56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina  - SnakeTracks.com (2024)

Table of Contents
Table of Contents Salamanders in North Carolina 1. Hellbender 2. Common Mudpuppy 3. Neuse River Waterdog 4. Dwarf Waterdog 5. Greater Siren 6. Lesser Siren 7. Two-toed Amphiuma 8. Mole Salamander 9. Marbled Salamander 10. Mabee’s Salamander 11. Spotted Salamander 12. Tiger Salamander 13. Red-spotted Newt 14. Broken Striped Newt 15. Green Salamander 16. Seepage Salamander 17. Southern Dusky Salamander 18. Carolina Mountain Dusky Salamander 19. Spotted Dusky Salamander 20. Dwarf Black-bellied Salamander 21. Northern Dusky Salamander 22. Imitator Salamander 23. Shovel-nosed Salamander 24. Seal Salamander 25. Ocoee Salamander 26. Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander 27. Northern Pygmy Salamander 28. Blackbellied Salamander 29. Santeetlah Dusky Salamander 30. Pygmy Salamander 31. Chamberlain’s Dwarf Salamander 32. Southern Two-lined Salamander 33. Three-lined Salamander 34. Junaluska Salamander 35. Long-tailed Salamander 36. Southeastern Dwarf Salamander 37. Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander 38. Northern Spring Salamander 39. Four-toed Salamander 40. Tellico Salamander 41. Chattahoochee Slimy Salamander 42. Cheoah Bald Salamander 43. Atlantic Coast Slimy Salamander 44. Eastern Red-backed Salamander 45. Northern Slimy Salamander 46. Red-cheeked Salamander 47. Southern Red-backed Salamander 48. Red-legged Salamander 49. Southern Zigzag Salamander 51. Wehrle’s Salamander 52. Weller’s Salamander 53. Yonahlossee Salamander 54. Mud Salamander 55. Red Salamander 56. Many-lined Salamander FAQ Are salamanders in North Carolina poisonous? What is the biggest salamander in North Carolina? Where do salamanders in North Carolina live? Wrapping up

There are 56 Salamanders in North Carolina in this list. Salamanders and other amphibians have experienced population loss due to factors like drought, and habitat destruction. This article will cover everything you need to know about the salamanders in North Carolina, like their habitats, and how they look.

New salamander species are always being discovered, and learning more about these amphibians is essential in preserving them in North Carolina. The appearance, behavior, and where they live are things that are useful for identifying a salamander. Let’s take a look at 56 salamanders found in the wilds of North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Salamanders in North Carolina

1. Hellbender

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Cryptobranchidae
  • Scientific Name: Cryptobranchus alleganiensis
  • Other Names: Eastern Hellbender
  • Adult Size: 13 to 24 inches (33 to 61 cm)
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The hellbender is native to the eastern United States. In North Carolina, this salamander lives in the western region of the state. Streams and rivers are where hellbenders live. They prefer cool streams with lots of rocks. All of this salamander’s life is spent in water, and breeding occurs in the fall. Nests are created by this species, which may contain between 100 to 500 eggs.

Hellbenders are the largest salamanders in North Carolina. They have a dark gray, or brown coloring, and are covered in dark spots along their back. This species does not have external gills, unlike other aquatic species. Their skin is loose and wrinkly. Hellbenders have black or dark undersides, sometimes with orange spots on them.

In their overall range, the eastern hellbender is an endangered species, and since their lives are spent in the water they are very susceptible to pollution. Predators of this salamander include fish, water snakes, and other salamanders. Because of their large size, this salamander feeds on a variety of animals like crayfish, toads, small fish, and anything else that fits into their mouth.

2. Common Mudpuppy

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Proteidae
  • Scientific Name: Necturus maculosus
  • Other Names: Waterdogs
  • Adult Size: 8 to 19 inches (20.3 to 48.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 30 years
  • Average Price Range: $10 to $20

Common mudpuppies live in the western region of North Carolina, and they are an endemic species to the eastern United States. This salamander is entirely aquatic and lives in habitats like fast-flowing streams, ponds, lakes, rivers, and reservoirs. In the state, the common mudpuppy is endangered, and it is illegal to possess, collect, or transport them in the region.

Common mudpuppies are medium-sized aquatic species. They have external gills with a pinkish tint. Their coloring is brown, and they are covered in a spotted pattern, sometimes forming stripes. Common mudpuppies have flat tails to help them swim, and their bodies have between 15 to 16 costal grooves.

Since most of their life is spent in the water this salamander feeds on aquatic invertebrates, insects, eggs, fish, and even other salamanders. They use their smell to locate prey and are opportunistic feeders that eat anything they can swallow.

3. Neuse River Waterdog

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Proteidae
  • Scientific Name: Necturus lewisi
  • Other Names: Carolina Mudpuppy
  • Adult Size: 6 to 9 inches (15 to 32cm)
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Neuse River waterdog is native to North Carolina, and this species is found in the Neuse and Tar-Pamilco River basins in the eastern regions of the state. In its range this salamander is near-threatened. Neuse River waterdogs are fully aquatic and only found in freshwater habitats.

Neuse River waterdogs have a stocky appearance, with an elongated, flat body. They have a rusty brown coloring, with pale brown, or gray bellies. Spots that are dark brown, or black cover them. They have a slimy appearance, with small limbs, and four toes on each foot. To breathe underwater, this salamander has red feather gills that stick out the sides of their heads.

Neuse River waterdogs are nocturnal and spend their lives foraging for food to eat at the bottoms of the waters. They hide under debris or will burrow underground when not active. A secretion from their skin helps protect them from predators like fish, or snakes.

4. Dwarf Waterdog

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Proteidae
  • Scientific Name: Necturus punctatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 6.25 inches (11.5 to 15.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The dwarf waterdog is one of the few fully aquatic salamanders that live in North Carolina, and this species’ range covers the costal states of the northeastern United States. Dwarf waterdogs live in sluggish streams and swamps. This salamander prefers places with lots of leaf litter, and debris so they can hide. Winter is when this species is active most, spending this time breeding.

