Northern Slimy Salamander
Plethodon glutinosus

  • Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.
  • Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.
  • Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.
  • Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.
Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.1 Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.2 Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.3 Northern Slimy Salamander - Dickenson Co.4

Common Name:
Northern Slimy Salamander
Scientific Name:
Plethodon glutinosus
plethore is Greek meaning "fullness or full of",  odon is Greek for "teeth". Referring to  the number of paravomerine and vomerine teeth.
glutinosus is Latin and means "full of glue or very gluey". Referring to the sticky skin secretions.
Average Length:
4.75 - 6.75 in. (12.1 - 17.2 cm)
Virginia Record Length: 
Record length:
8.1 in. (20.6 cm)


PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: The entire ventral surface is dark slate-colored with light markings on the sides, and occasionally on the back which are silvery- white. There are usually 16 costal grooves. There are intercostal folds between the appressed limbs. The length is up to 188 mm *1009*. There are glands in the skin, especially on the tail, that exude a sticky substance *1014*. They have a prehensile tail *873*.

REPRODUCTION: Courtship occurs in August *952* and continues through September *962*. The average egg is 5.5 mm in diameter, creamy white, and found in crevices of shale banks or below the surface *1009*. The eggs are laid in rock in crevices, moist rotten logs or moss *972*. In the coastal plain, the eggs are laid annually in the late summer or fall. In the mountains, the eggs are laid every other spring *1014,10812*. The aggressive reaction of the male towards courting males suggests a method by which the sexes are distinguished during courting season *952*. The female matures in 3 years, although egg laying might not occur until the fourth *962*.

BEHAVIOR: Distribution is possibly limited in some areas by competition *963*. This species occurs in woodlands except bottomlands subject to repeated changing *1014*. They are usually found beneath logs and stones in woods, crevices of shale banks, and along side of wooded gullies and ravines. It frequently occurs under moist humus *1009 and they are found under stones or decaying logs along streams. Some are found under decaying Virginia pine logs. But most are found under decaying oak or chestnut logs *887*. The adult rests under ground cover within well-rotted stumps and logs, beneath the bark of fallen trees *949*. This species prefers moist but not saturated soil *3826*, and is active near the surface spring to fall, except when dry. It moves underground during dry periods and forages at night. They spend the day in burrows, under logs, stones, and leaf litter *1014*, and buries itself deeply at the approach of winter for hibernation *1009*. This species can suspend itself by the posterior portion of the tail *873*. The female remains with the eggs *972* and may inhabit microhabitats located within less favorable grass habitats *3827*. This species prefers a soil pH of 6.2-7.2 *3826*. It has a mean home range of less than 9 meters diameter *3827*. It is normally most active at sunset *3825*. For references on the aquatic larval stage see *972*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: This species is associated with Plethodon cinereus, Notophthalmus viridescens, Bufo americanus, Terrapene carolina, Quercus sp. and Carya sp. *3827,883*.

References for Life History


*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.

Dickenson Co. Dickenson Co. Dickenson Co. Dickenson Co.  


Verified County/City Occurrence

Alleghany County
Amherst County
Augusta County
Bath County
Bland County
Botetourt County
Buchanan County
Chesapeake City
Craig County
Cumberland County
Dickenson County
Franklin County
Giles County
Hanover County
Henry County
Highland County
Lee County
Madison County
Montgomery County
Norton City
Page County
Patrick County
Pulaski County
Rappahannock County
Roanoke County
Rockingham County
Russell County
Scott County
Smyth County
Tazewell County
Warren County
Washington County
Wise County
Wythe County
Verified in 34 Counties/Cities.

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