Pseudotriton ruber - (Latreille,1801)
Red Salamander
Other English Common Names: red salamander
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Pseudotriton ruber (Sonnini de Manoncourt and Latreille, 1801) (TSN 173680)
French Common Names: salamandre rousse
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.101775
Element Code: AAAAD13020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Amphibians - Salamanders
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Amphibia Caudata Plethodontidae Pseudotriton
Genus Size: B - Very small genus (2-5 species)
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Concept Reference
Concept Reference: Frost, D. R. 1985. Amphibian species of the world. A taxonomic and geographical reference. Allen Press, Inc., and The Association of Systematics Collections, Lawrence, Kansas. v + 732 pp.
Concept Reference Code: B85FRO01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Pseudotriton ruber
Conservation Status

NatureServe Status

Global Status: G5
Global Status Last Reviewed: 05Jun2015
Global Status Last Changed: 13Nov2001
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G5 - Secure
Nation: United States
National Status: N5 (05Nov1996)
Nation: Canada
National Status: NNA (05Jun2015)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S5), Delaware (S3), District of Columbia (S3), Florida (SNR), Georgia (S5), Indiana (SNR), Kentucky (S5), Louisiana (S2), Maryland (S5), Mississippi (S3), New Jersey (SNR), New York (S3S4), North Carolina (S5), Ohio (SNR), Pennsylvania (S5), South Carolina (SNR), Tennessee (S5), Virginia (S5), West Virginia (S3)
Canada Ontario (SNA)

Other Statuses

IUCN Red List Category: LC - Least concern

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: 200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Southern New York to southern Indiana and south to the Gulf Coast; absent from most of Atlantic coastal plain south of Virginia and from peninsular Florida (Petranka 1998).

Number of Occurrences: 81 to >300
Number of Occurrences Comments: Represented by many and/or large occurrences throughout most of the range (e.g., Martof 1975, Tobey 1985, Redmond and Scott 1996, Hulse et al. 2001).

Population Size: 100,000 to >1,000,000 individuals

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)

Overall Threat Impact: Medium
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Deforestation, acid drainage from coal mines, and stream siltation and pollution undoubtedly have resulted in the loss of many populations (Petranka 1998). However, the species is secure on a global scale.

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: Likely stable in extent of occurrence and probably stable to slightly declining in population size, area of occupancy, and number/condition of occurrences.

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to Relatively Stable
Long-term Trend Comments: Likely relatively stable in extent of occurrence, unknown trend in population size, area of occurrence, and number/condition of occurrences.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements common.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Global Range: (200,000-2,500,000 square km (about 80,000-1,000,000 square miles)) Southern New York to southern Indiana and south to the Gulf Coast; absent from most of Atlantic coastal plain south of Virginia and from peninsular Florida (Petranka 1998).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single nation

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AL, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MD, MS, NC, NJ, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV
Canada ONexotic

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at

Range Map Compilers: IUCN, Conservation International, NatureServe, and collaborators, 2004

