Kentucky Spring Salamander
Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi

Common Name:

Kentucky Spring Salamander

Scientific Name:

Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi



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.


duryi is in honor of Ralph Dury (1899- )

Average Length:

4.8 - 7.5 in. (12.1 - 19 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

9.1 in. (23.2 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: dark spots on back and sides, few, small, and widely separated; usually forming a dorsolateral series, never extending below the level of the legs; venter immaculate; throat never blotched or reticulate, margin of lower jaw with a few small dark dots; light line from eye to near indistinct, only lightly bordered with darker below; internal nares small, oval in outline; length to 164 mm *955*;

BEHAVIOR: beneath flakes of rock; pieces of wood or other debris in damp situations in caverns; outside of caves found beneath stones, barks and logs in the vicinity of streams and springs; usually fairly low elevations *1009*; nest site beneath rock in muddy banks; eggs attached to undersurface of submerged rocks individually *955*; forage out of stream on edges and on rocks in streams; primarily aquatic predators; forage on stream banks on rainy night *879*

References for Life History

  • 879 - Burton, T.M., 1976, An analysis of the feeding ecology of the salamanders (Amphibia urodela) of the Hubbard Brook experimental forest, New Hampshire, J. Herpetol., Vol. 10, Num. 3, pg. 187-204
  • 955 - Organ, J.A., 1961, The eggs and young of the spring salamander, Pseuotriton porphyiticus, Herpetology, Vol. 17, pg. 53-56
  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY


*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Verified County/City Occurrence

Buchanan County
Dickenson County
Lee County
Wise County
Verified in 4 Counties/Cities.

Box Turtle Reporting

VHS Amazon Smile

Spadefoot Reporting