Dwarf waterdogs are a much smaller species when compared with the other aquatic salamanders in North Carolina. They have brown, gray, or black coloring and a dark black belly. External gills stick out the sides of their heads. Dwarf waterdogs have no identifying markings on their body, but their throat is a whitish color.

Dwarf waterdogs have a stable population, and in their range, they have a conservation status listed as least concern. Dwarf waterdogs are the smallest member of their family. Their small limbs help them move around the bottom of the water to look for food.

5. Greater Siren

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Siren
  • Scientific Name: Siren Lacertina
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 38 inches (18 to 97 cm)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The greater siren lives in the coastal plains region of the eastern United States. They spend their entire lives in the water and in North Carolina, this salamander lives in lakes, streams, ditches, swamps, and other freshwater habitats near the coastal area. Greater sirens are a common species and have a stable population.

Greater sirens are very long and have olive or gray coloring. Green or small yellow dots appear on them, and their bodies have between 36 to 40 costal grooves. Greater sirens have elongated bodies and small limbs. Sticking out the sides of their heads are external gills, which may appear larger in stagnant waters.

Greater sirens are carnivorous and feed on insects, crustaceans, crayfish, and other similar animals. During the day they hide in dense vegetation, and they are more active at night. In times of extreme weather, this salamander may burrow itself, and aestivate until conditions get better. Alligators, snakes, and other salamanders are the predators this species faces.

6. Lesser Siren

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Sirenidae
  • Scientific Name: Siren intermedia nettingi
  • Other Names: Eastern lesser siren
  • Adult Size: 7 to 27 inches (17 to 69 cm)
  • Lifespan: Siren intermedia nettingi
  • Average Price Range: $30 to $80

Lesser sirens are found in the southeastern United States. In North Carolina, this salamander is found in the far eastern part of the state. This species is aquatic and lives in ponds, marshes, and other similar waters. Lesser sirens have a stable population and are common in their range.

The body of this salamander is elongated like an eel, and they only have small limbs to help them move around. This species only has 35 costal grooves, unlike the greater siren. Lesser sirens have a coloring that ranges from olive to black. When young this species is brightly marked, with bands on them. External gills stick out the sides of their heads, and adults may be covered in small dots.

Lesser sirens are not seen often because of their secretive nature. In some of the regions where they used to live this salamander has become extinct due to the pollution of the waters, they live in.

7. Two-toed Amphiuma

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Amphiumidae
  • Scientific Name: Amphiuma means
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 13.7 to 45.7 inches (34.7 to 116.07 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 to 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

Two-toed amphiumas live in coastal plains and are native to the southeastern United States. This salamander lives in canals, and streams, and is sometimes found n temporary bodies of water. Two-toed amphiumas are mainly aquatic, but they may come onto land in heavy rains to find other sources of water.

The body of this species is like an eel, and to help them move around they have four small legs. Their coloring ranges from brown to nearly lack. They are the largest species in their family, and like their name suggests they only have two toes on their feet.

In their range, this species is not seen often, but they have stable populations. In North Carolina, they breed in the summer months of June and July. Females can lay up to 200 eggs and will coil around them to keep them moist. Two-toed amphiumas feed on fish, crawfish, insects, and even other amphibians like frogs, or newts.

8. Mole Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma talpoideum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm)
  • Lifespan: 9 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

The mole salamander has a scattered range that covers the southeastern United States. In North Carolina, this species lives in swamps, upland forests, and floodplain forests habitats. Mole salamanders tend to stay near bodies of water, which they use for breeding. When not breeding this salamander is on land in leaf litter, and hiding under other debris.

Mole salamanders are medium-sized, with a stocky appearance. They have a dark gray, or brown coloring, and are covered in a mottled pattern. Silver flecks over this species’ bodies. When born this salamander is quick and has feather gills until completing metamorphosis.

The destruction of swamps and ponds is what threatens this salamander species the most, but they have a stable population. Mole salamanders are nocturnal. Predators like fish, water snakes, and water birds are what feed on them the most. If no predators are present in the water where they are born, this species may become neotenic, and keep their gills.

9. Marbled Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma opacum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 4.25 inches (9 to 10 cm)
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

The eastern United States, in places like North Carolina, is where the marbled salamander lives. They are found statewide and live in most forest habitats. Marbled salamanders are a common species, and have a stable population. This salamander is terrestrial, and when not active remains underground.

The marbled salamander is black in color, and they are covered in white, or silver bands. Their undersides are black, and this species showcases slight sexual dimorphisms. Female marbled salamanders are larger and have gray/silver bands on their body instead of white. When young this species does not have bands, but flecks.

Adults feed on terrestrial insects like worms, or spiders. Larvae are aquatic until metamorphosis, and their diet consists of animals like zooplankton or copepods. Marbled salamanders when in danger with thrust their tail, and head butts. Toxins also secrete from their tail, which also helps deter animals from eating them.

10. Mabee’s Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma mabeei
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4 in. (7.5 to 10.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Mabee’s salamander lives on the far eastern coast of North Carolina. This species lives in pinewoods, lowland forests, and swamps. They burrow spend their life buried and stay near the ponds they use to breed. Mabee’s salamanders are only known in Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina. Their total population is unknown, but they are considered a stable species.

Mabee’s salamanders have dark gray or black coloring. They are covered in silver specks but juveniles have patches. The stomach of this salamander is gray, and their bodies have 13 costal grooves.

The breeding season for this salamander occurs in the winter and early spring months. Their eggs are laid in ponds, and the clusters are attached to aquatic vegetation. Mabee’s salamanders hatch in around 2 weekends, and by the end of spring, they are ready to go on land.

11. Spotted Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Ambystonmatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma maculatum
  • Other Names: Yellow Spotted Salamander
  • Adult Size: 6 to 10 inches (15 to 25 cm)
  • Lifespan: 30 years
  • Average Price Range: $50

All across the eastern regions of North America are where the spotted salamander lives. In North Carolina, this salamander lives in the mountains and Piedmont. Spotted salamanders live in forest habitats next to vernal pools. They use these water sources to breed and lay their eggs.

