DGIF Updates Related to COVID-19

southern zigzag salamander

(Plethodon ventralis)


This is a brownish to reddish salamander with red zig-zag marks down the entire length of the body. The body is speckled with bluish-white spots. The belly is usually lighter in color with the same bluish-white spots. The head is slender, and the sides behind the eyes slightly converge to the lateral extensions of the gular fold. The snout is bluntly pointed. Little is known about the reproduction of this species.


In Virginia, this species occurs only in Washington and possibly Scott county, which marks the easternmost limit of its range. This salamander is associated with seepages near rock outcrops on slopes in mixed hardwood forests. It lives under leaf litter, rocks, or rotten logs. This species has never been found above 2500 feet elevation and usually occurs at elevations below 1100 feet.


This salamander eats mainly worms and larval insects.