U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
IN Floyd (18043)*
LA Washington (22117)
MS Alcorn (28003)*, Amite (28005)*, Calhoun (28013), Choctaw (28019), Clarke (28023)*, Copiah (28029), Covington (28031)*, Forrest (28035), Greene (28041)*, Grenada (28043), Itawamba (28057)*, Jasper (28061), Jefferson Davis (28065)*, Lafayette (28071)*, Lamar (28073)*, Lauderdale (28075)*, Lawrence (28077)*, Leake (28079)*, Lincoln (28085)*, Lowndes (28087)*, Marion (28091)*, Monroe (28095)*, Newton (28101), Noxubee (28103)*, Oktibbeha (28105)*, Perry (28111), Pike (28113)*, Prentiss (28117)*, Simpson (28127)*, Smith (28129)*, Stone (28131)*, Tishomingo (28141), Webster (28155)*, Winston (28159)
WV Berkeley (54003), Boone (54005)*, Calhoun (54013)*, Doddridge (54017)*, Fayette (54019), Gilmer (54021)*, Grant (54023)*, Greenbrier (54025)*, Hampshire (54027)*, Hardy (54031), Jackson (54035)*, Kanawha (54039)*, Lewis (54041)*, Lincoln (54043)*, Logan (54045)*, Marshall (54051)*, Mason (54053)*, McDowell (54047)*, Mercer (54055), Monongalia (54061)*, Morgan (54065)*, Nicholas (54067), Pendleton (54071)*, Pocahontas (54075), Preston (54077), Putnam (54079)*, Raleigh (54081), Randolph (54083), Ritchie (54085), Roane (54087)*, Summers (54089), Tucker (54093), Upshur (54097)*, Wood (54107)*
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
02 South Branch Potomac (02070001)+, North Branch Potomac (02070002)+*, Cacapon-Town (02070003)+*, Conococheague-Opequon (02070004)+, Upper James (02080201)+
03 Upper Tombigbee (03160101)+*, Buttahatchee (03160103)+*, Tibbee (03160104)+*, Luxapallila (03160105)+*, Middle Tombigbee-Lubbub (03160106)+*, Noxubee (03160108)+, Chunky-Okatibbee (03170001)+, Upper Chickasawhay (03170002)+*, Upper Leaf (03170004)+*, Lower Leaf (03170005)+, Black (03170007)+*, Upper Pearl (03180001)+*, Middle Pearl-Silver (03180003)+*, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+, Bogue Chitto (03180005)+
05 Tygart Valley (05020001)+, West Fork (05020002)+*, Upper Monongahela (05020003)+*, Cheat (05020004)+, Youghiogheny (05020006)+*, Upper Ohio-Wheeling (05030106)+*, Little Muskingum-Middle Island (05030201)+*, Upper Ohio-Shade (05030202)+*, Little Kanawha (05030203)+, Middle New (05050002)+, Greenbrier (05050003)+, Lower New (05050004)+, Gauley (05050005)+, Upper Kanawha (05050006)+*, Lower Kanawha (05050008)+*, Coal (05050009)+*, Upper Guyandotte (05070101)+*, Lower Guyandotte (05070102)+*, Tug (05070201)+*, Blue-Sinking (05140104)+*
06 Pickwick Lake (06030005)+*, Bear (06030006)+
08 Upper Hatchie (08010207)+*, Little Tallahatchie (08030201)+*, Yocona (08030203)+*, Yalobusha (08030205)+, Upper Big Black (08060201)+*, Bayou Pierre (08060203)+, Amite (08070202)+*, Tangipahoa (08070205)+*, Liberty Bayou-Tchefuncta (08090201)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of 50-100 eggs in fall. Eggs hatch in December-January in South Carolina. Aquatic larval period lasts 27-33 months in Blue Ridge and Piedmont populations, 18-23 months in Coastal Plain of South Carolina (Semlitsch 1983). Sexually mature at 4-5 years, males perhaps sooner.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Riverine Habitat(s): CREEK, Pool, SPRING/SPRING BROOK
Palustrine Habitat(s): FORESTED WETLAND, Riparian
Special Habitat Factors: Benthic, Burrowing in or using soil, Fallen log/debris
Habitat Comments: Cold, clear, rocky streams and springs in wooded or open areas. Adults occur in or near water in leaf litter and under rocks, and in crevices and burrows near water. Adults sometimes disperse into woods. Eggs are attached to underside of rocks in water. Larvae occur in still pools.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats various invertebrates and, occasionally, small amphibians. Larvae probably eat small invertebrates obtained in water.
Adult Phenology: Nocturnal
Immature Phenology: Nocturnal
Length: 18 centimeters
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
Management Summary Not yet assessed
Population/Occurrence Delineation
Group Name: Aquatic/Wetland Plethodontid Salamanders

Use Class: Not applicable
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Occurrences are based on evidence of historical presence, or current and likely recurring presence, at a given location. Such evidence minimally includes collection or reliable observation and documentation of one or more individuals (including larvae or eggs) in or near appropriate habitat where the species is presumed to be established and breeding.
Separation Barriers: Busy highway, especially with high traffic volume at night; other totally inappropriate habitat that the salamanders cannot traverse.
Alternate Separation Procedure: Separation distance for stream-dwelling species along riverine corridors: 10 stream km. Separation distance for other freshwater aquatic and wetland habitats: 3 km. Separation distance for upland habitat: 1 km.
Separation Justification: These salamanders rarely successfully cross roadways that have heavy traffic volume at night, when most movements occur. Salamanders in this Specs Group, except strictly subterranean species, tend to be able to traverse upland habitat when conditions are wet, and generally they can pass through atypical wetland and aquatic habitats to reach another patch of suitable habitat. However, Grover and Wilbur (2002) created replicated seeps at distances of 3, 15, and more than 30 m from streams or natural seeps and found that Desmognathus fuscus and Gyrinophilus porphyriticus colonized the new seeps at 3 m and 15 m but were rare or absent at new seeps more than 30 m from the nearest stream or natural seep.

Although these specifications do not include rivers as barriers, Adams and Beachy (2001) documented morphological variation among populations of Gyrinophilus porphyriticus in the southern Appalachian Mountains and found patterns "consistent with the hypothesis that large rivers restrict sizable gene flow." Large rivers probably function at least as unsuitable habitat for many species in this Specs Group.

Compared to larger ambystomatid salamanders, the movements of plethodontids are poorly documented, but home ranges likely tend to be very small, on the order of a few meters to a few dozen meters in length or diameter. Yet, on occasion, dispersing individuals likely travel at least several hundred meters, and stream-dwelling species likely disperse much farther along riverine corridors. Over a number of years, it is likely that these salamanders can spread multiple kilometers through suitable habitat.

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): .1 km
Date: 28Oct2004
Author: Hammerson, G.
Population/Occurrence Viability
U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 08May2011
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 28Oct1993
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


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  • Bruce, R. C. 1974. Larval development of the salamander PSEUDOTRITON MONTANUS DIASTICTUS and P. RUBER. Am. Midl. Nat. 92:173-190.

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