Discover Maryland's Herps

Field Guide to Maryland's Salamanders and Newts
(Order Caudata)

Valley and Ridge Salamander
(Plethodon hoffmani)

Photo of adult Valley and Ridge Salamander, courtesy of John White
Photo of Adult Valley and Ridge Salamander, courtesy of John White

Size

  • 3 – 4 in.

  • Record – 5 ⅜ in.

  • Appearance

  • Small and slender, with the tail comprising 50% or more of the total length. 

  • Deep brown with small scattered white spots and brassy flecks. 

  • The belly is dark with white mottling.

  • Can be confused with the eastern red-backed salamander (leadback type)

  • Habitat photo of Valley and Ridge Salamander courtesy of Matt Kline
    Habitat Photo for Valley and Ridge Salamander courtesy of Matt Kline

    Habitats

  • Mature hardwood forests with well drained soils are optimal. 

  • Mountain slopes and ravines. 

  • Prefers drier conditions, compared to other closely related species.

  • Easiest to find on the ground in Spring and Fall.

  • Remains underground during hot and cold weather.

  • Maryland Distribution Map
    Maryland Distribution Map of Valley and Ridge Salamander

    Return to Field Guide to Maryland Salamanders

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    Maryland Amphibian
    and Reptile Atlas Project

    "A Joint Project of the Natural History Society of Maryland, Inc. and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources"

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    The Maryland Herpetology Field Guide is a cooperative effort of the MD Natural Heritage Program and the MD Biological Stream Survey within the Department of Natural Resources and their partners. We wish to thank all who contributed field records, text, and photographs, as well as support throughout its development.