Shenandoah Mountain Salamander
Plethodon virginia

Common Name:

Shenandoah Mountain Salamander

Scientific Name:

Plethodon virginia



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


virginia refers to Virginia.

Average Length:

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier III - High Conservation Need - Extinction or extirpation is possible. Populations of these species are in decline or have declined to low levels or are in a restricted range. Management action is needed to stabilize or increase populations.

This species is described as a sibling species to P. hoffmani and these species are part of the P. cinereus group. *12257* Salamanders in this group are small and elongate woodland salamanders with two color morphs, striped and unstriped. Their venters are mottled with black and white. *12267* Compared to P. richmondi and P. electromorphus, P. hoffmani and P. virginia tend to have more white spotting on the venter and a lighter chin. In P. virginia, a striped morph appears to rarely occur only in a small portion of its range, and this variant has a narrow red stripe. The modal number of trunk vertebrae in P. virginia is 21 to 22. Most individuals of this species were found to have 21 trunk vertebrae, but some from populations in the western portion of its range have 22. *12257*

References for Life History

  • 12257 - Highton, R., 1999, Geographic protein variation and speciation in the salamanders of the Plethodon cinereus group with the description of two new species, Herpetologica, Vol. 55, Num. 1, pg. 43-90, The Herpetologists' League
  • 12267 - Speciation in eastern North American salamanders of the genus Plethodon, 1995 (Ed.), 26, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Ser. 579-600, pg. Annual Reviews, Inc.


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