Found in extreme northeast TN in mid- to higher elevations of Blue Ridge Mountains.
Description: A large (4.5 to 7.0 inches in length) and remarkably handsome salamander with a wide red or chestnut stripe, extending from the neck to the base of the tail, on top of a black dorsum. The sides of the body, head, and tail have white to light gray blotches. Belly is dark gray with scattered light spots.
Similar Species: Red striped morph of the Eastern Red-backed Salamander has dark flanks.
Habitat: Lives under logs, bark, and rocks of deciduous forests. Also, found near springs and streams or on rocky, moist slopes covered with moss and ferns.
Diet: Includes flies, spiders, ants, beetles, snails, moths, crickets, and springtails.
Breeding information: Not very well known, but breeding is terrestrial and females probably brood eggs as with other Plethodon species.
Status in Tennessee: Population numbers not well known, however Yonahlossee Salamanders are considered to be relatively resilient to timber harvesting and habitat fragmentation.
- Named for the old Yonahlossee road on Grandfather Mountain, NC near where the first specimen was collected.
Best places to see in Tennessee: Second growth forests in mountains 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.