The spotted salamander is a larger species with dark gray, green, or black coloring. They are covered in orangish/ yellow spots, that appear in two rows on their side. Females may be slightly larger, and also have brighter colored spots. Their bodies contain usually 12 costal grooves.

Spotted salamanders use vernal pools for breeding sites since they do not usually contain fish, but are moist enough for their eggs and larvae to prosper. Much of their lives are spent underground, but they are brought out in heavy rains. Worms, snails, spiders, millipedes, and centipedes are some of the animals they eat.

12. Tiger Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Ambystomatidae
  • Scientific Name: Ambystoma tigrinum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 7 to 13 inches (17.78 to 33 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

In North Carolina, the tiger salamander is a threatened species, with its range being limited to the Robeson, Moor, Wake, and Hoke counties in the state. Tiger salamanders live near vernal pools, ponds, and slow-moving streams. The majority of their lives are spent underground and live in burrows abandoned by animals.

The name of this species comes from the patterns that cover them, which resemble the stripes of a tiger. This species has dark brown, black, or brown bodies. Yellow blotches cover their bodies, and they have a robust appearance.

Being mainly terrestrial, these salamanders feed on insects, spiders, and other invertebrates they may find. Tiger salamanders travel back to their birthplace to breed, similar to others in the Amybstoma genus. They lay up to 25 to 30 eggs, which hatch in around 2 weeks. This salamander is aquatic when born, and it may either complete metamorphosis or stay in the water.

13. Red-spotted Newt

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  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens
  • Other Names: Eastern Newt
  • Adult Size: 3 to 6 inches (7 to 12.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $30

Red-spotted newts live in the eastern United States. In North Carolina, this salamander inhabits most of the state. Forests and damp woodland habitats near streams, ponds, and marshes are where this newt lives. Red-spotted newts have a stable population in North Carolina and are a common species in the state.

The red-spotted newt gets its name from the red spots that cover its body. Adults have an olive-greenish color, with smooth skin. Their spots are boarded by black coloring. The red-spotted newt when young is bright orange and is covered in black-bordered orange dots on its side. The eft stage of this species can last between 1 to 3 years.

Red-spotted newts are aquatic when they mature, but in their eft stage, this species spends its time on land. This salamander feeds on small fish, amphibians, insects, crustaceans, and other similar animals. The bright coloring of this salamander warns animals of the toxins that produce from them.

14. Broken Striped Newt

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  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Salamandridae
  • Scientific Name: Notophthalmus viridescens dorsalis
  • Other Names: Eastern Newt
  • Adult Size: 3 to 6 inches (7 to 12.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: $20 to $30

Broken stripe newts are a sub-species of eastern newt that lives in North Carolina, and they can be found in a small region within the eastern corner of the state. Wetlands and the woodland areas that surround them are where this salamander lives.

Broken striped newts look very similar to the eastern newt, but the spots on their back make up a broken stripe. This salamander as an adult has olive green coloring, and is covered in dark and orange spots. Young salamanders of this species are terrestrial and have a bright orange shade.

The broken-striped newt looks very similar to the red-spotted newt, as they are both subspecies of the eastern newt. The stripe that sometimes appears on the broken-striped newt, and where they are found is the best ways to identify these salamanders from one another.

15. Green Salamander

  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Aneides aeneus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 5 inches (8 to 12 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $100

Green salamanders are native to the Appalachian region in the United States. In North Carolina, this species lives in the Transylvania, Jackson, and Macon counties. Green salamanders are an endangered species, and their population loss is mainly due to harvesting in the wild, and habitat loss.

Green salamanders have black, gray, or dark brown coloring. They are covered in yellowish, or green patches that look similar to lichen. Their bellies are yellow to white in color. Green salamanders are a mediums sized species and have a very moist appearance.

The summer is when this salamander is active most, and they are seen more often at higher elevations. Their time is spent breeding, and on average they lay between 15 to 25 eggs. When born this species does not have a larval stage, and they are a fully terrestrial species.

16. Seepage Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognatus aeneus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Seepage salamanders are found in southwestern North Carolina, and they have a small range in the eastern United States. This salamander is terrestrial and lives in temperature forests near freshwater sources. Seepage salamanders have experienced population loss due to logging, and are a near-threatened species.

A small species, this salamander has yellow to reddish-brown coloring. A dorsal strip runs down their back. Their bellies are pale and have a mottled pattern of brown and white. Seepage salamanders may have a speckled pattern on their backs, and bands on their sides.

Seepage salamanders are found most in seepages, hence their name. They may sometimes hide under leaf litter or logs. Mites, spiders, worms, and snails are some of the animals this species eats.

17. Southern Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus auriculatus
  • Other Names: Holbrook’s southern dusky salamander
  • Adult Size: 3 to 6 inches (7.62 to 15.24 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Southern dusk salamanders live in the eastern United States. Swamps, flood plains, and water pools are where this species lives. Dusky salamanders are aquatic and have a stable population. They are mainly nocturnal and hide under debris like leaf litter or large rocks.

This salamander is medium-sized and has a slender body. They have gray, brown, or black coloring. They are covered in white speckles and have around 14 costal grooves on them. Their limbs are very small, with their front being larger than their hinds.

This species has experienced major population losses over the last few decades, and are not only found in around 1% of their historical range. Southern dusky salamanders are not spotted often but are most active in the fall to breed. The eggs are laid underground in moist crevices.

18. Carolina Mountain Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus carolinesnisi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.8 to 4 inches (7.11 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Carolina mountain dusky salamanders are found in the Blue Ridge mountains and are endemic to the Appalachian region. This salamander has a small range in North Carolina, found in the western region of the state. Near streams, seepages, and rocky rivers are where this salamander lives. They are rarely found in water, but in higher elevations, they become more terrestrial.

