Green Salamander
Aneides aeneus

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photo by Zach Felix
Westvaco Research Forest, Randolph County, WV
Species DescriptionGreen salamanders may attain a total length of 5 inches (12.7 cm).  They are dark brown to black with green, lichen-like patches over the body, head, legs, and tail.  Their bellies are pale and unmarked.  There are 14 to 15 costal grooves.  These salamanders have flattened heads and bodies and expanded toe tips -- modifications for their crevice dwelling life. 

HabitatRock crevices are the preferred habitat for the green salamander.  They may also be found in caves or under the bark of fallen trees.  They have been found in the crevices of rocks made from sandstone, limestone, and granite.  Shaded rock outcrops in moist coves are the best places to find this species.  Green salamanders are active mainly at night, when they can be seen climbing over the face of their rock.  Usually, they are seen with their heads protruding out from a crevice in a rock outcrop, and they will pull back in if bothered.  These salamanders can also be found by shining a flashlight into crevices in rock outcrops. 

Breeding ActivityGreen salamanders mate during spring (May and June) or sometimes in the fall (October).  Clusters of up to 20 eggs are attached to the roof of the crevice with the female remaining with the eggs until hatching.  Hatching occurs within 12-13 weeks and the hatchlings remain within the crevice for some time. 

RangeGreen salamanders are found throughout the Allegheny Plateau and Mountains of West Virginia.