Blue Ridge Spring Salamander
Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi

Common Name:

Blue Ridge Spring Salamander

Scientific Name:

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi



gyrinos is Greek for "tadpole", philos is Greek for "loving" or "fond of". Referring to the multi-year larval stage.


porphyros is Greek for "reddish-brown or purple" icus is a Latin suffix that calls attention to the color. Referring to dorsal color of the salamander.


danielsi is in honor of Lewis Ernest Daniels (1886-1955)

Average Length:

5 - 7.5 in. (12.5 - 19 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

8.1 in. (20.5 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: 120-220 mm; stout body; broadly truncate snout; 18 costal grooves; dorsum lightly brownish orange or salmon often with dark spots or flecks; a light line, bordered below by a dark line, extends from eye to nostril; venter flesh colored; throat may be flecked or reticulated with black *1014*;

REPRODUCTION: lays eggs July or August; clutch=20-60; hatch in 3 months; females mature at 5 years *1014*;

BEHAVIOR: inhabits springs; small, cold, rocky streams; caves; by day hide under stones near edge of streams *1014*; survives best along headwater zones of mountain brooks and springs at high elevations *875*; may be found some distance from brooks in damp forests *2077*; eggs attached to lower surface of submerged rock; eggs attended by female *1014*

References for Life History

  • 875 - Bruce, R.C., 1972, Variation in the life cycle of the salamander Gyrinophilus porphyriticus, Herpetology, Vol. 28, Num. 3, pg. 230-245
  • 1014 - Martof, B.S., Palmer, W.M., Bailey, J.R., Harrison, III J.R., 1980, Amphibians and Reptiles of the Carolinas and Virginia, 264 pgs., UNC Press, Chapel Hill, NC
  • 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

Albemarle County
Augusta County
Grayson County
Page County
Rappahannock County
Rockingham County
Smyth County
Verified in 7 Counties/Cities.

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