Carolina mountain dusky salamanders are medium-sized, and they have a base tan coloring. Spots appear on their back and a stripe on their tail. Their markings may be yellow, red, brown, or orange. Males are sometimes darker and have a plain appearance.

This species feed on small invertebrates it finds on the forest floor. Carolina mountain dusky salamanders when born are aquatic and spend around 10 months in this stage. Active mainly at night, this salamander is common within the range it lives in.

19. Spotted Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus conanti
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 5 inches (6.35 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Across the eastern United States is where the spotted dusky salamander lives. This salamander inhabits most of the state of North Carolina but is not found in the far eastern portion of the state. Spotted dusky salamanders were discovered in 1958, and they are later reclassified as a subspecies of the northern dusky salamander (Desmognathus fuscus).

Being similar in appearance to other spotted dusky salamanders, this sub-species is easiest distinguished from others by the range they live in. Spotted dusky salamanders are medium-sized, and have tan to black coloring. Spots cover them, which are gold or red.

Spotted dusky salamanders are a secure species. This species is mainly active at night and forages for small invertebrates like millipedes, snails, worms, and crustaceans.

20. Dwarf Black-bellied Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus folkertsi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 7 inches (10 to 18 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Dwarf black-bellied salamanders are found in the Appalachian mountains. They are not a common species found in North Carolina in forest and river habitats. Native to the United States, this salamander was once considered to be the black belly salamander (Desmognathus quadramaculatus), until it was classified as its own species.

The dwarf black-bellied salamander is brown, or black. Spots appear on their sides which are lightly colored. Their bellies are black, with some having white-speckled markings on them. When young juveniles have yellowish markings. Not much is known about this salamander due to its small range, secretive nature, and smaller populations.

21. Northern Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus fuscus
  • Other Names: dusky salamander
  • Adult Size: 2.52 to 5.59 inches (6.4 to 14.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $25

The northern dusky salamander is found all across the eastern United States. This species lives in most of North Carolina, but its range does not extend to the far east. Northern dusky salamanders live in riparian zones, streams, springs, seepages, and other similar habitats. They have a stable population and are listed as least concern.

Northern dusky salamanders are a small and robust species. They have gray, brown, or olive color, and are covered in dark markings. They have a moist appearance and have around 14 costal grooves on their bodies.

This salamander lives in burrows, but also hides under logs, rocks, and leaf litter. They are aquatic when born, and become terrestrial after metamorphosis. Northern dusky salamanders Their aquatic stage lasts for around 7 to 11 month. Feeding on anything they can find, this salamander eats both terrestrial and aquatic animals. In extreme heat or cold, this species becomes inactive.

22. Imitator Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus imitator
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 inches (6.35 to 10.16 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Imitator salamanders are native to the eastern United States and are found in the Appalachian Mountains. In North Carolina, this salamander is found in places above 3,000 ft. above sea level. Imitator salamander total population is unknown, but they are listed as a stable species.

Dark brown, or black is the color of this species. On some specimens, pale stripes run down their black. They have red, or orange patches on their legs, and their hind legs are larger than their front.

This species hiders during the day, and at night comes out to feed on small invertebrates. Summer is when they breed, and they lay up to 20 eggs. Some of the predators of this salamander include birds, snakes, and small mammals.

23. Shovel-nosed Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus marmoratus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 5 inches (8.89 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Shovelnosed salamanders are found in the Appalachian Mountains and are native to the eastern United States. This salamander is found at elevations from 980 to 5,510 ft. above sea level. Shovel-nosed salamanders are aquatic and live in streams and other water sources with rocky substrates.

Shovelnosed salamanders are robust and have brown, grey, or black coloring. They have a gray underside, some have specks that cover them. The snout of this species is square, which is where their name comes from.

In the region, they are found this species has a stable population and has a conservation status listed as least concern. Shovelnosed salamanders breed in the spring and summer, placing their eggs under rocks, and in vegetation. They finish their metamorphosis in two or three years and reach their full maturity at five years.

24. Seal Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus monticola
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.3 to 5 inches (8.3 to 12.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Seal salamanders in North Carolina live in the far western region of the state. This species is native to the eastern United States. Rocky streams, ravines, and seepages are some of the habitats this species lives in. Their population is considered stable, and their estimated population size is over 100,000.

Seal salamanders are a medium size species with a robust bodies. They have dark brown, or gray coloring, and are covered in black, or brown spots. The underside of this salamander is pale, and their bodies have 14 costal grooves.

This species feeds on aquatic, and land-dwelling terrestrials. They feed on anything they can find, even smaller salamanders. In the extreme cold young salamanders overwinter, and they are most active in rainy periods.

25. Ocoee Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus ocoee
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 inches (6.35 to 10.16 inches)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

In North Carolina, the Ocoee salamander is found in the western tip of the state. This species has a small range in the eastern United States. Ocoee salamanders live in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They are semi-aquatic, living near streams and seeps with moist substrates. This salamander is not found in water often since they require moisture.

The Ocoee salamander is small and comes in a variety of colors. Some of these species may have stripes on them that appear in red, orange, or brown coloring. Specks or spots may also appear on them.

Ocoee salamanders hide under logs, rocks, or moss when not active. Small invertebrates on the forest floor are what they eat. Ocoee salamanders have a stable population, and their conservation status is listed as least concern.

26. Blue Ridge Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus orestes
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4.5 inches (6.35 to 11.43 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

In North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Dusky salamander lives in the far northwestern corner of the state. Blue Ridge dusky salamanders are native to the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States, and also found in Virginia. While their population conservation status by the IUCN is listed as least concern, the salamander is at risk of habitat loss.

Blue Ridge Dusky salamanders are very similar to the other dusky salamanders in their complex. They are medium-sized, with a dorsal stripe on them. Their stripe is light brown, yellow, or red. Forests, rivers, springs, and other freshwater habitats are where this salamander lives. Active mainly at night, this salamander is not seen often since hides under debris like logs, or leaf litter.

