices out of direct sunshine. The type of rock apparently is not a limiting factor but the presence of crevices, their depth and position, appear to be important.
It eats small invertebrates.