Plethodon cinereus


Common Names: Red-backed Salamander, Red-Back Salamander, Eastern Red-Backed Salamander, Northern Red-Backed Salamander
Category: Amphibians
Sub-category: Salamanders

A small, hardy woodland salamander. It is the most common woodland salamander in Connecticut. Red Back Salamanders are very popular pets because of their hardiness. Be very careful when putting two Red Back Salamanders that were not found together in a small container with little food because they are cannibalistic and will even eat their own eggs and hatchlings.

The red back salamander exhibits color polymorphism and two color variations are common: the nominate 'red back' variety has a red dorsal stripe that tapers towards the tail, and the darker variety, known as the 'lead back phase', lacks most or all of the red pigmentation. The red back phase is not always red, but may actually be various other colors (e.g., stripe colored yellow, orange, white, or a rare erythristic morph, in which the body is completely red). Both morphs have speckled black and white bellies.

Usually lives in forested areas under rocks, logs, bark, and other debris.

Edible Notes: Not known to be edible.
Warnings: Amphibians, like reptiles, can carry Salmonella, which is a potentially deadly bacteria. It is safer for you (and the amphibian) to not touch them or anything in the area where they live, but if you do: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water immediately after touching. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
Sightings