27. Northern Pygmy Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus organi
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.57 to 3.14 in. (3.98 to 7.97 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

Northern pygmy salamanders live in hardwood forests, and in the United States, they are found in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This species lives at higher elevations and is rarely found below 5000 ft. above sea level. Northern pygmy salamanders have stable populations, but they may be experiencing population decline due to population loss, and climate change.

This salamander is a small species and can be identified by its size. Northern pygmy salamanders have 14 costal grooves and oval-shaped heads. Their colors are reddish brown, or tan, and their underside is lighter.

Northern pygmy salamanders are able to survive away from water and are even able to climb above 6 feet into trees. They also dwell on the first floors, and when conditions get too extreme they hibernate. Moths, beetles, and spiders are some of the things this salamander eats. They are active most on rainy nights.

28. Blackbellied Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus quadramaculatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 8.0 in. (8.89 to 20.32 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

In North Carolina, the black-bellied salamander is an endangered species. Rivers, streams, and springs are some of the freshwater habitats this species lives in. In their overall range, this salamander has a stable population, but they are threatened by habitat loss. Black-bellied salamanders live at elevations between 1,230 to 5,659 ft. above sea level.

Medium in size this species gets its name from its black stomach. They have a stocky appearance and long tails. Their color is dark brown, or black, and spots appear on their sides.

Black-bellied salamanders spend more time in the water than other members of their genus. Hunting is done on land, and this salamander eats crayfish, worms, and larvae of other animals. Snakes and small mammals like shrews are what prey on this species.

29. Santeetlah Dusky Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus santeetlah
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4.5 inches (6.35 to 11.43 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

In North Carolina, the Santeetlah dusky salamander is found in a small region in the far western portion of the state. This salamander lives around streams, and seepages, and is only found in higher elevations. They live near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and hide under debris on the forest floor.

Santeetlah dusky salamanders have light or dark brown coloring. Their bellies are light, and their stomachs have a mottled pattern of black and white. Spots or stripes may appear on this salamander dorsal. Some individuals have a yellowish tint near their tails and hind legs.

Small invertebrates are what this salamander east, hunting mostly at night. Santeetalh salamanders use logs, and moist soil to lay their eggs, placing them near water. At first, they are aquatic, until completing metamorphosis within a year.

30. Pygmy Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Desmognathus wrighti
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.4 to 1.7 inches (3.5 to 4.3 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Native to the Appalachians in the eastern United States, pygmy salamanders are found in North Carolina, and also Tennessee. This species lives in forests, and generally inhabits places in high elevations. Elevations between 5,000 to 6,500 ft. above sea level are where pygmy salamanders prefer to live.

Pygmy salamanders are named after their small size. They have a tannish appearance, with a mottle ed pattern that covers their sides, and pale bellies. The eyes of this salamander are golden yellow. Pygmy salamanders both males and females are around the same size.

The distribution and large population of the pygmy salamander are why they have a conservation status listed as least concern by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Pygmy salamanders are a solitary species that feed on small arthropods they find in the soil.

31. Chamberlain’s Dwarf Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea chamberlaini
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 0.9 inches (2.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

North Carolina and South Carolina are where the Chamberlain’s dwarf salamander lives. First discovered in 2003, they were named a species after further study in 2017. The chamberlain’s dwarf salamander lives in rivers, forests, and marsh habitats. Edward Burnham Chamberlain is who this salamander is named after, who is a former curator of the Vertebrate Zoology depart in the Charleston Museum in South Carolina.

Not much is known about this salamander’s population status because of their limited range, and secretive nature. A very small species, they have tan coloring, with stripes on their dorsal. Their bellies are yellow, and under their heads is cream coloring. Small invertebrates like mites, or worms are what this species eats.

32. Southern Two-lined Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea cirrigera
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 inches (6.35 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: $15

Southern two-lined salamanders are found in most of North Carolina but are not seen in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The southeastern United States is where this salamander lives. Rocky streams, forests, swamps, and other freshwater sources near woodlands are where they can be found. Larvae of this species are aquatic, and adults spend their time near water.

Southern two-lined salamanders are a small species with slender bodies. They have tan coloring, with two dark lines that run down their boy. Their liens run down to their tail, and on their body are 14 costal grooves.

Not a protected species in North Carolina, in their overall range they have a stable population. Southern two-lined salamanders may be affected by urbanization, which can decrease their populations.

33. Three-lined Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea guttolineata
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3.93 to 6.25 inches (10 to 15.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: $15

The three-lined salamander is native to the southeastern United States. These species live in the Appalachian Mountains, and in North Carolina, they are found in the central, and western portions. Three-lined salamanders live in wetlands, springs, swamps, and wet ditches. As adults they are terrestrial, but when born they are aquatic.

A medium-sized salamander, this species has a tan, to yellowish coloring. Their name comes from the three black stripes that appear on their back, running from their eyes to their tail. The belly of the three-lined salamander is black and white with a marbled pattern. Their bodies have 13 to 14 costal grooves on them.

Three-lined salamanders are abundant in their range and have a stable population. They have been extirpated in some regions due to habitat loss. This species feeds on insects, and other invertebrates they find at night.

34. Junaluska Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea junaluska
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 3 to 4 inches (7.62 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Junaluska salamanders are a vulnerable species and are a state-threatened animal in North Carolina. This species lives in streams near the Tennessee, and North Carolina border. Competition with other salamanders and predators like fish is why this species may not be abundant.

Junaluska salamanders have brown coloring and are covered in small dots or wavy patterns. They have a very similar appearance to the Northern two-lined salamander, but they have a more robust appearance. This salamander gets its name from a Cherokee chief who lived in North Carolina during the 19th century to honor them.

The limited numbers of this species make them rarely encountered. They have been documented in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Cheoah River, Tululah Creek, and Santeetlah Creek. Active at night they spend this time breeding or feeding on small invertebrates.

35. Long-tailed Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea longicauda
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $30

Long-tailed salamanders are found in the extreme northwestern corner of North Carolina, and they are endemic to the eastern United States. Wooded areas near streams and ponds are where this species lives.

