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Range Map

White-spotted Slimy Salamander

White-spotted Slimy Salamander
Plethodon cylindraceus

Found in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Ridge and Valley in northeastern TN. White-spotted Slimy, Mississippi Slimy, and Northern Slimy Salamanders are virtually indistinguishable, and make up the Slimy salamander complex.

Description: A large salamander (4.5 to 8.0 inches in length) having black dorsum with small, white or silver spots scattered over the body. Belly is lighter than the back and the tail is round.

Similar Species: Distinguished from identical Mississippi Slimy and Northern Slimy Salamanders by range and genetic analysis. Tellico Salamander has a separate range and Cumberland Plateau Salamanders have a light chin. Southern Appalachian Salamander usually has fewer and smaller white spots on back and sides.

Habitat: Under rocks and logs in a variety of woodland habitats.

Diet: Ants, snails, earthworms, centipedes, spiders, springtails, flies, and other insects.

Breeding information: White-spotted Slimy Salamanders breed terrestrially during the spring and summer. Females lay eggs in underground cavities during the late summer or early fall. Females remain with the eggs until hatching, usually in 2-4 months.

Status in Tennessee: Relatively resilient to timber harvesting; however clear-cuts have a negative impact on populations.

Fun Facts:

  • Slimy salamanders are some of the larger members of the Plethodon genus.
  • Slimy salamanders will aggressively defend their territories from other male slimy salamanders and other salamanders.

Best places to see in Tennessee: Hardwood forests of northeast TN.

For more information:

The Salamanders of Tennessee web site


Conant, R. and Collins, J. 1998. Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians (Eastern/Central North America). Houghton Mifflin Company, New York. 616pp.

Jensen, J. B., Camp C. D., Gibbons, W., and Elliot, M. J. 2008. Amphibians and Reptiles of Georgia, University of Georgia Press, Athens, GA. 575pp.