This is a small, short-legged salamander that grows to lengths of 8-13.5 cm. The tail comprises at least 50% of the total length. The back is dark brown to blackish with scattered whitish and brassy flecks and the belly is dark with brown and white mottling, especially on the chin. Oviposition occurs in June and hatching occurs in August and September. In wet weather, they forage in leaf litter and as the surface dries, retreat to damp areas under rocks and logs.
It lives under logs and rocks in the ridge and valley physiographic province north of the New River. Adults inhabit subterranean cracks and holes, leaf litter, debris, humus and under rocks. Individuals sometimes are found in the area just inside the entrance to a cave.
Adults forage at night for terrestrial insects, arthropods, worms, and invertebrates.