The long-tail salamanders appear in orange, red, yellow, or brown color. They are covered in dark spots and blotches. The tail of this species is very long and makes up about 60% of its overall length. Long-tailed salamanders are the longest in their genus, and also have long limbs to help them move about.

Long-tailed salamanders are not a protected species and are common where they live. This salamander hides under debris like rocks, logs, and leaf litter. When born this salamander is aquatic, and once they metamorphosis they become terrestrial.

36. Southeastern Dwarf Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea quadridigitata
  • Other Names: Florida Dwarf Salamander
  • Adult Size: 2 in. (5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The southeastern dwarf salamander is a native species in eastern North America. This salamander lives in the far eastern regions of North Carolina. Wet-edged habitats are where this species lives, such as ponds, marshes, bays, and wetlands. Southeastern dwarf salamanders are nocturnal, and when not active hide under leaf litter, and rocks on the first floor.

This species is small and has yellowish-brown coloring. Their sides have dark brown blotches and spots. Southern dwarf salamanders have a slender appearance, and their small feet have four toes on each.

Breeding for this salamander occurs in the fall, with them capable of laying between 12 to 48 eggs. Shallow waters are where this species lays its eggs, placing them in vegetation. When born their larvae are aquatic, until completing metamorphosis. Fish, snakes, frogs, and birds are some of the animals that prey on this small species.

37. Blue Ridge Two-lined Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Eurycea wilderae
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.8 to 4.3 inches (7.11 to 10.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Blue Ridge two-lined salamander can be found in the far northwestern corner of North Carolina. Their range covers the border between Tennesee and North Carolina. Rocky seeps, streams, and brooks are where this salamander lives. Larvae are aquatic, but adults spend their time on land hiding other rocks and other natural debris.

This salamander is yellow, or orange in color. They have black stripes that run down the sides of their body, which their name comes from. Spots and blotches also appear on their back.

This species feeds on animals like copepods, larvae, and insects they find. Common predators of this species are garter snakes and other amphibians like the black-bellied salamander. Adults are able to detect incoming predators using chemical traces. In their range this salamander is common, and they have a stable population.

38. Northern Spring Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Gyrinophilus porphyriticus porphyriticus
  • Other Names: Purple Salamander
  • Adult Size: 5 to 7.5 inches (12.7 to 19.05)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $50 to $100

Northern spring salamanders are native to the eastern United States and found in the Blue Ridge region. They are found in North Carolina in forests near streams, and other well-oxygenated waters. Northern spring salamanders are nocturnal, and you can often find them under natural moist debris.

A larger salamander, this species has reddish, to purplish brown coloring. They have a squarish head, with a pale pinkish belly. Their bodies have around 17 to 19 costal grooves.

Being semi-aquatic this species feeds on both aquatic, and terrestrial animals. Snails, insects, spiders, and centipedes are what they eat. Northern spring salamanders are seen most on moist nights, and in parts of their range, this species is threatened.

39. Four-toed Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Hemidactylium scutatum
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 4 inches (5.1 to 10.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $40

Four-toed salamanders are native to the eastern United States, and in North Carolina, they live within the central region of the state. Four-toed salamanders live in bogs, forests, and moist grassy areas. In times of extreme cold, they burrow themselves to overwinter. Four-toed salamanders breed in summer, which is when they are seen most.

This salamander gets its anime from the four toes it has on its back legs. They have an orange to the brown body and are covered in gray flecks. Their stomaches are white, with a black mottled pattern. Four-toed salamanders are sometimes mistaken for the red-backked salamander and can be distiguished by their stomach.

Small invertebrates like spiders, worms, and ticks are what adults eat. Younger aquatic larvae feed on aquatic crustaceans, and other aquatic animals. Four-toed salamanders have a stable population, with their conservation status being listed as least concern.

40. Tellico Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon aureolus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 5.9 inches (14.9 cm)
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Tellico salamanders are a woodland species, found in mountainous and lowland habitats. In North Carolina, this species lives in the extreme southwestern portion of the state, and are also found in Tennessee. Tellico salamanders are an uncommon species, and much of their range they are in need of protection.

This salamander is black and covered in many white spots. Their tails and face have a brownish-red color. Tellico salamanders look similar to other slimy salamanders. They feed on small invertebrates and are active mostly at night. Tellico salamanders are a resilient species, with their biggest threat being the destruction of their habitats.

41. Chattahoochee Slimy Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon chattahoochee
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.75 to 6.75 inches (12.1 to 17.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The Chattahoochee slimy salamander is native to the Appalachian mountains in the United States. This species lives in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, and Georgia. The range of this species is very small, and they are considered at-risk species.

This salamander is small and black. They are covered in white spots on their sides and have a very slimy appearance. This species looks very similar to other species in the slimy salamander complex, and their range is the best way to identify them.

The sticky secretions that emit from this species’ body are used to ward off predators. Active most at night the Chattahoochee slimy salamander feeds on a wide array of invertebrates.

42. Cheoah Bald Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon cheoah
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 1.7 to 2.3 inches (4.31 to 5.84 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Cheoah bald salamanders live in temperate forests and other moist habitats. They are native to North Carolina and are considered a vulnerable species because of their low population, and very limited range. This salamander occurs most at higher elevations and spends its time under objects.

Cheoah salamanders have grey bodies and a very silky appearance. This salamander has red markings on its front and back legs. Their front legs are also much stockier than their back. Small floor invertebrates are eaten by this species. If threatened they are able to release a toxic substance from their body which is very sticky.

43. Atlantic Coast Slimy Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon chlorobryonis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 8 inches (11.5 to 20.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Atlantic coast salamanders are found in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the eastern United States and are a species found in North Carolina. This species lives in forests and moist woodland habitats. Not much is known about this species because of their secretive nature, and low populations.

This species has black coloring, and are covered in white spots. They have a light coloring on their belly, and a sticky substance secretes from their body. This species is active year-round, but not in extreme hot or cold. If attacked like other salamanders this species is able to regenerate limbs. A sticky substance also secretes from their body.

