Plethodon cinereus

Family: Plethodontidae

COSEWIC status: no AssessedSARA status:No StatusIUCN status:Least ConcernDescription

The east Red-backed Salamander is slender-bodied and also can with 12.5 centimeter in total length, though most individuals are much smaller 보다 this. Individuals have 17 come 20 (usually 18 or 19) costal groves on every side of the body. This salamander occurs in two various colour morphs, which differ in loved one frequency throughout different populations. The red-back morph has a black color or dark grey body v a wide red or brownish orange stripe down the back. The lead-back morph has actually a black color or dark grey body and lacks the dorsal stripe. This varieties often has actually white flecking along the sides and also the underside has actually black and white mottling.

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Similar Species

The eastern Red-backed Salamander have the right to be perplexed with numerous other varieties of Plethodontid salamanders. The Four-toed Salamander has a constriction in ~ the basic of the tail, has 4 toes ~ above the hind feet and has a shining white belly v black spots. The north Dusky Salamander and also Alleghany mountain Dusky Salamander both have a diagonal line line to run from the jaw to the eye and also a laterally compressed tail. The north Two-Lined Salamander has two dark lines running under the ago and a laterally compressed tail.


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In Canada, the eastern Red-backed Salamander wake up from the an excellent Lakes an ar in Ontario east through Quebec and all the marine provinces. They take place throughout the northeastern United says west come Minnesota and eastern Illinois and south to north Carolina.


The east Red-backed Salamander normally inhabits deciduous or blended forests yet may also be uncovered in moist conifer forests. This species requires moist environments and also is most usual in mature woodlands with abundant woody debris and leaf litter. Individuals are typically missing or occur at short densities in forests with acidic soils and in hot, dried environments. This types is completely terrestrial and the eggs space deposited under logs, in rotting stumps or in various other moist atmospheres on the forest floor. People overwinter below the frost line in mammal burrows, root hollows or various other underground cavities.


Plethodontid salamanders, consisting of the east Red-backed Salamander, are likewise known as lungless salamanders due to the fact that they do not have actually lungs; instead, castle absorb oxygen directly through their skin. They need to remain moist at every times so that oxygen and also carbon dioxide deserve to diffuse through the skin. East Red-backed salamanders breed in the autumn or spring and females place an median of six to ripe eggs in the late feather or early on summer. The female guards the eggs till they hatch after six to eight weeks, usually in late August or September. Over there is no larval stage; the gills are absorbed around the moment of hatching and the hatchlings room a miniature version of the terrestrial adults. People reach sex-related maturity in 2 years and also females might only each other every 2nd year at north latitudes. The longevity the this species is unknown. East Red-backed Salamanders space most energetic during wet weather and also forage top top the forest floor for insects, spiders, worms and also other terrestrial invertebrates. Individuals communicate with each various other though human body posture and scent marking, and also they establish and aggressively defend territories. When threatened, individuals may autotomize (drop) your tail, which creates a diversion while the salamander escapes. Return the tail will certainly grow ago over time, the individual will have lost much of the fat make reservation on which it counts to survive the winter.

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The east Red-backed Salamander is extensive in Canada and remains plentiful throughout many of its Canadian range. The primary threat come this varieties is the lose of mature forest, generally through urbanization, clearing of land for agriculture and logging. Pollution, such together herbicides, farming effluent and also road salt have the right to be detrimental come salamanders due to the fact that toxins space easily soaked up though their skin. Climate readjust and presented pathogens pose possibly serious future risks to Canadian salamanders. Earthworms, which are exotic come Canada, are additionally reducing the leaf litter in countless forests and also possibly causing declines in salamanders.