Cumberland Plateau Salamander
Plethodon kentucki

Common Name:

Cumberland Plateau Salamander

Scientific Name:

Plethodon kentucki



plethore is Greek meaning "fullness or full of",  odon is Greek for "teeth". Referring to  the number of paravomerine and vomerine teeth.


kentucki refers to Kentucky

Average Length:

3.9 - 6.6 in. (9.8 - 16.8 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier IV - Moderate Conservation Need - The species may be rare in parts of its range, particularly on the periphery. Populations of these species have demonstrated a significant declining trend or one is suspected which, if continued, is likely to qualify this species for a higher tier in the foreseeable future. Long-term planning is necessary to stabilize or increase populations.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This is a large plethodon species that has a black background color with small dorsal white spots and larger lateral spots. It closely resembles P.glutinosus except is smaller and has a lighter chin and throat and larger mental gland. However, the traits between the two species overlap in some populations.*11305*

BEHAVIOR: Adults forage in leaf litter on wet nights. Some are found in rock crevices and sandstone or shale outcrops. They reach greatest densities on west-facing slopes.*11305* Hatchlings remain close to females after hatching until yolk sacs are gone. They will then disperse to underground burrows. Juveniles group an average of 15 mm SVL in the first year, then 10 and 6 mm SVL in later years. Growth is reduced when rainfall levels are low.*11305*

References for Life History

  • 11305 - Petranka, J.W., 1998, Salamanders of the United States and Canada, 587 pp. pgs., Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC


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Verified County/City Occurrence

Buchanan County
Dickenson County
Lee County
Scott County
Washington County
Wise County
Verified in 6 Counties/Cities.

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