44. Eastern Red-backed Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon cinereus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2 to 4 in. (5.08 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: $15

Eastern red-backed salamanders are found all across the eastern United States. In North Carolina, this salamander lives in Piedmont, and Coastal Plains. They are terrestrial, living in moist forests. Active mostly at night, this salamander hides under rocks, logs, and other debris when resting.

This species comes in various coloring and patterns. The red-backed phase of this species has an orangish tripe that appears on its back, with black bellies. The lead-back phase of this salamander is black and lacks the stripe. They are sometimes covered in white specks.

Eastern red-backed salamanders are common in their range and have a stable population. They mate in the summer and lay around 4 to 17 eggs. Their eggs take around 1 to 2 months to hatch. Small insects and other invertebrates like spiders are what this salamander eats.

45. Northern Slimy Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon glutinosus
  • Other Names: grey-spotted salamander, slippery salamander
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 8 inches (11.43 to 20.32 inches)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: $20

Northern slimy salamanders are a common species in their range and are found in the eastern United States, including North Carolina. This species lives in a moist habitat like woodlands near debris. They are active at night, emerging from the debris they hide under.

Northern slimy salamanders are black and are covered in silver or gold spots. They are medium-sized and have around 16 to 17 costal grooves on their body. Northern slimy salamanders have very slender bodies and moist appearances.

The skin secretions from this salamander are very adhesive and help defend this species from attacks. Northern slimy salamanders are opportunistic feeders, eating things like ants, bees, and earthworms.

46. Red-cheeked Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon jordani
  • Other Names: Jordan’s Salamander, Appalachian Woodland Salamander
  • Adult Size: 3.5 to 7.5 inches (9 to 18.4 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Red-cheeked salamanders are found in the eastern United States and are native to the Appalachian Mountains region. This salamander’s main population is found along the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. Red-cheeked salamanders live at elevations between 700 to 6,400 ft. above sea level. They live in forests, and hardwood habitats.

This salamander is named after the red markings that appear on its cheeks. This species had a gray to bluish-black color, with a gray stomach. No patterns appear on their body, and on them appeared 15 to 17 costal grooves.

When born like other Plethodontidae species this salamander had no aquatic larval stage, and is primarily aquatic. Small terrestrial invertebrates like worms, snails, and spiders are what they ate. Garter snakes and other salamanders are what preyed on this species, and they used their toxin mucous to defend themselves. This salamander has seen major population loss over the last few years and is considered a near threatened species.

47. Southern Red-backed Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon serratus
  • Other Names: Georgia Red-backed Salamander, Ouachita Red-backed Salamander
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 4 inches (6.35 to 10.16 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The southern red-backed salamander has a scattered population across the eastern United States. In North Carolina, they live in the extreme western corner of the state. Southern red-backed salamanders live in moist forest habitats. In the dry season, they spend their time near spring and seeps.

Dark gray or black in color, and a mid-dorsal strip runs down their back until their tail. This strip is usually orange, or reddish in color. This species also has a darker lead back phase, where they have a grey stripe on their back. Other rare varieties include a white color.

Southern red-backed salamanders are nocturnal and hide under moist debris. They feed on small arthropods and mollusks. This salamander population is considered stable, and they are listed as a species that is Least Concern, by the IUCN.

48. Red-legged Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: n/a
  • Other Names: Plethodon shermani
  • Adult Size: 3.3 to 7.2 inches (8.3 to 18.2 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Red-legged salamanders live in the southeastern United States, and are found in mountain forests. This species was once considered a subspecies of the red-cheeked salamander (Plethodon jordani) but is now its own species. Red-legged salamanders are a vulnerable species, with most of their range covering the Nantahala National Forets. This species is most affected by habitat destruction.

Red-legged salamanders are medium-sized, and have a grey, to bluish-black color. They have red coloring on their legs, and white spots appear on them. Some specimens may not have red legs. This salamander is a forager and is active mostly at night. They feed on small invertebrates they come across on the forest floor.

49. Southern Zigzag Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon ventralis
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6.35 to 8.89 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Southern zigzag salamanders live in North Carolina, and they have a small range in the western corner of the state. This species has a scattered population across the eastern United States, and are mainly found in Tennesee. Forests, rocky places, caves, and areas near springs are where this salamander lives.

Southern zigzag salamanders have brown, to dark gray coloring. This species may sometimes have a wavy dorsal stripe or no stripe at all. They have flecks on their sides and reddish markings near their shoulder.

The breeding of this species occurs in the spring and fall. Females lay their eggs in caves, laying around 1 to 10 eggs. Habitat loss is what this species is affected by most, and they are in need of conservation in some of their range.

51. Wehrle’s Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon wehrlei
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4 to 6.6 inches (10.16 to 16.7 cm)
  • Lifespan: 25 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Wehrle’s salamanders live in the Appalachian Plateau in the eastern United States. In North Carolina, this salamander inhabits a small portion of the northwestern region of the state. Upland forests, hillsides, and caves are where this species lives. They have a stable population and are listed as a species that is of least concern.

This salamander has a blueish-black coloring. They are covered in white spots on their back, and yellowish spots on their side. The belly and tail of this species are gray, and they have a whitish coloring of their chest and throat or yellow blotching.

Mating for this species occurs in the summer, and they lay their eggs in damp crevices. This species is active mostly at night, and they will hide in burrows, logs, or other debris.

52. Weller’s Salamander

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  • Experience Level: Advanced
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon welleri
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.2 inches (6.35 to 8.1 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Weller’s salamanders are mainly found northwestern in North Carolina and around the Grandfather Mountain range. This species lives in cool rocky forests and have a very unstable population. Habitat degradation is one reason why this species is listed as endangered in its range. They prefer to live at higher elevations, hiding in cool and shady areas.

This species is a smaller salamander, and they have black coloring. Gold specks and markings cover their bodies, and on them are about 16 costal grooves. The feet of this species are webbed, and their bellies are dark.

