Southern Zigzag Salamander
Plethodon ventralis

Common Name:

Southern Zigzag Salamander

Scientific Name:

Plethodon ventralis

Etymology:

Genus:

plethore is Greek meaning "fullness or full of",  odon is Greek for "teeth". Referring to  the number of paravomerine and vomerine teeth.

Species:

ventralis is Latin meaning "of the belly".

Average Length:

Virginia Record Length:

Record length:

Virginia Wildlife Action Plan Rating Tier II - Very High Conservation Need - Has a high risk of extinction or extirpation. Populations of these species are at very low levels, facing real threat(s), or occur within a very limited distribution. Immediate management is needed for stabilization and recovery.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: This species is brownish to reddish salamander with red zig-zag marks down the entire length of the body. The body is speckled with bluish-white spots. The belly is usually lighter in color with the same bluish-white spots. The head is slender, and the sides behind the eyes slightly converge to the lateral extensions of the gular fold. The snout is bluntly pointed.

REPRODUCTION: Females deposit eggs shortly after moving to underground retreats in late spring or early summer. Eggs are attached within cave formations by sticky membranes. Incubation is about 3 months. Average clutch size is approximately 5 ova.*11305* Habitat: Talus slopes are very important to this species as well as rock crevices that provide access to deep underground passages. This may be important for overwintering.*11305*

References for Life History

  • 1009 - Bishop, S.C., 1943, Handbook of Salamanders, 555 pgs., Comstock Publ. Co., New York, NY
  • 3067 - Conant, R., 1978, Field guide to reptiles and amphibans of eastern and central North America 2nd.ed., 429 pgs., Houghton Mifflin, Boston

Photos:

*Click on a thumbnail for a larger version.


Verified County/City Occurrence

Scott County
Washington County
Verified in 2 Counties/Cities.



FROGS

Virginia is home to 28 species of frogs and toads.

SALAMANDERS

We have a large diversity of salamanders consisting of 56 different species and subspecies.

LIZARDS

Virginia is home to 9 native lizard species and two introduced species, the Mediterranean Gecko and the Italian Wall Lizard.

SNAKES

The Commonwealth is home to 34 species and subspecies of snake. Only 3 species are venomous.

TURTLES

Virginia has 25 species and subspecies of turtle. Five of these species are sea turtle.