Blue Ridge Red Salamander
Pseudotriton ruber nitidus

Common Name:

Blue Ridge Red Salamander

Scientific Name:

Pseudotriton ruber nitidus



pseudes is Greek for "false" and triton is the Greek sea god.


ruber is Latin for "red". Referring to the dorsal color.


nitidus is Latin meaning "bright or glittering" Referring to the bright dorsal color.

Average Length:

4 - 6 in. (10 - 15.2 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

7.1 in. (18.1 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The margin of the lower jaw is flecked or spotted with brown or black but never heavily barred. The distal half of the tail is usually immaculate. The length can be up to 116 mm *1009*. There is a slight mid-dorsal groove and 16 costal grooves. The legs are stout with 5 toes on the rear feet and 4 on the fore feet. The ground color is red with pinkish below and the upper surface is speckled with black. The venter is homogeneous pink *2077*.

REPRODUCTION: They probably display aquatic courtship *957*. Clutch size averages 70 eggs that are attached to the underside of large rocks that are well embedded in the soil of seeps and streams; courtship and spermatophore depositing occurs in June; Fall and Spring courtship are likely *10812*.

BEHAVIOR: This species inhabits stream banks and forest *957*. They are adapted to elevations up to 5000 feet, and found in and about clear running, cool springs, streams, and brooks with rocky, gravel or sandy bottoms. They are also found in wooded areas and open pastures under logs and stones *2077*.

References for Life History

  • 957 - Organ, J.A., Organ, D.J., 1968, Courtship behavior of the red salamander, Pseudotriton ruber, Copeia, Vol. 1968, pg. 217-223
  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 2077 - Russ, W.P., 1973, The rare and endangered terrestrial vertebrates of Virginia, Ph.D. dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ., Blacksburg, 339 pgs.


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Verified County/City Occurrence

Amherst County
Carroll County
Floyd County
Galax City
Grayson County
Montgomery County
Page County
Patrick County
Smyth County
Washington County
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