Weller salamanders come out at night and feed on small invertebrates. Summer is when they are active most, and they lay their eggs during this period. Weller’s salamanders when born are not aquatic, and they look like miniature adults.

53. Yonahlossee Salamander

56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina - SnakeTracks.com (52)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Plethodon yonahlossee
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.5 to 7 inches (11.5 to 18 cm)
  • Lifespan: 10 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Yonahlossee salamanders are found in the Appalachian Mountains in the eastern United States. In North Carolina, this species lives in the Grandfather’s Mountains. They live in forests and are found mostly at higher elevations. Yonahloossee salamanders hide under debris, and in burrows during the day, and are active the most on rainy nights.

Yonahlossee salamanders are a large species, with black coloring, and rusty brown blotches covering them. Silver markings also appear on their sides, and they have 15 or 16 costal grooves on them. Females are larger than males which helps them lay eggs. Younger juveniles are covered in more markings.

Yonahlossee salamanders forage at night and do their best to avoid predators like snakes, birds, or small mammals. This species secretes toxins from its tails or stays still to defend itself. This species has a stable population and is under no substantial threat at the moment.

54. Mud Salamander

56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina - SnakeTracks.com (53)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudotriton montanus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: (7.5 to 16 cm)
  • Lifespan: 15 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Mud salamanders are found across most of North Carolina. They live in muddy habitats, wetlands, floodplain forests, and other similar moist woodland habitats. Mud salamander’s overall range covers the far eastern and southeastern areas of the United States.

Mud salamanders are a bright red species, and when young they have a crimson color. With age, this species becomes darker and gets a spotted stomach. The oldest of this species appears purplish. Dots and black spots also sit on their sides, and back.

Breeding for this salamander occurs in the summer, and eggs are laid in the winter and fall. Females lay around 65 to 200 eggs, which incubate for around 3 months. Mud salamanders that are female tend to breed every other year, while males can mate several times yearly. When not mating this species goes deep underground, and when active they are abundant in muddy moist habitats at night.

55. Red Salamander

56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina - SnakeTracks.com (54)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Pseudotriton ruber
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 4.3 to 7.1 inches (11 to 18 cm)
  • Lifespan: 20 years
  • Average Price Range: n/a

The red salamander is found in the eastern United States and inhabits forest habitats near springs, creeks, and wetland areas. In North Carolina, this salamander lives in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge regions. The red salamander breeding occurs in winter, and the eggs are placed under moist debris. This species is never really found far from water.

Red salamanders have reddish to tan bodies. They are covered in dark specks and markings. Their bodies are robust, and their limbs are short. A very moist species, secretions cover them to defend themselves from predators.

When hunting the red salamander is able to flick out its tongue very quickly to catch small invertebrates. This salamander has a stable population and is used as a food source for animals like snakes, or skunks.

56. Many-lined Salamander

56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina - SnakeTracks.com (55)
  • Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Family: Plethodontidae
  • Scientific Name: Stereochilus marginatus
  • Other Names: n/a
  • Adult Size: 2.5 to 3.75 inches (6.4 to 9.5 cm)
  • Lifespan: n/a
  • Average Price Range: n/a

Many-lined salamanders are native to the eastern United States, and in North Carolina, this species lives in the Coastal Plains region. Swamps, ditches, and streams around woodland are where this species lives. Compared to other salamanders in the Plethodontidae family, many-lined salamanders are more aquatic in nature.

This salamander is thin, it has a short tail, and a pointy head. They have a brown or yellowish coloring. Dark and light stripes run across this species’ bodies. Their bodies have around 13 to 16 costal grooves. The underside of them is yellow, with dark flecks.

Many-lined salamanders are not very common to come across, but they have a stable population. Worms, arthropods, and other small invertebrates are what they eat. Like other salamanders that are in North Carolina, they are not seen during periods of extreme heat or cold.

FAQ

Are salamanders in North Carolina poisonous?

Salamanders are not typically dangerous to humans, and if provoked they may bite. All salamanders emit toxins from their skin glands, which can irritate the skin or eyes if it comes in contact with humans. While salamanders use their toxins to ward off predators, this can sometimes make humans sick.

The level of toxicity of a salamander depends on the species. The salamanders in North Carolina are harmless if not picked up, or harassed, and their toxins are not usually harmful to humans. You should always wash your hands after handling a salamander, and avoid picking them up since their skin is permeable.

What is the biggest salamander in North Carolina?

The Eastern Hellbender is the largest salamander species that lives in North Carolina. This amphibian is entirely aquatic and typically ranges from 12 to 29 inches in size. Males and females of this species are similar in size, but the male hellbenders are slightly smaller and mature more quickly.

Where do salamanders in North Carolina live?

North Carolina is the state with the most salamander species in the U.S. and is also located in the region with the most diversity of salamander species in the world. You can find these amphibians in moist environments like woodlands, creeks, ponds, grasslands, marshes, and other similar habitats.

Where a salamander lives and where they are active is dependent on the species they are, as each has its own terrain and climate preferences. Rainy seasons are when salamanders are spotted most, and it is common for them to hide under debris like rocks, logs, or leaf litter.

Wrapping up

Salamanders in the wild are a sign of a healthy habitat since they are so susceptible to pollution, and need clean waters to breed, or live in. Keeping balance in North Carolina’s ecosystems is also important. Salamanders are a reliable food source for animals like snakes, birds, or small mammals. They are also carnivores that help maintain invertebrate populations like spiders, or insects.

Although many salamanders in North Carolina make great pets, you should never take them from the wild as they can be potentially endangered, and are a part of a much greater ecosystem. Wild-caught animals are also more susceptible to early death due to disease, and parasites. Certain salamander species make great pets, or you can also enjoy watching them in North Carolina’s wilderness.

Other nearby states

  • Salamanders in Georgia
  • Salamanders in South Carolina
  • Salamadners in Tennessee
  • Salamanders in Virginia

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56 Unique Salamanders in North Carolina  - SnakeTracks.com (2024)
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