Recognized Subspecies in VA: Northern Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus) | Blue Ridge Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus danielsi) | Kentucky Spring Salamander (Gyrinophilus porphyriticus duryi)
Size: 5 - 7 inches
Range: Mountains; Blue Ridge subspecies is only found around Mount Rogers; Kentucky subspecies is only found on the Cumberland Plateau
Status: Least Concern
The Spring Salamander is an aptly named species, that likes springs and small, shallow mountain streams. They are a species that’s has a prolonged larval stage, lasting four years, and taking another two to reach sexual maturity. This species can be found by flipping rocks along creeks and road cruising roadways near creeks on very wet nights, though one is more likely to find the larvae, which are often found under partly submerged rocks.
Though there are three subspecies, there is not much difference to speak of between the subspecies, except the Blue Ridge adults tend to be redder, and more spotted that the others. Adults of the other two subspecies are typically peachy to rusty, sometimes brown, often with black “spider-webbing” or stringy spots on the dorsal. Older adults may loose pattern, and turn a dark pink. This species has amazing eyes, fixed high on their square heads. These eyes often have a line that goes through them horizontally, and runs down to the nostril. Larva are long, with the same spider webbing as the adults. These larva are often tan to pink, and have a flat tail similar to the adults.
Similar Species: The Red Salamander is probably the most similar species, though they are brighter, plumper, have rounded heads, and have more confetti-like dots. The Mud Salamander is also quite similar, but habitat is very different, and Muds have round heads and round, black dorsal spots.
Maps and External Sources
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