Valley and Ridge Salamander
Plethodon hoffmani

Common Name:

Valley and Ridge Salamander

Scientific Name:

Plethodon hoffmani



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


hoffmani is in honor of Richard Lawrence Hoffman (1927 - 2012)

Average Length:

3.6 - 4.4 in. (9.1 - 11.2 cm)

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

5.4 in. (13.7 cm)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is 80 to 137 mm, and slender with short legs, a long tail and 21 costal grooves. The dorsum is dark brown to blackish with scattered whitish or brassy flecks and the venter is dark with mottling, especially on the chin *1014*.

REPRODUCTION: Oviposition occurs in June and hatching occurs in August and September *853*.

BEHAVIOR: They live under logs and rocks and tolerate cool weather well. They appear early in March and disappear in the late summer. They are active during the early half of the fall. The females attend the eggs until hatching and the young mature at 2 years *1014*. In wet weather, they forage in leaf litter and as the surface dries, retreat to damp areas under rocks and logs *853*. This species aestivates in July and August and hibernates through February *898,853*.

ORIGIN: This species is native *883*.

AQUATIC/TERRESTRIAL ASSOCIATIONS: They are associated with Plethodon linereus, Hymenoptera, Coleoptera, Polmonata, Araneida, Oligochaeta, Quercus sp, Carya sp, Pinus strobus, Acer rubrum, and Hamamelis virginiana *898*.

References for Life History

  • 853 - Angle, J.P., 1969, The reproductive cycle of the northern ravine salamander, Plethodon richmondi richmondi, in the valley and ridge province of Pennsylvania and Maryland, J. Washington Acad. Sci., Vol. 59, pg. 192-202
  • 883 - Conant, R., 1975, A field guide to reptiles and amphibians of Eastern and Central North America, 429 pgs., Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA
  • 898 - Fraser, D.F., 1976, Empirical evaluation of the hypothesis of food competition in salamanders of the genus Plethodon, Ecology, Vol. 57, pg. 459-471
  • 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


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Verified County/City Occurrence

Alleghany County
Augusta County
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Botetourt County
Clifton Forge City
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