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Eastern Red-backed Salamander   

Plethodon cinereus

Commonly Confused Native Species:


  • Often Not Confused with other Species



Size:                  A small sized salamander measuring 2.8 to 4 inches in

                           length, with a cylindrical tail.


Color:                Two major color morphs occur, the “redback” or striped

                           phase and the “leadback” or un-striped phase. The

                           dorsum of the redback phase has a broad red to reddish

                           orange dorsal strip extending to the tail edged with dark

                           grayish black on the sides. The leadback phase is

                           similar, but lacks the dorsal stripe and has more whitish

                           silver flecking on the dorsum and sides. The venter is

                           dark in color.            


Behavior:         Red-backed salamanders typically flee when uncovered,

                           the stripe phase may remain completely still relying on

                           its red-stripe to ward off predators.       


Habitat:             Forested habitat across the state.          


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