Plethodon richmondi is an eastern member of the cinereus group. Like other P. cinereus species, P. richmondi is sometimes described as a “worm with legs.” The rounded tail is slightly compressed along the sides and it accounts for almost half of the species TL, which ranges from 65-143 mm. Adult female individuals are usually larger than adult males, but adult males have cloacal papillae and large mental glands that are lacking in adult females. The dorsal region and sides are dark brown, almost black, and sprinkled with various colored spots, from gold to greenish-gold to silvery-white. Along the ventral area, the dark coloration predominates. The only area of the species that is light in color is the throat region, although this coloration creates a mottled effect. The throat also has a developed gular fold.
When they hatch, P. richmondi individuals are light gray above with large white spots on a black network along the dorsum. They average about 14-15 mm SVL (Regester 2000).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: United States
U.S. state distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Plethodon richmondi prefers the moist conditions found under logs, stumps, leaf litter, and rocks in wooded valleys and ravines of the eastern US. The species’ distribution ranges from west of the New and Kanawha rivers and south of the Teays River Valley in West Virginia, through Kentucky, and into the southwestern regions of Virginia. P. richmondi can even be found in the very northwestern areas of North Carolina and northeastern Tennessee. Although a terrestrial salamander, it is rarely found on ridges, hilltops or valley floors where conditions are frequently very dry. Large populations of this salamander are found on wooded talus slopes (Regester 2000).
The species is named in honor of Neil D. Richmond, a Virginia-born herpetologist (Regester 2000).
Regester, K. J. (2000). ''Plethodon richmondi.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 707.1-707.3.
Originally submitted by: Elizabeth Reisman (first posted 2001-05-30)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2003-12-05)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2003 Plethodon richmondi: Ravine Salamander <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/4150> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 7, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 7 May 2021.
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